Stop worrying about what other people think!
How many times have you heard this advice? (My mother said it to me just last week.)
It’s not a simple thing to do.
It’s not even a human thing to do.
Humans are pack animals. Historically, we’ve needed the tribe to survive. Fear of rejection is a deeply rooted part of who we are as a species.
Caring about what people think is fundamental to civilization. It helps us function effectively in groups. (Imagine what traffic would look like if people didn’t care what others thought.)
If you care what people think, congratulations! You’re human. (If you don’t, you might be a sociopath.)
So stop telling yourself to stop caring what people think.
Instead, stop telling yourself you know what other people think.
Because as much as your subconscious is 100% certain that when you do the thing that scares you – be more visible, change directions, reach out to a big shot, or take some other leap – you will be outcast and banished to die a slow, lonely death, guess what?
Your subconscious is not psychic.
It doesn’t actually know the future.
So care what people think, yes. But don’t assume you know what they are thinking.
And when you do know for sure what they think – because they told you – don’t let that stop you from doing what you know deep in your heart is best for you.
You got this.