how to not care what people think

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I’m the last person who should be talking about this, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. How do you not care what people think? 

I came up with a cool idea to ward off “the cares” and I’ve been putting it in place.

Joe and I have always been interested in improving our minds and thoughts, and although these things take time and practice, I’m finally starting to notice some results. There are certain things that I’m sure other people wouldn’t notice that are finally starting to heal in me. For the first time in my life I’m experiencing freedom from challenges that I thought were just a lifelong problem - or my personal, lifelong handicaps.

You care what others think, you worry, you’re a pessimist, you’re shy, you’re not good at talking to people, you’re not pretty, you’re body is weird, you’re bad at making decisions, you routinely have regret, blah blah. These are your identities, you think, but guess what, you’re wrong. YOU’RE WRONG! Wish I could shout it off the roof tops:

YOU’RE FREAKING WRONG!

I grew up using “that’s just the way I am,” as a common excuse and an accepted truth. I always thought I would be negative. I wished I could be more like people I admired. But I thought they were just blessed with whatever qualities I envied.

I’m not playing. You believe a lot of things about yourself that are simply made up. You made it true because you told yourself that for so long. 

I’ve been testing this out.

I thought I would always care what other people thought. Whenever I would confess to someone that I was feeling bad that day because I was caring too much about what another person said or did or thought, someone would say, “just try not to care.” 

HOW???

Exactly. How? I needed a plan to practice. A few days ago, I had this vision, this picture, an image on how to practice not caring. And I coached myself into seeing it like this:

Right now you have this tiny ball of light inside you. It’s like your self-confidence, but it contains even more than those words can hold. It’s what you think of yourself, your attitude, your outlook, your open-mindedness, your happiness with your life and self, your judgements of others, etc. It’s very small, so other people’s “balls” radiate super easily into your personal space and body because your little ball is so weak and small that it doesn’t protect you at all. 

Build up that little ball of light. Imagine it extending out through your body and out into the room you’re in. Now imagine it covering other people. How does it feel?

Let’s go back to the top. Remember how I said you were believing things you thought were true, but they’re probably not true?

(btw even if you “think” they’re true, are they helping you? ….yeah…..no)

What if you thought “I’m really positive!” Or “I’m really cool!” What do you think would happen?

(what would happen is you might feel silly at first, but then you’d be like “oh I can see how saying bad things all day exacerbated my problems.” bingo)

If you don’t want to do anything besides imagining your confidence ball getting bigger, then great. I’m sure this will have some positive effects. But let me share some things that have really helped build up this little ball inside me. 

help to build up your light ball

  • Read something positive or inspiring every day (this could be as simple as following an instagram account like @subliming.jpg)

  • Stop guilting yourself. Ever.

  • Meditate.

  • Replace negative thoughts with positive ones (if this is unbelievable, replace them with ones that are slightly less negative and work your way up)

  • Go on a walk.

  • Play a song you love super loudly and sing along.

  • Drink a kombucha and feel proud you did something for your gut flora.

  • If you do anything good, feel proud and celebrate.

  • Do something fun every day or something that makes you smile.

  • If you’re alone, get wild and dance or sing really loudly into a corner (it sounds cool).

  • When you’re spiraling, notice the spiral and label it “huh I’m thinking” or “I’m feeling” and see if it helps to shut off your brain for a sec.

  • Don’t guilt yourself for not doing these things.

  • Don’t feel bad if these things seem hard.

  • Notice when you’re making excuses.

  • If you’re thinking, “I have to do all these things simultaneously or they won’t help.” STOP. That’s wrong. Merely becoming aware is helping you already.

  • Feel proud of yourself for becoming more aware.

  • Feel thankful for air to breathe and take the biggest breath you ever took.

I’ve been doing these things at random for a year or so, and this morning I had the realization: My little ball of light is way bigger than it used to be.

Imagine it spreading out even more. It extends beyond your body and out into the area around you. So much so that you almost can’t hear what that other person said about you or don’t even notice feeling self-conscious. It makes you feel full in a way that nothing can bother you. The light mutes the negative thoughts. Nothing can penetrate your ball of light. 

I know what you’re all thinking.

Yes. it is like a Patronus from Harry Potter. 

Sometimes the ball you’re radiating will extend, but be a little too weak to ward off the Dementors, but practicing on smaller things and situations, like a boggart, will help :)

Practice building that inner ball up and practice radiating it out.

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Haha right now I’m worrying what other people will think of this. I need a bigger ball ;) Consider this my practice for the day. Good job, self.


musingsKatie Bauer1 Comment