How many times have you heard someone say, “what they think about you is their problem”? And had this thrown at you ad nauseam, “It doesn’t matter”.
So much BS! A lot of our life is devoted to gaining acknowledgement, be special, be recognized, be loved. So why do keep getting brain washed by all the best mentors, speakers, self-help gurus, inspirational leaders who say, “don’t worry about what others say or do or think, do what you want to, be yourself.”
Well honestly, I have never actually got beneath that statement enough to figure it out. I mean hey, are you seriously telling me that when you come first in the race, or manage to actually run the marathon, or sing in front of the crowd or get that role after auditioning for the nth time, or win the “star employee of the month” award, or when someone at work says something really nice to you about how you handled the presentation, or when the bus driver actually waits till you get on board, or when the guy at the pastry shop puts in an extra marzipan chocolate in your gift pack, it doesn’t matter? Of course it does. By Jove!
I know when I used to come first in school, what my grandparents or my aunts thought mattered.
I know when I chose an outfit and got it tailored (yes not very long ago, I used to get my dresses tailored), I was silently praying for the nods of approval from my cousin or aunt or friends.
I know when I did a good job with the content for a website, I would have my heart in my mouth (still do, after so many years of doing the same) till such time the client approved it.
I know it matters. I know what others think, say, do, about how you look, feel, or treat you as a person matters.
I’m not sure what the context of “it doesn’t matter”, “be you,” “be true to yourself” really means, because at the end of the day, each of us is really playing out a role, trying to somehow win some kudos, some recognition from the “other”. We start off on a mission with the faith that we can do it. But why do we start out “doing”? What is the “driving force”? Isn’t it a doffing of the hat from others as you pass by saying “well done?”. No? Then why?
Let me know. Because I refuse to believe that Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg or Ariana Huffington did what they did because it didn’t matter what others thought or said or did. Where would they be if no one bothered about Apple or FB or Huffington Post? So give me another yeah?
So next time someone says, “don’t worry about what others think”, think about it. Think about if the person saying it to you actually believes in it himself. We’re geared to please others. In the process if we somehow develop a mindset of actually believing that what others say doesn’t matter, how others treat you doesn’t matter, as long as you have unshakeable belief and faith in your ability and have a really tough and thick hide, well, goof for us.