What would you do if you stopped worrying about what other people thought of you?
As human beings we have an innate need to feel a sense of belonging, to fit in, to be part of something. It’s our tribal survival instinct. A place where we feel safe, because we feel the same and if we are the same we will be accepted and wanted. We are Safe.
How does it feel to step out of the tribe?
When we step out of the norm, we are stepping out of the tribe, we feel different and we are putting that feeling of belonging and safety at risk. Logically as adults we get that we are all different and being different can be a good thing but the emotion (a child emotion, a tribal emotion) of feeling, the need to belong and to feel safe traps us from being anything but different or challenging the norm. In essence it keeps us stuck from being our true self.
Remember family is our familiar only because it’s what we are born into, but it does not mean we have to be like our family. We are born through our parents and not from them. Only recently this image of me with my two older brothers, who look identical was shared with me by my Dad. It struck me as I had a similar image in an RTT session. What I felt was different. Firstly I was a girl and secondly I was wearing different clothes to my identical brothers and I looked nothing like them.
My fascination with wearing trousers as a young girl.
Interestingly as a child I had a fascination with wearing trousers. I know why now….I wanted to fit in and be accepted. I wanted to be just like them! Of course my body, even at the age of 5, started to battle with this. Every time I wore trousers I would get a rash on the back of my knees which forced me into a dress. Already my mind was in conflict and pushing me to be myself. Of course I didn’t get this at the time but it’s a pattern that I have repeated throughout my life. At all costs I must fit in and be accepted and so I lost all sense of who I really was. Anything I did was done to fit in and be accepted. Years of trying to fit gets exhausting!
It is also something that comes up over and over again with clients, the desire and need to fit in and be accepted. I resonate with it so much as I lived it from the time I was born. Afraid to be ourselves for fear of judgement. If I am judged I might not be liked, I might not be accepted, I might fail, then I will look stupid. So many clients I speak to (just like I was) are not taking action, not embracing life the way they want, as they are wrapped up in fear. Hours of wasted energy and potential.
Worrying what other people think.
Their ultimate potential is blocked as they spend so much time worrying about the “what ifs” and about what others think. When in fact all that really matters is what you think of you. At the end of the day other people’s opinions are none of your business. Just think about what you could achieve if you didn’t think what other people thought of you?
I once felt what all these clients feel. I wish I had learnt not to give a flying fiddlers sooner. I spent years, wanting to fit in, to be liked and accepted. I would conform out of pure fear of being judged. Because if I am judged I won’t be liked, I won’t fit in. I didn’t say what I needed to say for fear of conflict and fear of being rejected from the group and being alone.
The impact of fear….
This was even the case when I was studying RTT. I told only 2 friends that I was studying. Apart from my sister, not even my family knew. I was so caught up in what people might think, what if I failed, what if I was no good. It got to a point that I found it exhausting. I couldn’t even be myself around my own family, because I feared being judged.
What I have found is that those that really care about you, will accept and acknowledge you as you are. They will show interest and give encouragement. They are the people that matter. They are my tribe. A tribe I chose. A tribe I can depend on but most importantly a place where I can be myself and feel supported.
Finding freedom and my potential…
There is great freedom in being me without worrying about what others are thinking or what opinion others might have of me. Of course there will always be people with opinions or say hurtful things and of course that can be upsetting. And while it does upset me (we are all human after all) I don’t wallow in it for weeks.
I now see it as not about me but about them and reminding myself that their opinion really does not matter. They are not part of my tribe and I have a choice to remove myself. What matters most is my truth, what I think of me and those that love and support me will appreciate, acknowledge and accept me as I am and all that I am. That is what matters most and that is what I give my energy to.