Added: Flora Darrington - Date: 02.08.2021 00:40 - Views: 17249 - Clicks: 9217
Our human brains love to judge. Luckily, most of us no longer live in caves scared of lion attacks, a perennial theme on this podcast, and we no longer need to judge everyone and everything constantly. This can lead us to spend our limited and valuable emotional energy worrying about what other people think about us, instead of focusing on living our lives for ourselves. Sound familiar? Keep reading, my love. Gosh, that was a hard one for me. That was a hard one to get from just being a cognition, just a thought, into something I felt in my body. My Abuela Alicia back home, god, she was a force of nature.
If we played sports and got too athletic. There I go bragging again. But it also taught me, again, to judge myself really harshly and really emphasize a lot of perfectionist tendencies within myself. And if anyone has seen my color color-coded to-do lists, you know. And I think what this really comes down to at its core is this issue of really focusing on other people and what other people think of us. What I hear a lot from my clients are worried about what other people think about their life choices.
The things they say or do. And sure, I mean, sometimes we all fret about what our boss is really thinking about our work. Maybe you get concerned about a comment someone made or a weird look that a coworker gave you over lunch. My patients with digestive concerns, hormone imbalance, or autoimmunity, who are eating in new ways. In short, there are hundreds of opportunities each and every day to worry about what others think of us. And I would be happier, more successful, less lonely. It can take years for us to learn that worrying about what others think and that changing ourselves for others never le to true resounding sustainable happiness.
Or what someone else expects of us or thinks is worthy of us can keep us from living into our dreams. My friend and colleague, Megan, is a great example. After years working as a nephrologist, a kidney doctor with an Ivy League education, she recently left her well-paying job as an attending physician to teach yoga. I mean, she beams with joy these days. Is her mom thrilled with her choices? I doubt it. Our cells perform better. Our cells, I dare say, are happier. Studies show that living in our joy le to increased longevity and easier recovery from everything from infections to cancer, which both makes a lot of sense and is pretty mind-blowing.
Man, I really miss dying people. Like, seriously, dying people are the best. Okay, so, sorry, back to you and me. So we tell ourselves stories about other people all the time. And most importantly, we actually have no idea what people are thinking or feeling about us, unless they tell us or we ask directly. Let me give you an example. I was working with this client, Caroline, who went on this terrific first date. She had a great time and felt amazing afterwards. The guy was everything she was looking for. And when he never called her back, she made up this whole story, convinced that the silence from him was all about her.
Finally, through much coaching, she overcame her fears and assumptions just long enough to reach out and text him. Spinning in her own stories, letting her own happiness be dependent on what she thought someone else was thinking about her. Too often, people not only makeup stories about what others are thinking, but take the further step of working to change themselves into what they imagine other people want them to be.
They work longer hours, dye their hair, change their weight, stop speaking up in meetings all based on their assumptions about what other people want from them. Sometimes, people will tell you straight up that you should change, that your life would be better if only. Stay on your side of the street, manage yourself, and let other adults take care of their own judgment and thoughts. Not only will the change never satisfy the critics, including your internal one. Seeing the world through their own lens and perspective that has nothing to do with you.
Basing your life decisions on what other people think or want is a quick train ride to resentment station. To be clear, I am not suggesting you should never change. Change and transformation are beautiful parts of life. There are a lot of reasons, ranging from the evolutionary one I mentioned already, to cultural norms, to experiences in our early childhood.
Most of us have been taught that it matters greatly what the neighbors think. Our society teaches us all very clear messages about who we should be, how we should look, how we should behave. We are taught everything from what body types are desirable to what having a good or successful career is. Layered onto these myriad societal expectations is all that we are taught by our families and in our culture about what it means to be a good girl or a success. Although illusory, we desire the sense of safety we think can come from belonging to the it-crowd.
Ironically, however, the things that really lead to a connection with others are authenticity and vulnerability; pretty much the opposite of making changes to please others. In fact, if you think about the people that are closest and matter the most to you, chances are you feel that connection with them because they are real. They enrich your life because they are being themselves and you can be yourself around them. Do my other IBS warriors hear me? So, if evolution kind of made us think this way, and society, culture, family kind of made us think this way, what can we do about it? The steps for letting these habits go starts with recognizing the thoughts you are having, what feelings those thoughts evoke in you, and what behaviors your feelings are leading to.
This is thee think-feel-act cycle, the cognitive-behavioral theory. Are you judging your coworkers, your family, your friends? Are you judging yourself? Your homework for now is to just start to notice these judgmental thoughts. The next step is to begin writing down examples of your thought, feeling, and action patterns. For example, you might notice the cute girl asked you to sit with her at lunch. That made you think she must like you, which made you feel happy and led you to act more friendly and outgoing. Or you might notice that your boss told you she was too busy to talk right now, and that made you think she was dismissing your ideas, which made you feel tension in your body and anxious about your contributions to the company and led you to act more insecure around her.
To choose new thoughts that make you feel calm, peaceful, present to the world. Instead of judgmental or worried about things beyond your control like what other people think and feel. A super common phenomenon among those prone to worrying about what others believe about them is obsessive thinking. We replay a conversation over and over again. Or we spin round and round about what another person is thinking. We make it all about us. Do what you can to give yourself what you need, along with a healthy dose of compassion and comfort.
Eat a healthy meal, go for a walk, take a bath, drink some water. Use whatever tools you have to care for your tender soul. I like an exercise that I heard first from Pema Chodran, this super amazing kickass Buddhist nun. Imagine taking each one of your worries or unhelpful thoughts. Will he ever call me? Is she about to fire me? And place each of them on a cloud and bring them into your bright blue sky. Name each one out loud, each worry, each fear, and then blow the clouds away and watch them float.
Simply let it go. And now we can take this a step further. Bring a new cloud onto the sky and replace each of those unhelpful thoughts with a statement of gratitude. Name the things in your life that feed your soul and bring you joy. Reading a novel in a hammock, drinking tea in the morning.
This beautiful sunshine, my dog, my niece, my life in Brooklyn. When you are able, gently flutter open your eyes and come back into the room. The that you need, text or call a trusted friend who can offer perspective, care, love, compassion, and support. All that energy that used to go outward to keep up with the Joneses and worry about the neighbors can be redirected inward.
You can give yourself the care and attention that you really need by focusing on managing your own mind. By focusing first on yourself and by truly being who you authentically are. Not who others want you to be, you can show up for yourself and your life. And for the people who love you in a real, honest, and true way. That starts with getting clear with what you want and need and giving it to yourself.
Tune in next week to read all about the condition formerly known as adrenal fatigue, my top 10 tips for turning the beat around on tiredness. And of course, my top supplement choices for beating the blahs. And remember, when we heal ourselves, we help heal the world.What others think of me is none of my business
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