Despite all of Roc’s Rules thus far, we still rationalize and justify our own self-doubts and insecurities. We think “It’s fine for the character of Roc, he’s meant to be an arrogant prick.”
It’s easy to confuse self-confidence with arrogance; I’ve spoken on this before. I’ve also spoken on how to overcome fears, insecurities, and self-doubts.
Yet here we are, about to discuss it again.
What’s wrong with wanting to please others?
In the most negative way, this has led to depression, panic attacks, suicide. It doesn’t get more negative than that. We can spend so much time fixated on seeking the approval of others, primarily because of our own earlier life experiences of not being “good enough” in some way, that we forget to get the most important approval of all … our own.
Once we get by this and fully embrace the joy of being ourselves, of accepting our own unique views and desires, it is amazing how much we truly come alive.
Get comfortable with not knowing what other people think
I know some fellow bloggers that when they first got started used to agonize over whether people would think what they were writing was good enough. They asked me how I managed to get such a following. I told them the simple truth – I wrote for myself. I still do.
There have been times, however, where I desperately hoped my audience enjoyed what I would write, and oftentimes I’d catch myself imagining they didn’t. Then one day I realized how much energy I was wasting worrying about it. So I’ve gradually learned to relax with simply not knowing.
Some problems in life, such as not knowing what others think of you, are not really meant to be resolved. How people perceive you may have more to do with them than you anyway. They may even like or dislike you simply because you’ve triggered an association in their minds by reminding them of someone they liked or disliked from their past, which has absolutely nothing to do with you.
So Here’s something new for you to say aloud to yourself right now. “This is my life, my choices, my mistakes and my lessons. As long as I’m not hurting people, I need not worry what they think of me.”
Say it again. Seriously.
Know that people are not thinking about you anyway
Forget what everyone else thinks of you; chances are, they aren’t thinking about you anyway. If you feel like they always are, understand that this perception of them watching you and critiquing your every move is a complete figment of your imagination. It’s your own inner fears and insecurities that are creating this illusion. It’s you judging yourself that’s the problem.
Besides, the simple truth is they’re thinking of me.
Accept that someone else’s opinion is not your problem
How many times have you looked at a person and initially misjudged their brilliance? Appearances are deceptive. How you seem to someone and how you actually are rarely in line. Even if they get the basic gist of who you are, they’re still missing a big piece of the puzzle. What someone thinks of you will rarely contain the whole truth, which is fine.
If someone forms an opinion of you based on superficialities, then it’s up to them, not you, to reform those opinions based on a more objective and rational viewpoint. Leave it to them to worry about – that is, if they even have an opinion at all.
Bottom line: The opinions other people have about you is their problem, not yours. The less you worry about what they think of you, the less complicated your life becomes.
Doesn’t an uncomplicated life sound wonderful?
Ask yourself “Does what they think even matter?”
People will think what they want to think. No matter how carefully you choose your words and mannerisms, there’s always a good chance they’ll be misinterpreted and twisted upside down by some asshat out there that is bent and determined to put you down.
Does their opinion really matter in the grand scheme of things? No, it really doesn’t.
How others see you is not important. How you see yourself means everything. When you’re making big decisions, remember, what you think of yourself and your life is more important than what people think of you.
Stay true to you.
Never be ashamed of doing what feels right. Decide what you think is right and stick to it.
In other words, fuck ’em.
See the benefit in being unique
If you’re thinking like everyone else, you aren’t thinking. And if you aren’t thinking, you aren’t truly living.
It’s human nature to attempt to mimic other humans we look up to – perhaps a parental figure or a celebrity like me – especially when we are feeling insecure in our own skin. But attempting to be someone else will always leave us feeling empty inside. Why? Because what we appreciate about the people we admire is their individuality – the qualities that make them unique. To really copy them, we need to develop our own individuality, and in that way, we would actually be less like them and more like our true selves.
Be like Roc.
We all have quirks and unique perspectives. The more relaxed you become with your own differences, the more comfortable you will start to feel just being you. Celebrate being different, off the beaten path, a little on the weird side… your own special creation. If you find yourself feeling like a fish out of water, by all means find a new river to swim in.
Do not change who you are; fully be who you are.
Be fully present and aware of how you do want to feel
It’s alright to know how you do not want to feel, but that’s not all you should be thinking about. Imagine someone trying to learn to read by spending all their time focusing on how they do not want to not be able to read. It doesn’t really make any sense, does it?
Enough is enough!
Forget what you do not want to feel for a moment. Work out how you do want to feel right now in the present moment. Train yourself to live right here, right now without regretting how others once made you feel, or fearing the possibility of future judgment.
If you were delivering life-saving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on your mom in public, you’d be 100% focused and present. You wouldn’t be thinking about what bystanders thought of your hair, your body type, or the brand of jeans you were wearing, or the fact you’re open mouth kissing your mom. All these inconsequential details would vanish from your consciousness. The intensity of the situation would motivate you to choose not to care about what others might be thinking of you.
This proves, quite simply, that thinking about what others are thinking about you is your choice.
Speak and live your truth
Speak your truth even if your voice shakes. Be cordial and reasonable, of course, but don’t tread carefully on every word you say. Push your concerns of what others might think aside. Let the consequences of doing so unravel naturally. What you’ll find is that most of the time no one will be offended or irritated at all. And if they do get upset, it’s likely only because you’ve started behaving in a way that makes them feel they have less power over you.
Think about it. Why be fake?
In the end, the truth usually comes out one way or the other, and when that happens, you’re standing alone if you’ve been living a lie. So live your whole truth starting now. If someone gives you a hard time and says, “You’ve changed,” it’s not a bad thing. It just means you stopped living your life their way. Don’t apologize for it. Instead, be open and sincere, explain why you’ve taken this new approach to life, and keep doing what you know in your heart is right.