Escaping the Familiar Trap
Last week a consistent theme popped up in my work with clients, which is a heads up that it’s part of my work as well. That theme was caring what other people think.
Letting others’ thoughts and opinions sway us is a common trap for losing the “feel good” vibe, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced.
Whether it’s neighbors frowning about the state of the yard, grandma’s look of shock about daughter’s new tattoo, or the wife’s opinion about changing jobs – daily life is rife with opportunities to be waylaid by what others think is best for us.
As long as we factor in other people’s opinions in our decision-making process, we’re handicapped in two ways:
- either we miss our true and authentic mark, or
- we don’t enjoy it as much because we’re worried about what “they” think.
I’ve found even when we believe we’re immune to others opinions, there are pockets of life where we’re unknowingly affected.
Example: years ago my six year old neighbor confessed to me she knew why I was getting divorced: “You made an affair.” I smiled at her misquote of what she probably heard from a parent, and laughed at what my living situation must look like to others. (My ex-husband rented the basement from me during and after our divorce, which didn’t preclude us from dating others.)
But when I took a post-divorce boyfriend car shopping with me, I came home with a heavy duty super cab long bed four wheel drive truck. In other words, a vehicle that the men in my life strongly approved of.
How is it I could laugh off the neighborhood thinking I’m an adultress, but shelled out many thousands of dollars on a vehicle that barely fit in my garage, let alone any parking spot in the city?
Simple: I didn’t care what neighbors thought about my love life, but I strongly cared what my love life thought about me – and my car.
Abraham repeats this advice often: leave the peanut gallery out of it!
In order to find our “feel good” vibration we have to follow our own hearts. And that very likely takes us in a direction that – sooner or later -someone in our life won’t approve of.
As long as we care more what others think than what our own guidance calls us toward … well, to put it simply: we’re handicapped.
My success in coaching didn’t come from listening to the “experts” who told me not to rely on electronic marketing to get clients; not to use music or pictures on the site; whatever you do, do NOT use a flash site; not to call myself an attraction coach because no one would know what that was; not to quit my day job before I had income from coaching flowing in; to be sure to tell everyone what I was doing so they could become or refer clients; to attend lots of networking events and speak wherever possible; etc. etc. etc.
They weren’t the “peanut gallery” to me, but rather highly respected people – many of whom I actually paid for their opinions. But I at least know enough to do what felt good, and that was very often not what they thought I should.
Took guts, but the payoff was (and remains) huge.
For my client who is upset because her mother thinks she’s ruining her children’s lives (by investing spare time and money in her art), or for my friend who is not enjoying planning her wedding (because her in-laws have pre-conceived notions about what it should be), or whatever situations where we find our “feel good” slipping away because we’re caring what others think, there is a simple remedy:
Get okay with yourself. Often the people in our lives mirror our own unacknowledged insecurities. When you find yourself fretting over what someone else thinks, check in with yourself about what you’re okay with.
And bask in your own self love. Lots of self love and appreciation does wonders for not giving a rip what anyone else thinks.
Not caring what others think doesn’t mean you can’t be a considerate and loving member of society. It just means you don’t sacrifice who you are in the process.
So if you find yourself not singing in the shower because your sweetie thinks you sound like a moose in heat, or you don’t dance because you never learned how, or whatever else is holding you back because of what others might think – set yourself free.
Follow your feel good, and as you love yourself for it you’ll find more often than not so does everyone else.