People aren't really thinking about you.
One thing that used to make me anxious was worrying so much about what other people thought.
Anyone else? Can you relate?
I'm a creative- a photographer, and a business owner. When you're a creative you want to put yourself and your ideas out into the world. When you're a business owner you have to constantly try new things and reach out to new people and make new connections. Those are two really scary worlds to live in when you constantly worry about what other people think.
It paralyzed me. I would have an idea, or post a photo and would immediately think what will people think? What will they say? Will they think I'm trying too hard? Will they think I think I'm better than I really am?
I realized how much this was holding me back, and I thought, huh how weird. If I am thinking about myself so much, constantly worried about what other people think about me why do I assume that other people also are thinking of me? Maybe everyone is walking around thinking of themselves and maybe not everyone is walking around thinking of everyone else and their perceived insecurities.
So I did a little experiment. I tried to clock in my head how many times in a day I worried about myself vs. other people. And I can tell you I won over and over again. Occasionally someone else would pop into my head but it was gone pretty quick. Occasionally someone else would come up in a conversation, but then then conversation was over and again it was gone. But I can tell you one thing- I never thought "I can't believe what she is doing, who does she think she is? Why does she think she can do that?!" (aka all the make pretend conversations I assumed others were saying about me.)
I know there are people like that and that's fine. The reality it they're much fewer and farther between than we think there are. And even if so why are we giving our POWER to them? If there are people like that in our life why are we choosing to give our power to THEM when they don't belong there in the first place and there's so many better people that deserve our power?
If you worry this much about what other people think about you, you are proabably an emotional, sensitive, and creative person. When you're emotional and creative you WANT to put your ideas into the world, it's part of who you are. And you definitely SHOULD be sharing yourself with the world. You probably have ideas and art and writings to share with the world that people need to see. By worrying so much about what people will think it prevents us from putting that art into the world.
When I finally realized people aren't thinking of me as much as I thought they were, and that honestly to even think that is a little bit of a self indulged attitude, I immediately stopped worrying about what people would think. I started sharing my story more and more I started putting myself out there. By posting photos I was able to share my story of being in an abusive marriage and leaving that behind. I was also able to figure out a lot about myself by sharing my story. I thought if this is too much for anyone that's fine, they'll move on. If they talk about me behind my back I know where that's coming from. It's generally a feeling of jealousy. Jealousy that they feel they aren't strong enough to share their story but would love the support that I received from it. Jealousy that feels like "why are they so strong and I'm not" kinda jealousy. But what happened was the positivity outweighed the negativity by 1000%. I now use this as part of my "fear compass". If I have an idea, or a photo that I love, but think "Will people get it? Or will they think I'm not a great photographer" I use that to mean I have to do it.
If people are going to talk about you, that's great! Usually you don't even know about it. If it does make its way back to you, smile, it means someone is actually thinking about you :)