“Often those that criticize others reveal what they themselves lack.”
Shannon L. Alder
It’s only natural to give a fuck what other people think about you. It’s only natural to seek the approval of other people.
However, there are serious consequences costs to doing so
The reason I’m writing this article is because, as some of you may know (from following my Snapchats), I recently started reading a book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” By Mark Manson (I highly recommend it). This is highly refreshing read and has enlightened the fact, that I, have given too many fucks about what people have thought of me. Let me explain further. I hope some of you can relate to this.
Throughout my teenage years, as it is with most young men and women I really cared about what other people thought of me; and there were criticisers in every direction I’d look.
These criticisms or judgements were often based on, the way I’d look, how I’d dress, the way I’d act, how I’d talk, the words I would use, how I would react, even my first and second names, along with my likes and dislikes. There were plenty of criticisms. Unfortunately, that’s how brutal the society we live in can be towards us.
However, as I matured and grew up, I realise that those experiences taught me a lot of valuable lessons in regards to criticisms and the pessimists. I’ve learnt not just why they do it, but more importantly, how to deal with it and adopt the right mind-set for it. I’ll clarify it further in this article so that you too can also stop caring about what others think of you.
Allowing others to add toxic bullshit to your mind is limiting, and can stop you from achieving the things you desire. So let’s avoid that at all costs.
You deserve better.
How to Stop Giving a Fuck about What People Think
Accept the Fact that you’re not perfect
These people, who criticise you, want to make you feel bad by pointing out your flaws; this is often because they feel bad about their own imperfections. Understand that there’s little truth behind allot of criticisms, and they are often exaggerated. The point is, if can you accept your flaws and imperfections for what they are, you’ll no longer care about what others say about them. There won’t be any need to. You’ll realise that no one is perfect and none of us need to be. Your flaws and imperfections are a part of who you are, and what makes you unique.
You wouldn’t be the person you are today without your flaws and imperfections. Also, you wouldn’t have experienced the things you’ve experienced. On realizing that, you’ll no longer be a victim to what others think about you or the negative thoughts that come with it.
Another way to stop seeking approval from others is to start living a life that you can be proud of, regardless what other people think. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to develop strong habits. It’s about habits that allow you to live up to your own expectations.
For me, this means doing things like, going out for a walk first thing in the morning, lifting weights, reading, and traveling. I do these things because I enjoy doing them, doing these things makes me happy. By doing this, it doesn’t matter if someone disrespects me, or if I get a bunch of nasty comments on one of my posts. I no long give a fuck about these things. This is all because I know that I can still hit the gym, or I can jump in the car or on a plane and go somewhere, to be with someone I like, or I can get lost in a good book. Because no matter what other people say about me, I can always take comfort in the fact that I’ve built a lifestyle that I’m proud of; and that is something that no one can take from you.
It’s also important to set the right goals, to help you develop this lifestyle. It’s very easy to fall for the trap of setting goals that serve other people, and what you think they want you to do. When you do this, you suppress your own aspirations and trade them for someone else’s. You give other people the authority to choose your life’s direction.
To avoid making this mistake, do not focus on setting a very long term goals, instead focus on setting moderate-term goals, that’s achievable in around 1-6 months’ time, and make it something that reflects your current interests and aspirations.
The thing is, other people tend to pressure you, both directly and on a subconscious level, to live up to their own long-term visions for you. However, by focusing on shorter-term goals, you effectively give yourself permission to focus exclusively on your aspirations, while gently ‘pushing aside’ the interests and opinions of other people.
Understand that it’s more about them, than it is about you
I recently uploaded a snapchat, where I talked about a photo I’d seen on Facebook, regarding a meal comparison between one of Joe Wick’s “Lean in 15” meals, and a similar KFC meal. This photo had purposely shown that Joe Wick’s “healthy” meal contained double the calories of the usually “less healthy” KFC meal; therefore many people suddenly deemed that Joe Wicks was some kind of a fraud, and that what he was actually practising and promoting wasn’t at all healthy. This photo has been circulating social media sites for some weeks now. Personally I felt that this photo was based on unnecessary spite and false accusations. The source of this photo was most likely from someone who is envious or jealous of Joe Wick’s brilliant successes. The point I’m making here, is that most criticisms and naysayers are really talking about themselves when they’re pointing fingers at you.
Nobody criticizes and belittles another person if they themselves are happy or feel good about themselves. There’s no logic in that and wouldn’t make any sense. A happy person bringing another person down is like a racist dating a person they’re racist towards. It’s not going to happen, and you need to realize that to start caring less about what others think of you. It says more about them than it does about you.
The final step to stop giving a fuck what other people think is to be self-aware and catch yourself in the act of seeking approval. You are still liable to give a fuck what other people think, even after you’ve structured your life around habits and goals that you actually care about. It doesn’t matter if you’re at work, and you catch yourself agonizing over whether or not your boss is pissed at you, or if you want to ask a girl out, and you catch yourself over-analysing whether or not she likes you, or if you want to start in the gym, but you’re too worried about what the regular gym goers will think of you when you’re struggling to complete a ten minute walk on the treadmill.
These 3 steps will help you break the cycle and stop giving a fuck.
- Catch yourself.The most important thing is to recognize that you’re giving a fuck what others think, or seeking their approval.
- Accept it.The natural thing is lie to yourself and tell yourself that you’re not actually seeking approval. Don’t do this. Instead, accept it and tell yourself that it’s going to be okay.
- Let it go.It doesn’t matter exactly why you’re giving a fuck. The important thing is to let it go. And the best way to do this is to focus on breathing 4-5 deep ‘belly’ breaths.
It will be challenging at first, but the more you catch yourself giving a fuck, the easier it will be to let it go. And then you can get back to living your life, with ZERO fucks given! The great thing about this technique is that it will become a natural, subconscious process over time, what will happen is that you will slowly retrain your brain to stop giving a fuck.
We’re here for a brief moment in time. Don’t become so buried beneath the weight of the fucks that other people hoist upon your shoulders that you become a passive observer instead of an active participant in your own life.
Your Friend in Health & Happiness
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