I’m not much of a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk, but I heard this phrase he said during an interview and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“I think I’m massively productive because I’m never slow, because I don’t care what other people say” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Just reflect on this affirmation for a second: it’s so fuck*ng true!
I mean, how many times did you give up that idea you had in your mind only because someone said it was stupid?
Have you ever gave up on starting your ideal career because someone told you “get a real job, instead”?
Or – even if you went on with your ideas – how many times did you stop (wasting some serious amount of time) to wonder what was everyone going to say or think about it?
But it’s time to cut the bull.
1. DEFINE YOUR “POLICIES” [from “The life-changing magic of not giving a fuck”]
This is an idea I took from reading the book “The life-changing magic of not giving a fuck” (this book has been more than illuminating to me!)
Basically, what you have to do is create a list of personal policies to stop you from saying yes to stuff that you hate doing but you still do only to please someone or for ‘social policy’.
Some examples of personal policy would be “I keep gifts under $50, otherwise, it gets too crazy” or “I have to go home by 9 p.m on weekends” or “I have a personal policy not to clean up the house like crazy before people come over” (#sorrynotsorry for the mess)
Here are some more examples of what you can write policies for:
- things that you don’t enjoy doing (but you feel forced to do because you’re too scared of what other people might think)
- things that you might spend too much time thinking about
- significant things in your life that you’re maybe confused about how they got significant in the first place
In the long-term, your personal policy will become part of your identity, and, as it’s written in the book: “you’ll stop giving f**ks (= your time, money and energy) to things you don’t give a f**k about”.
- Write a list of things you spend time, money and energy on.
- Circle the items that you no longer want to spend time, money or energy on.
- Write your policies (be as specific as necessary)
- Put a date in your calendar when you’ll come back to your list to create more personal policies (suggestion: once a month).
2. BE REALISTIC
The truth is people don’t really care about you.
It’s tough to hear, I know, but we’re all constantly focused on ourselves.
Yes, some people might give you 5 minutes of their time, or more – depending on how much they care about you or like to gossip – but in the end, they will just forget about you and keep focusing on their sh*t.
Especially when we’re in public, we tend to focus on our appearance and our own insecurities, often forgetting everyone around is doing the same.
Don’t play this sick game ever again!
3. HAVE FUN DOING THE “WRONG” THING
My mum is one of the most hard-headed people I know.
I could never really get into a conversation with her and persuade her to embrace my point of view. And, at one point of my life, I had to accept this: she won’t change her mind. I won’t be able to persuade her in any way.
So what? I will still be doing the things I believe in and, eventually, I will succeed – or fail. It’s part of the game.
I did many things my mum didn’t approve, like not going to college, or quitting some soul-sucking jobs, or moving abroad. And now what? She still loves me – sometimes she even admitted she was wrong *miracles happen* – and I feel brave, for doing the things I was scared to do and trusting myself.
And I know this advice it’s hard to follow. But whether it’s your mum’s, or someone else’s opinion you care about, nobody knows you better than yourself. So maybe sometimes trust your gut, your heart (or whatever you want to call it) and go ahead.
“It is far better for a man to go wrong in freedom than to go right in chains.” – Thomas Henry Huxley
4. “DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT”
Writing a bad, spelled wrong, 50-pages novel is still better than a perfect one. Why? The second one doesn’t exist.
Only if you let go of your ego and this crazy, imaginary concept of perfection you can go on and live your life (or publish your first book).
And it’s the exact same thing when it comes to caring about what other people think. You can get so caught up in this, that you stop living your own life and start living someone else’s.
What I’m trying to say is that your ego can play a huge role in this, just like it does with perfection. If you give up the idea of pleasing everyone (which is extremely unrealistic) you will be finally free to live your life on your own terms.
There will never be a moment when everybody agrees and supports what you want to do, but that’s just the way life is. And if you’re waiting for this perfect moment to happen, you will only be disappointed.
5. FOCUS ON THE “RIGHT THINGS”
And the right things are the ones you have control over.
No, you can’t control what other people think of you, you can’t control their reactions or words or thoughts but you can control the way you react to those opinions. And you can let them go.
You can always answer politely, with a bright and kind smile on your face saying: “This is none of your business” and simply go on with your life.
6. BE YOUR BEST FRIEND
I’m fully convinced that we’re our first enemies most of the time.
We happen to be our only obstacle in the way, sometimes, because we tend to overthink and question everything we are doing, every single moment.
Let your mind take a break. For once, think you’re doing the right thing (for you). Doing something you believe in – or are passionate about – it’s never a waste of time. Even if you fail, you will get stronger and wiser.
But I know it’s easier to be said than done. And this is why self-love comes into play.
I seriously think self-care is the next step you want to follow to stop caring about what other people think and live a more fulfilling life.
But the complexity of self-love is real. It isn’t just a switch that you can turn on and off, it’s probably more similar to a muscle you haven’t been training in a few years. It takes effort and consistency, but it will be worth in the end.
These are a couple of posts you can read on the topic:
Did you find any of this advice helpful? Please, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below!