Do you worry about what people think of you? How much time do you spend in your day worrying about others judgement? Does the energy that you put into this thinking help you progress forward?
Today I’m going to share an experience that taught me a good lesson and got me thinking about these tough questions.
A few years ago I was participating in a training camp for elite triathletes. The training was madness, each day started at 5.30am and consisted of 3-6k swims, 150-250k bike rides and 10-15k runs - the days were long and hard. The camp was designed to push each of us to the edge of our limit and at times it felt like we had gone well over that edge.
One of the key factors to my success on this camp was a guy called Brandon. Our athletic ability was similar and we seemed to hit it off like old school buddies. Over the 13 day camp we would spend nearly 80% of our time together. If I was having one of those ‘I want to give up’ moments, Brandon would encourage me to push on through and I would do the same for him. We both bought something to each others experience which made both of us better athletes both physically and mentally.
Once the camp was over I discovered that Brandon had been writing a daily blog, every day he had written about that day’s training. When I discovered that this had been published online my ego was looking forward to reading it, as I assumed I would get quite a few complimentary mentions. Well my ego got deflated, in all the writing Brandon had done over the entire camp, I only got two quick mentions. I have to admit at first I was surprised by this as we had spent so much time together. Then I started thinking about how I had been communicating my experience to others, I hardly ever mentioned Brandon.
This experience taught me a very valuable lesson: most people spend most of their time thinking about their own life. I’m going to repeat that as it is an important point: most people spend most of their time thinking about their own life.
Think about yourself. In your day how often are you thinking about what is happening in your own day to day life in comparison to thinking about other people’s lives? Once you discover that most people are thinking about themselves most of the time you can allow yourself to lessen your concern about what they think of you. That’s because the chances are they aren’t thinking of you.
Time worrying about judgement from others is a lost opportunity for you to be spending this time creating the life where you get to be what you want to be and do what you want to do. Imagine if you were to spend all that accumulated ‘worry time’ on things that contributed to your own growth in areas that are important to you. Where would that lead you?
Next time you are worrying about what someone may be thinking of you, say to yourself ‘they probably aren’t even thinking of me at all’ and put your focus back into how you can progress forward.
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