You did it this morning.
As you stood before the mirror this morning, fiddling your hair, you wondered.
‘Is it good enough? Will they like it?’ You fiddled some more to make it look better.
You did it again deciding your clothes. The same pair of pants another day?
‘No,’ you said to yourself. ‘They’ll notice and think it’s gross.’ Quickly, you changed into another pair.
As you drove to work and entered the parking lot, the little angel on your shoulder told you, you’re doing a great job. Meanwhile, the devil the other shoulder said you shouldn’t be so sure about it.
Procrastination kicks in. Are you good enough? Will your boss like you?
Think you need to be tougher and show more confidence? Not likely.
Actually, the solution may be a lot easier than you’d expect. A change of perspective could be all you need to stop seeking validation and acceptance from others.
Are you an Insecure Love Junk?
Love junks are people who worry what others might think of them.
These are signs you might be suffering from love addiction:
You’re trying to please everyone.
– You worry others won’t like you.
– You doubt yourself.
– You’re terrified to express your opinions.
– You need someone else to tell you, you’re good enough.
Of course, we all need validation from others from time to time. But, when you take it too far, things can go wrong.
Non-stop worrying about the opinions of others and trying to please everyone, can cause severe stress and eventually burnout.
I know. I learned the hard way.
Since you probably don’t want that to happen, let’s see what you can do about it.
Where Your Influence Stops
You woke up this morning, and decided today is the day. You’re asking your boss for a raise.
To give it your best shot, you dress up, put a smile on your face and bring coffee when you walk into his office.
You believe you have the situation under control, and you’re sure you’re getting the raise.
Meanwhile, your boss had a less fortunate morning.
He woke up late because his alarm didn’t go off. While in a hurry his wife started to argue about new curtains she wanted and he didn’t.
Agitated as he was, he ended up in a collision, fender-benders only.
But you don’t know that as you walk into his office.
Still convinced you’re getting the raise?
Most of us think they can influence everything in their lives.
The opposite is true. I’d like to introduce you to, Stephen Covey’s Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern.
It’s a simple system to help you put your problems in perspective.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen, and put a dot in the middle of the paper. The dot, that’s you.
Now draw a circle around the dot. This is your Circle of Influence.
Every problem or situation that can change because of something you do belongs inside this circle.
These are the things you can influence. Things like your diet, the looks of your house, the shape of your body, your job efforts, etc..
Now draw another circle around your Circle of Influence. That’s your Circle of Concern.
Everything that you’re concerned about but can’t influence belongs in the outer circle. That’s your bosses mood, your friends opinions, what other people think, etc..
A good friend of mine once said: ‘That which you have no influence on, you should not worry about’.
He was right.
It’s no use lying awake at night wondering what people are thinking of you. You won’t know till you do.
So for every problem or situation you worry about, you should ask yourself in which circle it belongs.
If it’s in your Circle of Influence, do something to change the situation for the better.
If it’s in your Circle of Concern, acknowledge that your care and stop worrying about it.
‘To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.’ – Stephen Covey
How to Bake Your Own Cake
What if you baked a cake so delicious it would easily win any bake off in town.
It’s that good, it would win Masterchef by a mile.
But even perfect can do better and juries wouldn’t be juries if they hadn’t something to nag about.
So you win Masterchef, and the jury nags about this tiny insignificant thingy that would make your cake even better. To keep things easy, let’s say the thingy is a strawberry.
Should you care?
No. You won anyway. With or without the strawberry.
Now let this cake be the things you do, and you’re the jury.
Since you’re the jury, the only person you have to seek validation from is you. Of course, your standards are high.
Meeting your standards is the only thing you’d have to worry about now.
And who knows, someone might add a strawberry.
Sounds good doesn’t it? But before you put this into practice, please note to only judge your own work.
‘Do not judge others. Be your own judge and you’ll be truly happy. If you will try to judge others, you are likely to burn your fingers.’ – Mahatma Gandi
How to please everyone!
If you’ve read about this subject before, you were probably told to stop pleasing everyone. And that’s good advice if you seek validation for everything you do.
If you want to please everyone with the things you do, your workload will be sky high and you’ll always leave someone unhappy. You’ll end up miserable and burnout.
When it comes to relationships, it’s actually quite easy to please everyone.
Just think of the people you respect and like the most. What separates these people from the rest?
Aren’t they the most genuine people you know? People who dare to be themselves, and be true to themselves?
People that don’t worry about the opinions of others?
It’s true isn’t it? Wouldn’t you want to be like them?
Well, here’s the good news.
You can be like them by just being you.
People will respect and love you for being yourself. Just like you do others.
Here’s some more good news: It’s the easiest thing in the world.
Let go of all your worries, trying to be liked, trying to be perfect, trying to be anything but you and start being your confident lovely you.
You are good enough look these up.
‘Be yourself, there are so many others already’ – Loesje
Why positive affirmations work.
If you’re a love junk, you’ve probably never learned that you are a beautiful, unique person with special talents.
The standards you try to meet are someone else’s standards. You’ve learned to be like everybody else, obey the rules, and do not stand out.
Positive affirmations can help you become a confident and happy person.
While using positive affirmations, you feed your subconscious positive thoughts about your situation or desired situation.
Your subconscious assumes these thoughts are true and immediately starts to fulfill them.
Careful, this goes for positive and negative thoughts. In order to become a positive, confident person it is vital to feed your subconscious positive thoughts.
Positive affirmations can be expressed silently or out loud.
They work best if you use them regularly, speaking out loud in front of a mirror. And while you are standing there talking to yourself, smile.
‘You are worthy. You are someone. You are the only version of ‘you’ to ever exist in the universe. You are great. You are special.’ – unknown
Why You Should Practice Self-Criticism instead of Self-Love
Practicing self-love makes it easier to deal with mistakes you make and helps you to stop worrying about what others think of you.
In my opinion, self-love can’t go without self-criticism. If you only practice self-love you might end up loving yourself for doing things you loathe in others.
By practicing self-criticism, you can be proud and confident of the choices you make and the things you do.
You have to set your own standards. Decide what’s right and what’s wrong.
Decide how you would like to be treated by others, and treat everybody like that. Not just the ones you like and want to impress but everyone.
Having strong values, and your own set of rules, will make it easier for you to do – what you believe – is the right.
No more wondering what others will think, no more second guessing.
You know what to do. You’re confident and proud.
‘One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.’ – Golden Rule
Why you should start thinking of others’ opinions
Remember the Circles of Influence and Concern? Remember how what others think of you is outside your Circle of Influence?
So why would I tell you to start thinking for others?
Easy. To boost your confidence.
Let’s say you’re worrying if the job – you gave your best – was good enough.
Let’s assume it wasn’t.
Let’s assume it was the worst job you ever did, and your boss and colleagues hate you for it.
Sounds terrifying right?
But what if this is their truth?
I’m not saying it’s the truth – I’m saying it’s their truth. A truth outside your Circle of Influence.
What would you do? Resign, or hang around to get fired?
I know what I’d do. I’d resign and look for another job. Jobs enough.
Maybe I’d be unemployed for a while but I’d still have my dignity. I did the best I could, It wasn’t good enough, I resigned.
Could you do that?
Accept and act on the worst that could happen if that would come true?
If you can, you’re king. You can stop worrying.
You’ve got your action plan ready and you’re in control.
Why do people rain on your parade?
By now you’ve got the tools you need to change your perspective. You no longer need validation and acceptance of others.
So is this the ultimate state of happiness? No more negativity and worry in your life?
There will always be zealots who envy you and say negative things.
When this happens it can catch you off guard and bring you out of balance. It’s good to know why people do this.
It all comes down to this:
‘People rain on your parade because they have no parade of their own.’ – Jeffrey Gitomer
People who rain on your parade are jealous, and envy you for the air of confidence and independence you display. They might even call you arrogant.
You can either choose to ignore these fools, or worry about them. It’s up to you.
Wrapping it up
Being a love junk sucks.
Constantly seeking validation and acceptance from others kills your confidence, and can literally burn you out.
But a simple change of perspective can have a dramatic effect on how you see the world and vice versa.
Just imagine getting up in the morning, doing your hair, smiling at yourself in the mirror, saying out loud: ‘I look perfect!’.
Not only will it save you time, it will boost your confidence.
No more endlessly deciding your clothes. You just pick the ones that are appropriate, and comfortable enough for you to like them.
At work you look over your report one more time and you reward yourself with a straight A. You are absolutely sure you did a perfect job. Your boss will love you for it and add a strawberry.
Imagine waking up tomorrow morning, looking forward to your day ahead.
You now have the tools to change your perspective. Just pick one and give it a try tomorrow.
Try one technique every day. Stick with the ones you like, drop the others.
By the end of the week, you’ll have your confidence back and never ever worry about the opinions of others.
Instead of being an insecure love junk, you have become an open minded, confident person, loved by everyone.
Over to you
Do you worry what others might think of you? Do you use techniques to help you deal with this or do you just let it happen in your mind? Which of the techniques in this post suits you best?