Who cares what people think?

For years, I have carried a motivating phrase with me. I put it in the opening page of my diary – so I had to look at it every day – but I’ve never truly understood what it meant, or known whether I could ever live and breathe it. It was an ideal that ‘one day’ I though I would reach.

The quote is from Anne Dickson, author of the fabulous book A Woman in Your Own Right, and it comes from a mini manual, A Book of Your Own, that gives thoughts and inspiration for every day of the year

She wrote: “It is impossible to be creative with your life and worry about what people think of you – so the choice is which one to give up.”

I’m still battling with that choice. I have worried so much about what people think of me: I have tried to second-guess what they’re thinking; given rushed explanations and apologies before they’ve even said anything; fretted for fear that people misconstrue something I’ve said or done; agonised over someone’s imagined reaction. That’s certainly not being creative with my life; that’s paralysing it.

For me, feeling good enough means not caring what other people think. People will think what they want anyway; I have no control over that. That doesn’t mean that I won’t try to decipher what that raised eyebrow or that disapproving ‘oh’ mean; it’s just that I will acknowledge the impulse to do it, and move on in my mind to something else much more constructive.

I’m making that choice to be much more creative in my life; to leave that paralysis behind and step confidently forward.

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