You don’t like it? I don’t care!

Do you care what people think of you? Of course you do? Most of us, from the moment we step out of bed, start caring about what other’s think of us.

What should I wear? Will these jeans make me look fat? Will my Boss listen today? Did I do something wrong? What will my colleagues think? Did I say the wrong thing? What would people think if I left my job? What will they think if I don’t go to lunch? Am I worthy? Did I make a difference? Am I good enough?

Every day, in fact what often seems like every moment, we live our lives caring about what others think of us. We are all guilty of it to some degree.

And if we don’t do it now, guaranteed we once did and can totally relate! I know that I do!

downloadI would say that most of my life has been about living for others as opposed to living for me. In fact, I do not remember a time, in my younger years, when my behaviors and decisions, were solely directed by my desires and needs.

My professional life was guided by what the family deemed to be appropriate and right considering most of the family went into teaching. I struggled with my weight and self-esteem simply because I never felt “good enough” around my peers; constantly feeling the need to be “fixed”. I rarely lead and often followed because I thought that others would never listen to me. I was a figure skater for many of my younger years because my parents said, “All the popular girls are in figure-skating!”

I hated figure skating and spent so much time learning shoot-the duck which I never mastered yet spent so much time hoping to do it perfectly so I could wow the audience and please my parents. Of course, that never happened!

It has taken many years, and a lot of internal self-work, but I can now say, “You don’t like it? I don’t care!

Life is so much better!

I do care whether people care about me or not but I no longer care what people think or what I think people think; after-all, most of these thoughts do come from what we perceive things to be as opposed to what they really are!

In fact, what I have learned is this:

  • What I think is not necessarily what is
  • People really do not care
  • When I do what I suspect would make others happy, I give away my power
  • Most self-defeating thoughts come from ego
  • Life does not revolve around me
  • I am much stronger mentally than I give myself credit for
  • I really do not take up a big space in other people’s head; if any at all
  • Judgement exists but we have the power to overcome it and not invest time in it
  • Most people are followers but not because they want to be or have to be
  • Pleasing everyone is an impossible goal to reach
  • To stop caring about what others think does not equate to not caring about people
  • Some people will always think they have the answers to everything and anything
  • Even if some people take their unused advice personally, they will get over it
  • Controlling relationships are not worth it
  • I cannot control what others think but I can control how I react to it
  • Respect begins with me
  • Others have the right to disagree and so do I
  • Expectations are not based on facts
  • Age brings wisdom but we must listen to it
  • What others think is really none of my business

I am now in my 40s and this year has been a year of taking risks, discovering freedom, and no longer fireREALLY caring about what people think. I am no longer obsessing about weight and comparing myself to others; now feeling empowered, as opposed to feeling like a failure, along every step of my personal journey. I became vegetarian clearly challenging family beliefs regarding protein sources. I left a secure job to pursue what I want to do so I can feel fulfilled myself professionally and reach my true potential. I declutter regularly and now live within a healthy and supportive community void of fear. I’ve learned that it’s so much better to be loved by the right people than to be liked by everyone. I don’t skate of any kind but I ZUMBA! I walked on fire and didn’t burn!

It is not easy to find this kind of freedom but there is power in finding it:

Know and Live your Deepest Values

  • What is truly important in your life and what do you want YOUR life to be about? Shift your focus to your core because what lies there are your true motivators.

Learn to say “NO”

  • It’s not easy but necessary.

Surround Yourself with Positive Leaders

  • The five people we choose to hang around with most will influence who we want to be and how we want to behave. Hang around with people who are self-confident, self-assusred, optimistic, empowered, and invested in growth.

Compile a Growth Assessment List

  • Who do you want to be and what will help you to get there. Write down your strengths, weaknesses, fears, and future desires and accomplishments. Having a list will help you stay on track and motivate you to constantly move forward.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

  • Comfort zones are not really that comfortable. What do you have to lose? Just because you try something, does not mean you have to stick with it. However, if you never risk anything, you will never grow.

I remember having lunch one day with an old friend and colleague and she said, “Every day, I mark an “X” on my calendar; it represents one more day closer to retirement”. In the same breath, “She said, Shelly, how could you….?”

I no longer have a secure income. I no longer have stability or security. I mark an “X” every day on my   calendar and say, “What’s next?” And, on a side note, I don’t care what you think!

-Shelly Elsliger

Shelly Elsliger is a LinkedIn Coach and Trainer and Founder of Linked-Express.  After a successful career as a Career Development Specialist, Shelly decided to move forward and develop a strategy to take the entire process of “personal and professional branding” to the next level.  For the last 5 years, Shelly has been working with entrepreneurs, students, job seekers, powerful women, executives, corporate teams, associations, job seekers, and professionals in transition to help them better brand themselves through LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is for anyone who has professional goals and wants to have an online presence that works. Shelly is determined to create an awareness around this comprehensive professional social media marketing tool so that people are not just on LinkedIn, but really..LinkedIN!




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