How to stop worrying about others and focus on yourself

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If you need to know how to stop worrying about others and focus on yourself, you’re in the right place. In this article, we address the causes, symptoms, and solutions to the all-too-common problem of “people-pleasing”.

How to stop worrying about others and focus on yourself

The problems

  • You’re allowing people to control what you think about yourself and the way that you live your life.
  • You’re a “people-pleaser” and you want to always be seen as a “goody-goody” or a “white knight” kind of character.
  • You find it difficult to fit in and often adapt your behavior to make people like you.
  • You’re always assessing what people think of you.
  • You find yourself continually asking “how do I look in his eyes or her eyes?”
  • You’re always running that annoying analysis in the background of “how am I being perceived?”

If you think of one or all of things, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most of us are affected by this problem to some degree. While it may not be a big issue for some men, for others it could be crippling and destroying their lives!

Why are you trying to “people-please”?

Here are our thoughts – Every man has an image of themselves (a self-image). This is a mental picture of what you think you’re like and how you appear to the world.

If you’re a people-pleaser, your self-image is very specific. Your self-image is probably that of a great person, a noble person, and a loving, caring human being. You want to do good, you don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings, you want to do “the right thing”, and most importantly, you want to be perceived as a good person.

You could also say that this self-image (that you cling on to) is an image of who you imagine yourself to be or your “ideal self“.

The problem with all this is that it’s not enough for you to just “have” this image, you also want to “validate” it and you constantly seek evidence that your image is accurate. You want it from your family, your friends, your partner, and in some cases, even strangers that you meet on the street.

In other words, you want the approval and love of those around you to validate your own self-image. And because of this, you’re probably working hard to maintain this illusion.

When you stop and think about it, you’re running around trying to “architect” what people think of you. And when you have so many random people in your life that you’re trying to please or get certain reactions/approval from, this makes for an impossible situation.

On your quest for this confirmation evidence, you will hear evidence that contradicts your self-image. The effect of this is that you feel upset and then feel compelled to put correct the “wrong” assumption that someone has made about you.

Remember that when you’re people-pleasing all the time, your own values and your own dreams get put off to the side, and when that happens, you’re not working towards them. You’re also not working on yourself and your self-development which will limit your potential as you go through life.

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Is empathy a bad thing?

Although it’s nice to do nice things for people and be empathetic, you must remember that you are a living organism right down to your individual cells, a very selfish organism at that! It’s very hard to admit this fact, but until you can, you’ll have issues. To think that you are born this altruistic, giving human being goes against your basic nature and is the root of the problem.

Going against your nature may well be possible for months, years, or even decades, but at some point when you constantly put the feelings and agenda of everyone in your life ahead of your own, your nature will eventually fight back and problems will start to bubble up.

Rejecting your true nature often leads to anger, tension, and problems in your relationships. You’ll start to feel unfulfilled, unauthentic and at some point, you’ll become incapable of living the life that you always wanted for yourself.

So does this mean it’s better not to care about others and to be a complete ass-hole? No, of course not and the options don’t need to be so black and white.

If you think of altruism and self-sacrifice on one end of the scale and being a selfish, uncaring asshole on the other end, what’s in the middle? The answer: A man that is independent of the positive and negative opinions of others and one that is grounded in his own values.

In other words, a man who is properly grounded will be above the good or bad opinions of others and whatever opinions are out there (about him) don’t matter to him.

Find the “middle road” – You don’t have to be an unsympathetic dickhead and you also don’t have to be a self-sacrificing saint. You just have to stick to the middle road and allow yourself to take your own path through life and not let others’ opinions have power over you.

So if you want to do big things and have an extraordinary life, choose your own path in life, and don’t let anyone make you deviate. While empathy might seem good at first, it’s not sustainable and while it may feel like you’re doing something for the greater good, you are actually not doing good if you’re denying your own nature!

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How to focus on yourself and not others

A question: What is an opinion? – It’s a thought, it’s a figment of another person’s imagination. And you’re letting it control your life! When put like this, it sounds crazy that you can be influenced so much by what others think.

And although it’s understandable to be influenced by someone you love and admire, many of us are worried about these figments of the imagination in the minds of complete strangers. Maybe it’s someone at work, maybe it’s someone you see once a month at the gym, and for some, it might be a complete stranger at the bus stop. When you think about it, you’re actually letting complete strangers dictate how your life progresses.

In other words, you’re taking all the responsibility for how your life progresses and giving it away to a random critic in a random crowd. Do you really want anyone to have that kind of power over you except yourself?

So make a decision today that you will not worry about other’s opinions and that means the good ones as well as the bad. Then ask yourself these questions:

If you have answers to these questions, do you really need anyone else’s approval? Do you really need to hear “Yes, you look good!”, “Yes, you did a good job!” or “Yes, you’re a good person!” to make the experience valid?

When you take the time to really know what you want out of life, then you can go for it. Only then can you become the creator of your own life without being distracted by the constant chatter of those around you.

Don’t forget that other people have their own values and their own agendas. They don’t know your dreams, they don’t always know what’s best for you and they definitely don’t have your values.

A new strategy

Think of it like this, the old strategy of people-pleasing isn’t working! – You’re just trying to control the imaginations of other people!

Add into the mix that people’s thoughts can be very random and you should start to realize that what others think about you can actually have very little to do with the REAL you.

There’s no way that people-pleasing will work out for anyone over a lifetime. It’s very difficult to change this way of thinking and become independent from this constant need for validation.

The thoughts of others say a lot more about the person having them than what they say about you!

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Accept a few things

  • You don’t need praise.
  • You don’t need approval.
  • It’s OK if someone doesn’t like you.
  • It’s OK if people criticize or mock you.
  • It’s OK to have an unpopular opinion.
  • It’s OK if someone says you did a shitty job.
  • It’s OK if you don’t get that compliment you were waiting for.
  • It’s OK if you offend someone.
  • It’s OK if you don’t fit in and be the odd one out.
  • It’s OK to challenge people.

Think about how much fulfillment you get from a like or comment on your social media. The actual answer is very little! What actual value do you get from this stuff? Can someone else’s opinion add value to your life and give you fulfillment?

The “upholding” of your self-image – Does it ever work? – Even when it’s fully upheld, we forget that good review or like on our YouTube video after a very short time, and then it’s back to square one again – looking for constant positive validation.

What is truly fulfilling is living your own life, chasing your dreams, and staying true to your values. You shouldn’t listen to silly comments of praise or criticism that bombard us every day.

And what if your image gets tarnished a little? – Who cares! Your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters and you don’t need others to constantly validate it. You are the only one living your life and your opinion is the only one you need to be concerned with.

Get a mantra

An incredibly powerful way to change your people-pleasing ways is to get yourself a mantra to slowly reprogram your way of thinking.

For the next 100 days, you should repeat your mantra daily for 3 minutes each time. It may sound silly, but this will slowly change your subconscious mind. It will then enable you to stop worrying about other people and focus on yourself. This simple yet powerful tool may not feel like it’s working at first but stick with it until you see a shift in your psyche.

Don’t worry that you will turn into a monster or an asshole. People will end up respecting you more because you are true to yourself. They will also see that you are being true to yourself and living an authentic life.

We hope our article has shown you how to stop worrying about others and focus on yourself but if you need more information, you can check out these YouTube videos.

Thanks for the image aawww…look at you trying too hard again flickr photo by wackyvorlon shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license.

We hope this article showed you exactly how to stop worrying about others and focus on yourself. If you enjoyed it, you may also like our article about MGTOW..

Everyday Ape