Caring what other people think of you?
I have been thinking lately about how many things in the world do not happen because we are too afraid of what others think of us if we do them.
How many times do we end up not starting new adventures because we worry what others say before even attempting it (e.g., changing jobs, changing city or country, changing things that are important to us).
I know it is the reason I haven’t started, or has taken me longer to start, new things.
The fear of what others think of us is the best censorship. It is self-imposed.
A few facts:
We don’t know what others think.
We can only imagine what others think.
Even if you believe you really know what the person is thinking, you don’t.
Learning to separate the words that are being said from our thoughts, our interpretation of these words is one of the most powerful tools I have learnt with coaching. Sounds simple and yet so powerful.
Some of you want to tell me that ‘I know what she/he thinks about me because she/he has told me’.
What other people think about you has to do with them and their experiences, it is not about you. What you think they think has more to do with your thoughts and your experiences.
Not everybody likes peaches
This is a common saying in the coaching world.
Just today, I have read that it is Dita von Teesen who came up with the sentence: “You can be a juicy ripe peach but there’s always someone who doesn’t like peaches.”
You are a peach.
Some people will not like you.
And that’s OK.
What do you make it mean?
We care what others think of us because we make it mean something about us: ‘They’ll think my idea is crazy’ i.e. ‘I am crazy,’ I will lose my reputation if I am wrong’
Do you want to stop being a peach?
If the answer is yes, understand why.
Can you be a peach disguised as an apple?
Either way, what of all the people who like peaches? You are missing out on them.
What has this to do with weight loss?*
Many of my clients worry what others will think if they say they want to lose weight: ‘you do not need to lose weight’, ‘why don’t you eat desert? it’s just a small piece of cake’, ‘don’t be so strict’.
Weight loss is a minefield for women. We are told to keep a healthy weight for our own health’s sake, we are bombarded with images that value thinness but if we want to lose weight, we are told we shouldn’t do it.
There are unhealthy and unsustainable ways of losing weight. Most diets are.
There are ways of losing weight that will teach you about yourself. Your relationship with your body says a lot about your relationship with yourself. That is why I like working to change health habits, because of what you learn about yourself and how the brain, your brain, works.
Why you want to lose weight is the first, and very important step in the process. Hint: your body with less weight will not transform you into someone confident, worthier or a better person. This is not what losing weight does. Another reason why diets do not work. They do not address all that is going on in our heads that we associate with food.
Be the peach that you are or the peach you want to be.
Somebody will not like you as the peach you are now or the peach you want to become.
The more important question is, are you liking your peachiness?
*Applies to people within clinically healthy weight range which is where many my clients are.