What Other People Think About You

How do you describe your practice to others? When you are at a mixer and someone asks what you do, is there a momentary hesitation about promoting your skills? Why is that?

I recently worked with a client who was hesitant to promote her new practice group. She had a marketing plan but wasn’t executing. She had marketing materials but she wasn’t distributing them. Why?

During our session, we discovered that she was afraid that people who received her marketing materials would judge her. That they wouldn’t like her. That they would think she wasn’t qualified.

We’ve all been there. That junior high fear of not being liked. We never seem to shake it!

The opposite side of that coin is the closely held belief that it’s important for other people to like you. It’s important not to be judged by others.

That belief keeps so many of us like my client paralyzed.

It is not possible to go through this life and have every human you encounter like you. Test this theory. Think of someone you think is unimpeachable. Run some Google searches to seek out their critics. You will be amazed. (I conducted this experiment with Mother Teresa. Yep, she had her haters too.)

You will always have people in your life who are going to judge you.

Get over it.

Move on.

When you cling to the belief that it’s important for other people to enjoy your lovely persona and appreciate everything you have to offer, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Every single person in your life is going to have a different notion of how you are supposed to act, what you are supposed to say,  and how you are supposed to spend your time. Those expectations will conflict. There is no way to meet everyone’s expectations of you.

Pleasing everyone is an impossibility; yet we secretly hope that everyone will like us.

The real question is my favorite: SO WHAT? So what if people don’t like you?

The “so what” in this story is really what is at the heart of this matter. When you ask yourself these questions, what you will likely discover is that it’s related to some thought about your worthiness.

We believe that if people don’t like you or if people judge you, it must be because something is wrong with you. It’s confirmation that you are doing it wrong.

There is part of you that wants to agree with them — they are right in their judgment and you are a failure.

When you place your worthiness in the hands of other people and the whims of their likes and dislikes, you are signing up for a course in misery. Why would you give those people all the power? I’m sure there are people in your life that you don’t really like and you don’t really trust but you are allowing their sentiment about you to dictate whether you believe there is something wrong with you.

Do you really want to give them all that power?

Or anyone for that matter?!

Besides, what does it even mean that “there’s something wrong” with you?

Who decides?

How do we know?

Who decides what is “right” about you?

You are subscribing to some undefinable standard and allowing other humans to decide whether you are worthy.

Those thoughts are not serving you. They keep you playing small.

When you transition your perspective to a belief that the only person who decides your worthiness is you, it becomes so much easier to start taking action.

Rip the worthiness metric out of the hands of your haters.

You are enough. Just as you are. How someone else perceives you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

You can’t control the humans; you have to stop living your life in a manner where you are trying to manipulate their thoughts about you.

You will not be everyone’s cup of tea. And. That. Is. Okay. That is how it works. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

In this life, people will judge you and criticize you. You always have a choice as to what you make that mean about yourself and your values. Stop making their words mean something negative about your abilities or value. That approach is never going to serve you or your career.

Your beliefs about yourself will either help you build the career of your dreams or they will help you crash and burn.

The choice is yours.

As part of my 6-week programs, I dedicate time specifically to the beliefs we carry about ourselves and how they impact our actions. Curious? Sign up for a free 45-minute session now before they are gone.


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash