I am guilty of it too. I would stop myself from speaking my mind and doing what I loved. It mainly happened subconsciously. On the outside, I thought I was living life on my terms — not caring about what others think. But recently, I realized that I wasn’t.
From posting a picture on social media to write an article about what I want — I would constantly be overthinking. As a result, I would stop myself and think about how others would perceive it.
In writing, we must think of the audience and write for them. Again, that’s excellent advice. But that might not work all the time. Sometimes, you want to write about what you want, not what the audience wants.
A few days ago, I was thinking about the uncertainty of life. We all know that we are on this earth for a short time. All of us have to leave sooner or later.
Death is inevitable. So, why not take death as motivation and live life to the fullest?
“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” — Marcus Aurelius
I took this realization and connected it with living my life doing what I want and not what I think others would want of me. I don’t want to waste my time on this earth worrying about other people’s thoughts, mainly because I don’t control them.
If someone is interested in me, that is their choice, not mine. All I can control is my own thoughts and actions. And that is where I must maintain my focus.
But then, here’s another thing I realized quickly:
People are interested only in themselves, NOT in you.
When you believe someone is thinking of you, the truth is most likely that they aren’t. People are only interested in themselves. That’s human nature. Think about this: If you have a painful cut on your arm, will you worry about people dying of hunger or the pain in your arm? It’s pretty much the latter.
Yes, people will judge you and talk about you. Maybe for a while. Then, they move on with their lives. No one has time to think about you every time.
When you keep this in mind, you will feel much less stressed. You feel free to do what you want and speak your mind.
People are here to stay. Even if you eliminate some toxic people in your life, you will still have to deal with others. Everyone won’t be negative, but you will always have people around you.
So, if you want to live freely, stop caring about people. Instead, learn to master people skills — deal with them and persuade them into your way of thinking. That is the most essential skill that will come in handy. No matter how educated you are, it won’t do much unless you have real-life people skills.
You can read books, take courses, and get a mentor to help you improve your communication and persuasion skills.
Ever since I realized the following things, I feel free to do what I want. I don’t care about what others think of me.
- We are all going to die. We should not waste our time here thinking about others.
- People don’t care about you as much as you think they do. They are only interested in themselves and their lives.
- People skills are the most essential life skills everyone needs to master.
If you live by these principles, your life will be much easier.
Biliz is a writer, creator, and entrepreneur. He writes about self-improvement and online writing. If you want to get inspired and learn more from him, subscribe to his newsletter. Also, check out his writing on Medium. See all his links here.