You don’t want to talk to that girl at the cafe because she might think you’re weird.
You don’t want to talk to that girl at the bus stop because other people might hear and think it’s ‘not right’.
You don’t want to talk to that girl at the club because other girls might think you’re sleazy.
None of these statements are true! You don’t actually care what ‘they’ think. You think you do, but that’s just masking the truth of the matter.
You care what you think!
You know deep down that what you think is all that really matters. But you’re also aware on some level that you lack certainty in yourself and your beliefs.
You may tell others that you feel good about yourself, that you accept yourself, that you’re comfortable in who you are and what you believe in. However, your troubled mind and over-concern about what others might think is showing you otherwise.
You’re overly concerned about what ‘they’ think because you’re not rooted solidly enough in your own perception of yourself, who you are and what you believe in. If you were, what ‘they’ think wouldn’t matter.
You may think you have a good sense of self-esteem, but your concern for the favourable opinions of others – even people you don’t know, tells you different.
When you own the fact that you’re not weird, or even that you are, you don’t mind whether other people think it or not.
When you own the fact that it’s a natural thing to do to strike up a conversation with a stranger in a day-to-day situation, you couldn’t care less what other peoples perceptions are.
When you’re comfortable enough in your own sexuality you’re free from the judgements that others might place on your expressions of sexuality.
Becoming free from the perceptions of others – becoming free from caring what other people think about you, is the natural consequence of feeling good about who you are and being rooted in your own values and beliefs.
At this point, it all falls away. You just don’t care. It’s meaningless.
How do you cultivate a deeper sense of acceptance and appreciation for who you are?
By taking the time and space to look at yourself in the mirror. By taking the time and space to remove yourself from Facebook, from Youtube, from the latest video game or series, and looking at who you are clearly.
When you take a good hard look at who you are, what you value and believe in and where you’re headed, you’ll find a lot that you can appreciate. You’ll also, likely, if you’re looking earnestly enough, uncover a lot of fear and doubt and insecurity.
All of your fears and doubts and insecurities are the result of you believing thoughts about yourself that, in all probability, aren’t completely true or even true at all. If you can inquire into them deeply enough and with enough of an open mind, you’ll likely recognise that.
Below is a process called The Work, devised by Byron Katie, that can help you to inquire into the legitimacy of all the beliefs that hold you back. The questions in-and-of-themselves are not magical. The magic happens in your capacity to open your mind and look clearly – the magic happens in your capacity to be still and see.
Let’s take the common erroneous belief, ‘I’m not good enough‘ (Insert instead whatever belief you feel is holding you back).
- Ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’ Sit with this for just a minute and wait for a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ that comes from deep inside.
- Now ask yourself, ‘Can I ABSOLUTELY know that this is true?’ Again, sit with this and allow yourself to become very still before you let a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ to arise. Stay in the space of the question for as long as possible.
- Ask yourself, ‘How do I react when I believe this to be true?’ Consider how this thought, when believed, makes you feel. Consider how you interpret your past and future because of it, and what images it conjures of past and future. Take your time.
- Now ask yourself, ‘Who would I be without this thought?’ Stay with this and sit in it for a moment or two. Consider how you feel and what images of past and future exist in the absence of this thought. Stay here for some time.
Now, let’s turn that thought on it’s head and see if we can find some evidence for the opposite.
‘I AM good enough’ (Or insert the opposite of whatever thought you are examining)
Can you find three examples of why you are good enough from your own direct experience of life?
Don’t let go of this thought until you’ve found the examples. Be earnest enough to look clearly, even if it feels a little odd or uncomfortable. There are examples contrary to your existing belief, take your time and acknowledge them just as an experiment.
This kind of sincere inquiry can completely remove the power and momentum from erroneous beliefs that we have held for a lifetime. In the absence of these disempowering beliefs, all that is left is acceptance and appreciation.
When you accept yourself, better still when you appreciate who you are, you will be accepted and appreciated by many others. And, even when you’re not, you just won’t care.
This is the freedom from caring what others think of you.
It’s not them.
Work on you.
Want to get your dating life handled?Sebastian Callow is a personal dating coach for men in London. Unlike other dating services he provides a practical, real-life coaching experience that actually involves meeting and interacting with women in everyday situations. Sebastian helps men develop the comfort and ease to express themselves with raw honesty. If you're unhappy with your dating life and you're hungry for change, the Personal Coaching Course could be exactly what you need.