I don’t know about you, but there has been more than one time in my life where I have suffered from not feeling good enough. On occasion, I have been known to compare my insides to the outsides of others, always a dangerous “no, no” as there is no way to compare what can’t be seen with what can. I have walked into parties or social occasions and dreaded having to talk to others, not just because I don’t like chit chat, but because I am afraid I don’t stack up. I have given away precious hours worrying about what others think about me and hypothesizing on what they might be saying behind my back. And while I would like to pretend that this behavior ended in my twenties and that I stopped caring about what others thought, it didn’t.
Many years later after a good conversation with my mother, I realized that people are not spending time thinking about my outfit, my hair, my job, my husband, what I said, the way I parent, or anything else about me for that matter. And you know how I know this? Because they are too focused on thinking about themselves and worrying about what others are thinking about them! When I understood this, I felt a new freedom. It was both exhilarating and deflating to realize that II wasn’t in fact, as important as I had once thought. Thank goodness!
In truth, we are our own worst perpetrators. We say mean things to ourselves everyday that no one ever would dare to say us. When you feel the negativity starting and your self-esteem slipping, here are 4 things to remember:
- Nobody cares, but you. That thing that you are obsessing about, no one else is obsessing about it with the same intensity as you are. They are thinking about themselves. Remember that and move through your day.
- Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business. Hard concept, right? I know. But it’s true. What other people think about you isn’t your concern. What do you think about you? That’s what’s important.
- It’s not that important. If the said issue that you are focused on isn’t going to be important in three months, then it really isn’t that important. If you are going to be thinking about it in three months, then look for possible solutions instead of problems.
- Your ego is not your amigo. Your ego will trick you into thinking that you are unique. You aren’t. And that’s good! Everyone is going through something. When you think of it that way, it will help you to not feel so alone in your situation.
- Take a break from the pity committee. All of those voices in your head that are telling you that you aren’t enough or why things are so terrible, you can send them home. If the voices that you are speaking to you are negative, it’s your cue to let them go.
When you spend as much time as I did obsessing about what others are thinking about you, you will realize that your brain is recycling a hamster wheel of old thoughts, old ideas, and old fears to keep you in place. The next time you start to feel down about who you are, ask yourself what it would be like to step in to who you could really be? If you flip your thinking and focus your energy on how great things could be, your world will open up. It’s time to stop letting your obsessing keep you in place!
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This article was originally featured on YourTango.