Are You Caught in the Trap of What Other People Think?

We sometimes get caught in a trap.

This trap can literally keep us from getting the things we want most and can keep the things we want most away from us.

It’s the trap of what other people think.

Even the most confident people can sometimes let what some people think about them determine what they think about themselves and what they are willing to feel about themselves.

Even those of us who have spent years of our lives overcoming this trap can still have those few people or that one person that still gets to us.

It can feel like we are under a spell of some kind, like we can’t fully be ourselves or fully do or have what we want until or unless these people or this person thinks good things about us.

Does this seem familiar?

If so, just know that this happens to everyone once in a while. Sometimes as different people and situations change in our lives, this trap can come up in new and unexpected ways – until we see that it’s just a pattern our brain has been running and we choose to let it go.

When I was a teenager, I felt trapped by what certain friends thought about me. When I was a young adult, it came up only with a few people. Now in my life, it seems to only come up with my kids (anyone with a teenage daughter will know what what I mean) – until today just before writing this.

I probably don’t need to sell you on the benefits of not being trapped by what other people think. If you’ve ever felt this way or are currently feeling it, I know you can imagine the extreme relief and freedom you have by allowing yourself to be and feel how you want regardless of what someone else might think about you.

And that’s the key. When we hold back feeling good about ourselves until someone else thinks a certain way about us, we are putting our life on hold. We are putting the power to be how we want in someone else’s hands.

I know you know this. I know we all know this. But what can we do if it still happens even though we know this and we know we know this?

If you are feeling trapped by what other people think and want to not be, here’s a simple phrase to remember. Try it out today if it feels exciting, and notice how you can feel better throughout the day:

When we feel trapped by what other people or another person thinks about us, our brain is making this assumption:

What other people think of me determines how I can feel about myself.

Try switching it around to:

What I feel about myself determines what other people think of me, much of the time, and it always determines how I feel about myself!

-Andy

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