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March 29, 2024

Proof That I Don’t Care What Others Think (As Much)

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Everything in our self-growth exists on a spectrum and I wanted to share a personal story that shows you part of it. 

Throughout my life I’ve always really cared what other people think about me. I didn’t always have the courage to stand up for myself and what I thought was right, especially if it was different from what someone else expected of me. 

I was overly influenced by external validation and always concerned with how things would be perceived by other people. It’s something that I knew wasn’t who I wanted to be, but it was my nature and something I committed myself to working on. 

It didn’t happen in massively transformational ways, but rather frequent subtle shifts. I thought extra about times when I was worried about how my actions would be received. I intentionally chose to hold out on talking about some of the things I did to help others to reinforce my intrinsic reasons for doing it. I realized that my judgment came from this same source, so I began to intentionally reframe my thoughts when I caught myself projecting onto others. It’s not like it happens in every moment of every day, but for years it has been a focus for me in my self-growth.

It was only recently that I noticed how far I’ve come with it.

At the end of my runs I like celebrating by putting my arms in the air like a boxer who just won a fight. It’s my way of taking action to remind myself of what I’m capable of, and how I prioritize doing the things that make me a healthier and happier person.

But I used to try and hide it from other people. At the end of my runs, I’d look around to see if anyone was near me and if I was in the clear I’d put my arms up and have my moment. I believe the motivation behind this was that I cared what others thought about me, and I didn’t want anyone to think I was weird or crazy (even though logically I knew no one would think twice about it.)

Well I noticed a few weeks ago, at the end of my run, I was making eye contact with people and walking proudly past them with my arms in their celebratory pose. It wasn’t my first time doing it this comfortably, but it was the time I realized how different my behavior was than it used to be. It served as a timestamp of progress, my current actions and fears compared to past actions and fears, and it clearly demonstrated to me how much progress I’d made over time. 

Again, I share this story because the same is probably true for you. Maybe not about caring what others think, but that thing that you’ve been working on (and you don’t know if it has gotten any better), I’m sure it has and your moment to discover just how much you’ve grown is right around the corner!

I’m curious to know - Is it helpful when I share stories like this to let you in on my own world of growth? DM me on instagram @self.improvement.daily your thoughts , I’d love to hear them!

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