Letting go of what people think is an idea I'm most passionate about. If you are constantly worried about what people think you won't live to your fullest potential, you will forget what really matters and it will cost you your happiness. This is how I lived for as long as I can remember. I was focused on what people would think and not on what was important to me. My self-confidence was extremely low. I would meet people who were themselves despite of what people would think and be so inspired by their courage. I tried to live like this but the fear would rise. I didn't give up. I spent years of reading, practicing new ideas, failing and trying again until I found ways that worked.
Tommy Franklin was one of my inspirations. Instead of walking down the street, as you do, he dances. And yes, in public. I've been lucky enough to witness this in real life and honestly I thought this guy was either on drugs or all the mental homes were full and he was on the waiting list. Neither of these are true. The truth is he has the confidence to do what he loves and do it anywhere. He simply doesn't care what other people think. I want to share how I started living like Tommy Franklin. I don't love dancing enough to do it on public streets but I do have the confidence to be who I am and not worry if other people like me or not. Here are some simple tips on how I did it.
Start small. For me, seeing these incredible people being so confident made it even harder for me. I'd compare the little confidence I had with their incredibly high confidence. Taking small steps I could start by doing the littlest things. I started with owning a flaw of mine. I was terrible at meeting new people, I would get really nervous and say the most embarrassing things. I would avoid situations like parties if I knew that I would be put into a situation where I would have to meet someone new. A small step for me was meeting up with my good friend who brought along one of her friends that I hadn’t previously met. We met in a place that wasn’t as intimidating as a party so I felt more comfortable and could gain more confidence with meeting new people. After this success I could step up my game with another small step and now I can confidently meet anyone anywhere.
Reflect. After taking a small step acknowledge it by writing it down in your journal or even in the notes on your smart phone when you have a spare moment. Give yourself a high five for putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation that allowed you to grow; no matter how small. You may come up with some ideas on what your next small step could be. By writing down my success from meeting my friend’s friend I could recognise the confidence I was building and how well I did.
Recognize negative thoughts. That sneaky voice seems to creep in at the worst times. The voice that tells you 'nobody will like you' or 'just give up'. It's perfectly natural to have these thoughts, simply notice them and bring your focus back by reminding yourself that you're doing what's best for you and that's what really matters. If you fail don't be disheartened, like starting anything new there will be the 'ups' and 'downs'. It's ok to have these times, it's part of the process. Learn from it and let it strengthen you. The next step I took for my fear of meeting new people was going to a small party with my friend. I failed miserably, I was shy and said things that didn’t even make sense. I started calling myself stupid and saying other horrible things to myself but then I remembered it wasn’t the end of the world. I stopped beating myself up and I looked at how I could do better next time. It had strengthened me.
Don't lose sight of what really matters. You only get one chance at life. Don't waste it worrying about what other people think. It's scary trying new things and being who you really are when you know you could be disliked; but you know what’s even scarier? Reaching the end of your life with the regret of not having lived it. Here is another post I wrote that can help you find what is really important to you. Don't underestimate how amazing you are. Remember all the great things you have to offer this world and you'll have a self-confidence where if dancing is your thing, you’ll be doing it down the street soon too!