Stop Caring What Others Think: Key Steps and 5 Tips

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you want to know how to stop caring what others think of you? Are you afraid to get out of your comfort zone for fear of criticism and ridicule?

People often live in fear of what others think instead of celebrating who they are. If you want to stop caring what others think, you have to build that instinct up like a muscle over time.

Keep reading for tips on how to stop caring what others think.

Stop Caring What Others Think of You

People often live in fear of what others think instead of celebrating who they are. This fear stops you from getting out of your comfort zone and reaching your full potential. This is partly a survival instinct — humans have always needed the cooperation and support of those around them to survive.

But accomplishing big things means getting out of your comfort zone and risking failure, as well as subjecting yourself to the ridicule of what other people think.

Other People’s Opinions Are Not Your Problem

When making a decision about your life, rather than worry about what others think, simply ask yourself, Do I want to do this/get this/be this? Is this taking me in the right direction? Am I going to “screw anyone over” if I do this?

You are responsible for what you do, but not for other people’s reactions to it. This is a perception issue: What others think about you doesn’t have anything to do with you.

Think of a movie. One person could leave the theater in stunned tears, transformed, and moved beyond words. Another person could demand her money back because she thought the movie was a load of garbage. It’s not about the movie; it’s about the moviegoer.

How do you move to a place where you stop caring what others think? The key is not just denying the criticism any power over you, but also not getting caught up in praise. 

Praise feels great, but when we base our self-worth on what other people think of us, we hand over all our power. You have to understand what’s true for you, outside of anyone else’s opinion, good or bad, and hold onto that. Everything else is just someone else’s perception of reality — none of your business.

When Other People’s Opinions Are Important

An important aside: While you can’t base your self-worth on what other people think, there is such a thing as constructive criticism. Sometimes it’s easier for people to see what we can’t see ourselves. This can help us connect with our own truths.

For example, if people have been telling you all your life that you have a quick temper, that they’re afraid of being open with you because you’ll blow up, ask yourself if this is true. Can you use this information to improve yourself?

Same thing with compliments. If you hear something about yourself repeatedly, ask yourself if it’s true and if you can use this to better yourself and the lives of others. For example, if you’re repeatedly told you’re a great listener, ask yourself, is this true? If so, can I use this skill to improve my life and the lives of others?

How to Stop Caring What Others Think

When you truly stop caring what others think about you, you become your most powerful self. Not caring what others think is a muscle and it will take some time to build it up. Here’s how:

  1. Ask yourself, “why?” When you’re about to say or do something, ask yourself why? Is it to be liked? Is it to put someone down due to your own insecurity? Is it out of revenge? Or is what I want to do or say coming from a place of truth and strength? Pay attention to your motivations and be honest. Always come from a place of integrity. 
  2. Do your best. The fastest way to fall prey to others’ criticism is when you feel insecure, and you feel insecure when you’ve half-assed something. When you do your best you come from a place of integrity; you can be proud of yourself and stop caring what others think.
  3. Trust your intuition: You have an incredible inner guidance system — your gut. You have the answers, not the drunk guy across the street you have no idea why you listen to. Strengthen your connection to Source Energy and trust that you know what’s best for you. (More tips on this later in the book.)
  4. Find a mentor/hero: Think of someone who is impressive and inspiring to you, and ask yourself why? What is it about this person who strikes a chord with you? Then, when faced with a challenge, ask yourself, what would my hero do? Eventually, when your “not caring what others think” muscle is built up, you’ll only have to ask yourself, “What would I do?”
  5. Love yourself.
Stop Caring What Others Think: Key Steps and 5 Tips

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Here's what you'll find in our full You Are A Badass summary :

  • How to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to do it
  • How to stop your self-sabotaging thoughts
  • How to tap into Source Energy for mental and spiritual strength

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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