I observe that we spend way too much time and effort trying to fit in at work. Managers try too hard to be liked by their people at the expense of driving their team’s performance. Coworkers overvalue maintaining their relationships to the point of detriment.
If everyone could learn how to stop worrying about what people think, it would free up time and energy.
Why Am I Obsessed With What Others Think of Me?
Throughout our lives, we’ve been conditioned to care what other people think of us, as that’s part of what it means to live happily in society. We need other people to survive, so it becomes important to us that we’re liked. The unfortunate fact is that not everyone will like us, especially at work, when different personality types must interact day after day.
Sometimes, though, the reasons people dislike you have nothing to do with your personality or your quality of work. Often, people in teams and organizations try to maintain the status quo and fight change aggressively. It’s almost as if organizations’ job is to protect the group instead of looking to improve. Consequently, members who propose new ideas face opposition.
However, change is vital to growth. It is important to maintain good relationships with colleagues in the workplace, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of the organization’s health as a whole. Learning how to stop worrying about what people think can help you push past your discomfort and implement better policies and procedures, even if they’re unpopular.
How to Not Care What Coworkers Think
Learning how to stop worrying about what people think begins with a shift in perspective. You didn’t luck into your position by accident; you were hired because of your skills, and you deserve to be where you are. You don’t need external validation from your coworkers to know that you’re doing a good job. Feedback from your superiors is far more important.
Next, remember that your coworkers are probably worried about what you think of them, too. For the most part, everyone is too busy worrying about spending much time dwelling on other people.
Finally, keep in mind that you will never please everyone. No matter how much you try, there will always be someone who dislikes you, and probably for reasons that are entirely out of your control. It’s a much better use of your time to acknowledge that a choice might not be popular but to make it anyway if it’s for the greater good, regardless of what others think.
If you’re really concerned about how others view your work and performance, it’s best to seek a professional opinion. A business coach can help you figure out how to stop worrying about what people think, develop and hone your leadership skills, and give you honest feedback, so you don’t have to worry that you’re secretly bad at your job.
Learning how to stop worrying about what people think is just one skill that will help you become a better leader, but there are many other ways to improve your leadership style. Sign up for my email list to have leadership tips delivered right to your inbox every week.