You probably know the story.
A man and his son were walking to the market with their donkey. A countryman passed them and said, “You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?”
So the man helped the boy onto the donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said, “What a lazy kid, he lets his father walk while he rides.”
So the man ordered his boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”
Well, the man didn’t know what to do anymore, so at last he took his boy up with him on the donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. Someone said, “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours?”
The man and boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. To the laughter of all, they went along till they came to Market Bridge, when the donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the donkey fell over the bridge, and his feet being tied together he was drowned.
“That’ll teach you,” said an old man who had followed them.
“PLEASE ALL, AND YOU WILL PLEASE NONE.”
You need to know what’s important to you in life, what you truly value, and what you’re ultimately aiming for. Once you know who you really are and what matters to you, what other people think of you becomes significantly less important. When you know your values, you’ll have something to stand up for —something you believe in.
You’ll stop saying yes to everything. Instead, you’ll learn to say no when friends pressure you toward something contrary to your character. When you have your values straight, you stop caring about others’ opinions.
In simple steps, here’s what you can do:
1. Find Something You Love to Do and Fully Commit to It
When you are good at something, you build self-esteem. High self-esteem is highly important when it comes to not caring about what other people think about you.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”-Steve Jobs
Everyone has a talent for something. Discover what you are good at and then start focusing on those talents. Don’t be a people pleaser and always do what others expect you to do. No, focus on what you are actually good at. When you are doing something you love, chances are, you will be good at it. When you succeed in an activity, you will boost your self-confidence. More self-confidence = less need for confirmation from others.
2. Realize Worrying What Other People Think of You Is a Waste of Time
“Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”Matthew 6:27
This famous quote from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount changed my life.
Time spent worrying isn’t time spent living. When we always worry about what other people think of us, we are taken out of the present moment and into a place of worry.
This people-pleasing mindset traps us inside of our heads and makes sure we aren’t enjoying our life. It’s impossible to be present when you are constantly thinking and dwelling on future events.
3. Realize Others Don’t Think of You Nearly as Much as You Believe
You need to understand that other people think a lot less of you than you would believe. Guess who they think about?
Just like you!
Everyone has enough to occupy their mind. If you are worried about how you come across to someone you’ve just met, keep in mind that they’re probably doing the same.
4. Manage What You Expose Yourself to on Social Media
In the last 10 years, social media has dramatically changed the way people interact with each other. A passive approach to what you expose yourself to on social media is a recipe for self doubt.
Take control of your social media accounts. Don’t be afraid to block people if you detect or receive negativity from them, or to unfollow accounts that aren’t motivating you to be the best version of yourself.
You’re special and unique. The world only has and will ever have one person just like you. Live your best life, and leave other people to their opinions.
This blog post is brought to you by Hopebox, a company committed to delivering Hope through monthly subscription boxes, blog posts, hugs, or an encouraging word. When you don’t know what to send, #SendHope.