Do you have this voice in your head that says to you: “WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK? “ This voice of worry and fear often shows up when we want to play bigger. When we want to try something new, when we want to take an important step or when we want to share our work or our creations with the world, this critical voice often speaks very loudly.
Our fear of being judged by others keeps us chained. It keeps us playing small, deserting what we truly want to do. Whether is it is doing things that people in your family “just don’t do” or whether it is bringing a totally different approach in the organisation you are working in. But this fear of what will people think might also speak very loudly when we want to change careers and “you are deserting what you studied and trained for”.
From this place of fear it is hard to take a step, create something new, pursue your dream or share something that you value with the world. Fear causes constriction.
What will people love?
What if you replace this question of what will people think, with another question? What if you instead ask yourself “WHAT WILL PEOPLE LOVE?“ Asking this latter question will put you into contact with a positive, expansive energy. It will help you to focus on what this step, this dream will bring to the world.
What will I love?
Ask yourself another question as well: WHAT WILL I LOVE in taking this step? This helps you to connect to your own energy, joy and exhilaration that comes with taking this step. Asking yourself these questions will put you in a positive and expansive mindset which makes is much easier to take a step.
So when fear comes up, deliberately try to connect to love with these two questions. The fear will still be there, but it will no longer hold you back. Instead what you love about this step and what you can bring to the world will pull you forward to take this step. From this place of love your creativity will flow much easier and you will feel much more freedom in taking steps towards your dreams!
When I feel fear of what other people think I also think about something I read in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. In the book Elizabeth talks about what she learned from an older wise woman she met. Recalling these words always bring a smile to my face. It comes down to this:
- In your twenties and thirties you worry so much about: What will people think?
- In your forties and fifties you become more free: You don’t give a damn about what other people think!
- In your sixties and seventies you finally realize that nobody was ever thinking about you anyhow.
Realizing that people are mostly busy with themselves and nobody is thinking about you can be so liberating! We hugely overestimate how much people pay attention to us!