If you haven’t gone after a specific dream because you are afraid of what others might think, then you’re in the right place! Have you ever made an excuse such as, “My parents won’t approve,” or, “I might embarrass myself,” or, “I just don’t have the support?” Absolutely, me too!
Remember, just as we laid out in last week’s video, all excuses boil down to three common fears:
- The fear of failure
- The fear of what others think
- The fear of the unknown
This post is the second in a three-part series, and today we are focusing on the second of the three common fears: THE FEAR OF OTHERS. So, those excuses I listed a minute ago, “My parents won’t approve.” “I might embarrass myself.” “I just don’t have the support,” Those excuses all fall under the category of the fear of others!
Related Post: FEAR OF FAILURE LINK
No matter how much people say they don’t care what others think, they do. They want everyone to like them and no one to disagree with them. It’s natural, it’s human, and it’s to be expected. Here’s the problem with that thought process, though. If you choose to follow your passions, someone, at least one person, no matter how amazing you are, will not like it.
Success Demands Critics
All successful people have critics, and the difference between them and those who let the fear of others get in the way is that they have figured out how to develop a thick skin. Do you know what Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, and Martin Luther King, Jr. all have in common? They all fought passionately for a cause, and each of them paved the way for change.
I have a challenge for you. Try Googling, “Nelson Mandela good”, “Mother Theresa good”, Martin Luther King, Jr. good”. What do you think you’ll find? Millions of articles about their successes, how they impacted the world, and what change makers they were.
However, the more influential you are, the more limelight you will get, which also means the more critics. Now, I want you to try Googling, “Nelson Mandela bad”, “Mother Theresa bad”, “Martin Luther King, Jr. bad”. Guess what you’ll find there. Thousands of articles about why they are terrible human beings and should have never been followed. You’ll find hate mail and negativity all over the place.
Does the negative that you find change who they are and what they did for the world? No! It’s just negative people being negative people trying to find the worst in everyone else. This little experiment also proves why trusting Google may not always be your best choice!
Why do we care so much about what others think? Why do we have such approval addiction? I believe a big part of this stems from a low self-esteem. We have to develop a love for ourselves and become happy with whom God created us to be. Remind yourself that you are good enough because you are. Believe in yourself because you need to!
We need to stop playing the comparison game! We need to stop comparing our worst with everyone else’s best. Remember that all you have access to is the surface and what others reveal about themselves. You don’t get a close look at the inner workings of anybody else. You don’t know what is going on in their lives when no one is looking. All you see is what they allow you to see, whereas you get to see all of you all the time: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Comparison is a killer to any pursuit.
This Week’s Challenge
This week, go back to that list you already started with excuses you have been using. Last week you noted any of the excuses that seemed to line up with the fear of failure. This week, I want you to note any that seem to stem from a fear of others, and write that next to those excuses.
We put too much care on what others are going to think or how they are going to feel. However, when you know who you are and become okay with that, you move from caring about image to more about pursuing what you know you were meant to do. It’s a freeing feeling. It’s exhilarating, really.
The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others, and the moment you are unafraid of the crowd, you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom. — Osho, philosopher
Choose not to let the fear of others have control of your life any longer. Put it in its place. Stomp on the fear of others! Step into that glorious realm of freedom to be who you are called to be.
Remember, you are a winner. Just run YOUR race!