Remember that the problem lies with others, not you

I worry too much about what others think. Always have done and likely always will. Regular blog readers will already know that much of my anxiety / lack of self-confidence is a result of not liking how I look and consequently wondering how people will be viewing me in certain situations. This may change when I end up with a body which I’m happy with though I’m not 100% certain that will prove to be the case – I guess time will tell. Over recent months, I have been trying to adopt a different approach which I’m hoping will help to some degree. Some days it works, some days it doesn’t, though any improvement is better than nothing. It’s quite a simple action to take and it is very effective when it works.

Basically, I tell myself that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks as the problem lies with them, not me, if they have a negative view of me. The issue will likely all be in my head anyway as if they do hold a negative view of me, it’s highly unlikely to be expressed to my face, so what’s the point in stressing over it? If they don’t hold a negative view of me, then I’m just creating an issue where there isn’t one and that’s crazy. Sometimes I can’t avoid thinking that way and my mind goes into overdrive but I’m fighting it and it is working more than it used to. I know my own mind, my own issues, and my own thoughts and they’re for me to deal with. That anyone else might think the same really shouldn’t bother me – it makes no difference whatsoever to my life and I really shouldn’t let it get to me.

These days I try to heed my own advice a little more. When my now 13-year-old daughter was younger, she wasn’t ridiculously confident and became nervous when she felt people were watching her (sports events, school productions, music concerts etc). She liked Taylor Swift back in those days (rather than her current musician of choice – the infinitely hipper and edgier Billie Eilish) and I always used to quote the lyrics of ‘Shake It Off’ in an attempt to make sense of the situation:

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

I shake it off, I shake it off.

A harmless slice of throwaway pop? Perhaps, but it helped me get my message across at a time when I desperately needed to. It worked then and it still works now, with us both affording ourselves a wry little smile when we use the phrase ‘shake it off’ today (and we still do use it, on a fairly frequent basis).

So, there you have it – my simple little way of trying not to give a damn about what others may or may not think of me. It isn’t easy and it doesn’t work all the time but give it a try the next time you think someone may be looking at you and forming a negative opinion of you (even though they likely won’t be). Shake it off, plough your own furrow and keep reminding yourself that you are unique, talented, loved, and downright bloody wonderful.

Take care,

Mick

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