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  • M. Gervais

How to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think of You


If you start paying less attention to what makes you you (your talents, beliefs, and values) and start conforming to what others may or may not think, you’ll harm your potential. Unfortunately, our fear of other people’s opinions (FOPO), is part of the human condition since we’re operating with an ancient brain. A craving for social approval, the desire to fit in and the paralyzing fear of being disliked undermine our ability to pursue the lives we want to create.

If you want to conquer FOPO, you’ll need to cultivate self-awareness and develop a strong and deep sense of who you are. When coming up with a personal philosophy, ask yourself a series of questions: "When I’m at my best, what beliefs lie just beneath the surface of my thoughts and actions?" - "Who are people that demonstrate characteristics and qualities that are in alignment with mine?" - "What are those qualities?" - "What are my favorite quotes?" - "My favorite words?"

Once you’ve answered these questions, circle the words that stand out to you and cross out the ones that don’t. After studying what’s left, come up with a sentence that lines up with exactly who you are and how you want to live your life. Share the draft, ask for input, and fine-tune your philosophy from there. Then commit it to memory and return to it daily.

To read the full HBR article, please click here.


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