I Stopped Caring About What People Thought in 2018—Here’s How It Changed My Life

The first quarter of 2018 chewed me up and spit me right out! I lost two family members within three months, had a falling out with my closest friends, didn’t get my dream job, was failing a class, and was barely making enough money to keep myself afloat.

I entered a control mindset once this all settled in. Nothing in my life was going right, so I felt like I had to do everything in my power to take control over what I could. I stayed in most of the time because I didn’t want people to have a chance to make fun of me. I refused to get out of a terribly toxic relationship because I wanted control over if I was going to be alone or not. I used this all as an excuse to care about every little thing I did so that no one would have the chance to judge me.

It seemed like there was no end in sight, and I cried most days. Nothing was getting any better.

Then, I had a conversation with my mom who provided all the insight I could ever need. (Moms seriously know everything.) She explained that nothing would get better until I decided to make it better. So, I took a shower, made my bed, fixed my hair, and got my sh*t together. From this point forward, I wasn’t going to let the opinions of other people cloud what I was capable of doing.

Basically, I stopped giving a f*ck and did whatever I damn well pleased.

No, I didn’t stop paying my bills, and I didn’t move into a commune. I stopped focusing on what everyone would think of how I handled every situation or if everyone was staring at me when I walked down the street wearing blue eyeshadow (which I’m sure looked bomb). It didn’t matter to me anymore how others perceived me because I knew that I was making myself feel better. I was pulling myself out of depression (with the help of anti-anxiety medication, therapy, and my family because there’s more to curing depression than putting on a face mask and reading a book), and I had no intention of letting the opinions of irrelevant (sorry, not sorry) people get in my way.

 

Basically, I stopped giving a f*ck and did whatever I damn well pleased.

 

So, how exactly did I do this you’re asking? I started with a social media detox. I disabled my Instagram and Snapchat and deleted my Facebook and Twitter apps. I love social media, but in order to use social media without being in a comparative mindset, you almost have to get away from it and learn about yourself first. While I was off these apps, I taught myself that I don’t always need to respond to people immediately when they message me. If I’m in the middle of doing something, I can finish that before getting back to people, and if they’re not OK with that, sucks for them.

After about a month, I got back on social media, but I unfollowed anyone whose content didn’t bring me joy. (Obviously took that tip from the amazing Marie Kondo!) Once social media felt like a space full of inspiration and encouragement rather than anxiety and comparison-ridden, I began to identify what exactly I wanted to care about and what I didn’t. I care about: my career, my friendships, my family, my hobbies, my home, my goals, my health, and grooming (AKA basic hygiene plus a face mask here and there). I do not care about: what other people think of how I go about doing those things.

Obviously, I slip up every now and then. Sometimes I’ll get scared to post a picture of myself on Instagram, or I worry that if someone knows I like McDonald’s, they’ll call me fat. However, I made it my mission to not care about what people thought of me most of the time.

 

It doesn’t really make sense until it happens, but my whole life fell into place when I stopped worrying about what everyone thought of me and started paying attention to what I thought of me.

 

Once I applied this model to my life, the rest of 2018 was miraculous. I made new friends. I regrouped and reapplied and finally did land that dream job (and here we are!). I worked my ass off and got the best grades I’ve ever gotten and started making money doing things I enjoyed. I received a promotion. It doesn’t really make sense until it happens, but my whole life fell into place when I stopped worrying about what everyone thought of me and started paying attention to what I thought of me.  

Now, I understand what you’re thinking. “Why does this 22-year-old think she knows everything and that she’s figured out this ‘secret’ to life?” Well, for one, it’s because I’m a Sagittarius. It’s also because I haven’t figured out any secret. I still have bad days — all the time, actually. My life didn’t magically become perfect because I gave no f*cks. My life changed because I actively changed it. I didn’t care that I looked desperate applying to the same job for a second time because I was initially denied, and I ultimately got the job. Instead of worrying that I looked ugly, I bought clothes that were on-trend and that I enjoyed, and some of those have created my favorite outfits. When you stop caring about what people think of you, you do what is needed to be done to achieve your goals without a second thought.

 

When you stop caring about what people think of you, you do what is needed to be done to achieve your goals without a second thought.

 

2019 is officially in full swing, and I’m realizing how different my life is now compared to a year ago. I refuse to attribute those changes to anyone but myself and my determination to change things. Not caring about the opinions of others reminded me that I do have the confidence in myself to accomplish whatever it is that I want out of life. What someone thinks is purely their opinion, man.

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