Dealing with the Opinions of Others in Business
There's something really insidious holding women back in their businesses. I know it to be true because I've done this myself for years.
We hold ourselves back because we're worried about what some people will think or say about us if we really put ourselves out there.
I'll give you an example of how I was doing this, and it really caught me off guard when I realized it. Then I'll give you some ways you can make sure this doesn't happen in your own business.
I'm still friends with an ex from college. I see him about every other year. He and I both use social media, but tend to spend our time on differing platforms from each other, for the most part.
He's a great guy, and we get along really well. But we're also never super up-to-date with what the other is doing for work. For the most part, at this point in my life, I generally stay current with friends' lives through whatever they are posting on Facebook and Instagram. If I don't see it there, and we don't hang out a bunch in person, I'm probably behind on what you're up to these days.
A few years ago I was down in the city having dinner with this ex/friend. I was about to go on another all-expenses-paid vacation through my previous business and we started talking about it. I realized then that since he isn't on FB much he had no idea I had actually earned this trip months prior.
So why did this matter?
Because all that time before, even though I knew he wasn't on FB very much, I would find myself frequently thinking of him when posting things about my business. Meaning I would often worry about what he'd think if he saw my business-related post and then suddenly feel bashful or hesitant.
Why did I even care about what he thought??
I honestly have no clue why I picked this one person, of all people, to frequently focus on. Maybe his life just felt so vastly different, and cooler, than mine. Plus, our brains are weird.
Why did I need to change these beliefs and actions?
Because they were impacting how I felt about myself in my business. Which was making me not show up fully, and it was holding me back.
Want to hear the true, vulnerable inner thoughts I would have about this? Get ready to cringe at me!
He has such a "real" and "serious" job. I sell purses at parties. He probably thinks this is so stupid.
We went to the same college, got similar degrees, and he probably thinks I'm squandering it with this direct sales business.
I bet he's wondering when I'll get a "real job."
Y'all...I was leading a successful team of women, I'd sold over $100K in products, I was earning bonuses and all-expenses-paid vacations and I was still scared that he wouldn't think my work was real!! Meanwhile, he didn't even know what I was doing!
I was worried about him seeing my posts and judging me harshly and he hadn't even noticed! How incredibly silly is that?!
But here's why I shared that with you. Because you have someone in your life right now (real or perceived) who you are thinking about every time you hold yourself back from showing up fully.
Is it a spouse? Sibling? Parent? Your frenemy from high school you still waste too much energy thinking about?
Great aunt Susan? Your judgey neighbor down the street? The PTA president? Your coworker at your day job?
So here's how we're going to fix this. Because if it doesn't get fixed, you will always play too small. And I don't want that for you at all!
How to Stop Worrying What Other People Think to Get to the Next Level in Business
Remember that most people are too busy thinking about their own -ish to pay too much attention to what everyone else is doing.
It's true. You and I both do it. Think about when you're self-conscious about something small. You think it's obvious and when you bring it up with someone else, they tell you they hadn't even noticed. More often than not, other people won't notice, or at least not too much.
If there are people who openly criticize you about your work, you need to let them know you won't tolerate that behavior.
I know that sounds harsh, but unless you put up some boundaries (or can remove them from your life entirely), they will continue to tear you down.
Stay focused on your goals and your "why" for your business.
When you know you are working for a purpose, it can be very motivating. Staying up late to work your business so you can take your family on that epic vacation, can help you get better at tuning out others. Plus, the bottom line is you are in charge of YOU. If they care so much about where your money comes from, maybe they want to start paying some of your bills. #savage
Lastly, I love the saying, "What people think about you is none of your business."
Honestly, some people might actually be gossiping about you and your business. Are you willing to give up your dreams and lose sleep (and profit) because of what other people might be saying about you? I seriously hope not. You are worthy of success, no matter what anyone else thinks or says.