The Power of Not Caring (2015)
Chapter 2: Are You a Lost Soul?
Studies indicate that people can benefit from what others think. That's because other people can see things in you which you may not be aware of. In this way, it is also helpful to acknowledge other people's opinion of you. However, everything should have a limit.
What is caring too much?
How can you tell if someone or some people are pulling your strings? It does not necessarily mean they command you to do things you may not exactly agree with. Sometimes or most of the time, we allow people around us to pull our strings. That said, below are the top 6 signs that you run the risk of getting lost; hints to warn you when you are caring way too much.
You are always concerned about what others may think or say about you.
You hesitate to share your good ideas when you are in a group.
You always feel the need to seek approval from others first.
You are afraid to speak up.
You hesitate to express an unpopular opinion.
You have spent so much money on clothes, jewelry, cars, houses and other material possessions because you think what or how much you own defines your worth.
What happens when you care too much?
The bottom line is it will not do you any good to constantly think about what others may say or think, because you will only lose yourself and your real purpose.
Other people's opinions take the center stage in your life.
A wise man will tell you that only you can define yourself. You can choose your destiny and you can make your own situation. What if you get to decide on your life but the things you choose are those that conform to other people's opinion of you? Are you truly free?
When you become too concerned with what the rest of the world say about you, it is a sure sign of insecurity. People develop their opinions based on complex variables. They may be able to see some aspects of your personality and values, but the plain truth is that they also have their own prejudices. Such prejudices inadvertently affect their perception of you.
In other words, it will not help if you focus on other people's opinions. In fact, it can be very problematic. For one, you pay a lot of attention and spend too much energy on things you cannot truly control - the way others think. Two, you are taking the focus away from what you can actually control - yourself.
You should be able to accept the fact that it is impossible to please everyone. If you want to be accepted for who you are, you should stop conforming to their expectations or trying to change their perceptions. Rather, you should be more authentic. You should stay true to yourself.
You are a yes man.
There is a movie by Jim Carrey about being a yes man. In some situations, saying yes can be very helpful, but you must also learn the importance of saying no.
If you are terrified of the world, of disappointing your peers, then you are in deep trouble. Do not agree or say yes just because you think the other person may take it the wrong way. You do not have to say yes just to demonstrate your manners. An insincere yes is actually more disappointing than a genuine no.
You have to be in the spotlight, always!
People like talking about themselves. They like to tell other people their accomplishments, where they have been, and where they are headed to. If you think it is a sign of confidence, you are wrong. People who become too boastful are rather insecure. People who overdo it are constantly seeking validation. They do what they do because somehow, it makes them feel better about themselves. It is the only way they know how to impress those around them, or at least those who are willing to or pretend to listen.
By lifting themselves high, they tend to make other people feel inferior. If you are crossing this border, you have more problems than you may be willing to admit.
You tend to do everything to gain favor.
Not everyone will like you. Every one of us probably has our own share of haters. That is a fact of life. Do not play nice, pretend to be happy, polite or what have you just to change other people's perception of you. There will always be people with whom you will not jive. This does not mean there is something wrong with you. It is probably just a personality conflict.
Not everything can be fixed. It will be a huge waste of your time and energy to try to fix things that you simply have no power over.
Your decisions are based on other people's expectations.
It may not seem problematic when you decided to go and get a degree that your parents wanted you to take. But in the long run, you will realize how much of a problem it can be. Small choices have ended up ruining so many lives. You may not realize it now but you will soon when you start feeling miserable.
Some people just seem to exist, and they never live the way others do. What they are lacking is passion. If you feel unhappy about your situation, you probably paid too much attention to meeting other people's expectations of you.
You have to create the life you actually want to live. Listen to what your heart tells you. Pursue your dreams even if they do not exactly match up to what your parents, friends, colleagues or everybody else expect. Do not put yourself in a box and allow yourself to become a prisoner of other people's hopes for you.
What would you become?
When you allow yourself to be controlled by other people's opinions and expectations, you will never be truly happy. Sure, you may feel good every now and then by getting a tap on the shoulder for a job well done, but living your life should not feel like a job, something that you do only because you feel you have to.
When you care too much, you lose your own identity. You lose the meaning of life. You cannot live life fulfilling the purpose of others. One day, you will wake up wondering where ten or twenty years have gone and regret how you spent them trying to please the people around you.