I just turned 38 last week, and I have to tell you... I can't wait to turn 40! (And I celebrate all month, so you can still tell me happy birthday if you want ;)
I know people get freaked out about 40, but recently I heard a woman saying that she loved turning 40 because she stopped giving a shit what other people thought.
And that struck a chord with me, and I thought to myself, "That's what I want! And I better start practicing NOW so I'm ready by the time I turn 40!"
And I have been. That's not to say I don't CARE about other people, but I don't care about their REACTIONS to me. So, of course, I think about my family, my friends, even the stranger on the street, "Oh, it looks like that person might not like how loud my kids are being, I'll take them to the other side of the park."
Yes, of course, I still love people, think about people, care about people, and take action to be kind, thoughtful and generous towards people. And what I've realized is that a LOT of when I worry about other people... it's not even really happening.
I don't get a lot of dirty looks or anything. But yet I WORRY about getting dirty looks. You know what I mean?
And I've got a long way to go - that's why I'm giving myself two years to practice.
What I find though, is that the more I practice not worrying about other people's reactions, the less room I have in my brain to imagine other people's reactions, the less negative thoughts I'm creating in general, and the happier I become.
I've been encouraging my clients to take this approach - letting go of what other people's REACTIONS are.
My client C. has been in the spotlight at work, and in that spotlight she has gotten, shall we say... "haters." But with a bit of preparation and practice, C. was able to hear through the "hate" to the deeper concern, acknowledge the hater's concern, and NOT take the hatin' so personally!!!!
This was a breakthrough that would allow C. to be less stressed at work, which made her happier at home, and made it easier to keep her health goals!
So, with C. as with me, this approach to not caring about what other people think has really allowed us to take better care of ourselves and feel better all around.
I encourage you to try it out and let me know how it goes!