As a blogger, this has been a LONG journey. Mix putting yourself out there with a natural first-child syndrome, and it’s a recipe for REALLY FREAKING CARING, so to feel in a good enough place to write this is very, very liberating and humbling at the same time. Mainly I’m grateful to be at a place where I feel qualified to write this, and I’m hoping that if you’re not there, this might help. When looking back to what impacted me most, here’s what helped me to get better at not caring:
Know your worth.
This comes first and foremost because I think it’s the most important. I am lucky enough to have family and friends who are always great at making me feel worthy, and I’ve met so many people who came from different backgrounds but have taught themselves their worth. No matter how you get there, it’s a crucial step to confidence and freedom.
There’s a difference between knowing your worth (aka being confident in yourself and feeling valued) and being conceited. I believe that being confident is extremely healthy. Having self-worth doesn’t make you a jerk or cocky, it makes you confident in yourself – it’s showing yourself some love.
One of my favorite lines when it comes to knowing your worth is actually from the movie “The Help”. One of the characters repeats “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” to the little girl she watches daily, and it’s something I keep in mind and even say to myself if I’ve been putting myself down a lot.
Whether it’s a positive mantra, a list of your best qualities or compliments, or kind words you speak to yourself regularly, find a practice that reminds you of your self-worth. We are ALL worthy of it, so never let anyone tell you differently.
Surround yourself with amazing people.
I’ve learned this firsthand and have seen what a destructive spiral certain people can put you through. Especially in your teens and twenties when it still seems important to have tons of friends and be invited to all the things, it can be tricky to eliminate people from your circle. Maybe it’s someone who is really popular and you feel cooler being around. Maybe it’s a guy who you really like but treats you like crap. Maybe it’s a friend you’ve known forever but who constantly bashes you and others.
If you find yourself engaging in behaviors that you’re not proud of or if you feel crappy after hanging out with someone, the answer is pretty clear – they shouldn’t be in your life. Easier said than done, I get it – but it’s one of the fastest ways to not only have a more positive life – but to care less about others’ opinions. I think it’s pretty easy to notice when we’re acting a certain way due to a specific person or pressure, so listen to your gut here. Once you have fewer people you’re trying to impress, you’ll find yourself caring less and feeling more confident in being your true self. If you relate to this in any way at all, be sure to check out my earlier post: Learn when to say “Good Bye”
One of the ways I’ve gotten to know my self-worth more AND improve my life, in general, is by constantly bettering myself. This is why you’ll find me often reading self-improvement books or learning new things. I find those to be two ways that I can become a better, smarter, more intentional person.
Because then, when the moment arises to care what someone says or not, you’ll be confident that you’re a work in progress and improving. Nobody is perfect, and if someone wants to put you down while trying to get better, they are not worth your time or energy.
Say “no” when you want to.
Ah! I love this one so much. I’ve gotten really good at it to be honest. Sorry, not sorry at all about it. I think it can do wonders for a lot in life, but it’s definitely helped me to not care what people think. Instead of saying yes to something and then either bailing or putting myself in a negative space by worrying about how much I really don’t want to go, I can just say no and then not think about it again. Instead of saying yes just because someone wants me to so something, I’ve learned to be comfortable with doing what I actually want. Instead of putting myself in uncomfortable positions, I say no from the get-go.
Practice saying “no” to things that don’t feel good or to commitments that don’t light you up. You’ll quickly notice how liberating it is – and that the world still turns without you saying yes to everything. Just like the world turns when you don’t listen to critics or hate.
Similar to saying no, speaking up for things you really care about is HUGE.
Whether it’s faith, a political or social matter, or what you want for lunch, speak up! It’s definitely a habit that takes some practice, at least it was for me, but it’s so much easier going through life saying what you mean or what you want instead of living based on others’ expectations or rules.
Take social media breaks.
Honestly, sometimes social media makes me want to quit blogging. Instagram especially can feel SO forced, and it’s probably where I struggle with what people think the most. At the end of the day, Instagram is a part of this process, so it’s next to impossible to say I don’t care about the response – I’d be lying if I said otherwise. But, it’s a daily practice to care less and less. I do my best to share what I actually want to share vs. what I THINK I should be sharing – or what I see other people sharing. Again, it’s 10000% a work in progress, but I appreciate the reminder it serves in my life.
When I find myself in a comparison rabbit hole on Instagram or am just reading every comment and taking things personally, it’s time for a break. I’ll literally turn off my phone or delete the Instagram app if I have to. It’s hard but it WORKS.
Even if you’re not a blogger, we all know what social media can do for us internally, right? Who has ever worn a certain thing or ordered a certain thing or even gone somewhere just for the gram? I’m assuming most of us, and that’s a direct correlation of caring what others think. Kinda crazy! Give yourself regular breaks, especially if you find yourself doing things based on the response you’ll get from social. At least that helps me! If you haven’t already read it, check this out for some #Realstagram talk
Know what to care about.
Here’s the thing – caring what others think can actually be very constructive when done right – which I’ve learned over the years. Constructive criticism or opinions can not only teach you about others, but it can also teach you about yourself. Maybe you’ve been noticing you’re lagging on work and then your boss points out a mistake – that’s something to care about and to get to the bottom of. Maybe you feel like you need to make a change to your busy calendar when a friend speaks up about not seeing you in 4 months – another time to care what others think (at least in my opinion). But if someone is saying something destructive that you KNOW to be untrue about yourself or is something you’re already working on, it might be the time to let that dissolve into thin air.
Be selective about what you care about and whether what that person is saying is constructive or destructive. Even though it can be uncomfortable or painful, I’ve made some of my best personal improvements from constructive feedback from loved ones.
Do you have anything to add? Have you noticed that this has gotten easier as you’ve gotten older? I sure have!
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