How do I stop caring what others think?

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This topic contains 186 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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    Dear anita,

    thank you for your encouraging words.

    I am working towards being able accepting myself, but of course I still have negative thoughts about myself. I wish I could reach the level of self acceptance like in the song. But there is still a lot of work to do. Some days are better than others. Compared to last year, I feel definitely better.

    During the last weeks, everything was overall o.K. I am still cooking, which is one of my favorite hobbies. At work I am doing o.K. I think I can do my tasks allright and I get along with my colleagues well. One even said that she will be working longer hours on the days when I am also there. And she said that she is glad, so we can work together more. It made me feel happy. I feel accepted there now and I am glad.

    Also, I reached out to some friends and acquaintances and went to the museum to draw with one of them and this weekend I will meet with another. I am still feeling lonely often, but it is o.K.

    The most insecure I am about uni. Sometimes I am not sure if I picked a career path that is simply too hard for me. I struggle still with procrastination and productivity. I can not really take myself seriously and of course others also don’t then. In the next time, I want to focus on improving there. Also in therapy, we want to focus on this topic.

    I am glad that this one class I struggled with is over now. At least I stayed until the end, but I am not so happy with my accomplishments. I feel that the things I produced are good and go in the right direction, but I also feel like it is not enough and I have a lot to learn. Also, I felt very insecure there and a little weird and crazy.

    But the important thing is to keep working on my project, as I feel that it has potential. Even if nobody else will care, it will be a way to express myself.

    Well,all I can say is that I am trying.




    Dear jana,

    thank you for your reply.

    Since I made my innitial post, i am already feeling a lot better.

    I have moved out of the dormitory and don’t feel as much anxiety.

    Some weeks ago, I even went to the dormitory,because my best friend moved in there (somehow life always wants to challenge me). At first, I felt very uncomfortable about going, but I went. And we talked and laughed a lot. It was good, to add this memory, because when I moved out of there, I was very desperate and crying.

    But now I am feeling better.

    I want to work on improving my relationships with people, but also with myself. You are right, not everybody will like you. I am trying to learn that and not worry so much about strange looks or small signs of impoliteness. When a thought like that comes up again, I try to let it go (I am not always succeeding, but at least I am trying not to act on it).

    Also, I have a therapist and we are working on my problems.I think I have already made some progress, but it is going slowly. Thanks again for you taking time to reply and for your help!



    Dear Lily:

    “Compared to last year, I feel definitely  better”- this is what healing is about: Progress, not Perfection.

    Good to read that during the last weeks “everything was overall O.K.”, that you are still cooking, that you are doing O.K. at work, that one of your colleagues likes working with you so much- it sure feels good to be accepted and liked.

    Good to read that although you are “still feeing lonely often”, that you are not overwhelmed by the feeling (“but it is O.K.”).

    “I am not sure if I picked a career path that is simply too hard for me… I feel that the things I produced are good.. but I also feel like it is not enough and I have a lot to learn”- I think that it is a good idea if you could meet with a trustworthy professional in your field who will look at your work and advise you as to what to do different next, if anything. I think that you need a more solid (emotional) ground to stand on as far as your career path, that you need to know if you can learn all that you need to learn within your available time frame, so to be good enough to succeed in your current career path.

    Better confront the fear that you are professionally not good enough than to have this lingering and persistent doubt about not being good enough, a doubt that is fueling this “struggle still with procrastination and productivity” that you mentioned.






    Dear anita,

    the crazyness of last year is hard to top. But I think I have more self-compassion now. I know better what I want and pay more attention to my own feelings. I think that I understand some things better. You are right, it will take time to heal and I made some progress.

    Today I feel a little nervous. I met with a friend and interviewed her, everything went good, but then the app I used only recorded five minutes of it :S I feel embarrassed. Then I also wanted to cook something for my friend, but it didn’t turn out so good. Usually I am a good cook, but I shouldn’t have used a recipe I never tried before myself…. I guess such things happen and it’s part of life! But I am so disappointed, because I really liked her answers. She was so nice to offer that I send the questions to her and she answers them in writing.

    Well, I am doing o.K., just a little disappointed and embarrassed.

    What I also noticed, when I listened to the 5 minutes is that I don’t like my voice. It is so child-like. I wonder if it is like that all the time or only when I am nervous. Last week when I talked to my professor, I also stuttered a little.

    And I also understood the words (their sense) of my friend a lot better, when I listened to her calmly in my home. But during the interview I sometimes felt confused, had some issues concentrating. I worried a lot thinking, am I listening well enough, am I asking good enough follow up questions? I wish I could be more relaxed, but it will surely take some time to become more comfortable with myself.

    As for the career, I think a mentor would be helpful, I just don’t know where to find it. My professors, I don’t know, they have many students. The professor whose class I attended this year, I think that I was also a bit difficult to deal with. And I feel the same for the rest of my professors.

    Then, I was in this program where they found a mentor for me. She was very helpful, professional and friendly, but at the beginning I was too distracted by other problems and then she had her first child. So it just wasn’t a good time for the both of us.

    So where to find a mentor? I am also shy to ask someone, as I feel that I don’t want to be a burden for anyone. And could I just go and ask someone if they want to be my mentor? It seems very difficult for me. Maybe my professors are the best choice, as it is heir job to help out students. I could work more on my project during the semester break and then write to this professor again, to ask what he thinks. Maybe I should have more concrete questions than in my class then. Mainly I am worried about things like graphic design and typography.

    I feel that my drawings are o.K. (there is of course always room for improvement). Some of them are even good enough to be in a magazine, I believe. Actually, I think my drawings are pretty good. As well as my ideas, they are also pretty good.

    What I have to improve on firstly  is professionalism. Doing the work even when I am not into it. At least I can concentrate well once I start, but why is it so hard to start something? Time management and organizing myself are two big things I need to work on as well. I am trying to focus on this now in therapy.

    Last week I discussed with my therapist about the things I want to work on. She concluded that she thinks that I am working enough, but I don’t plan in enough free time, so it happens, that I am wasting hours on the internet . Because then my mind is just taking the time off that I don’t want to give to myself. I need to find better balance. I have been saying this to myself for a long time, but it is still so hard to put into practice.

    Other things I need to work on: acquisition, negotiating contracts, how to work as a freelancer (insurances and the like)… There is a lot to learn and I often feel overwhelmed. Best to take it step by step.

    Another big thing is to learn to be more confident. Some people are not having the best work, but they are so good at selling it, they work hard, the put out a lot of work. It is more important than talent, I think.

    I feel that there is a lot I need to work on. And I get a little overwhelmed thinking about it.









    Dear Lily:

    I will read and reply to your recent post when I am back to the computer in about 11 hours from now.




    Dear Lily:

    I apologize for not getting back to you earlier – I forgot (I was not very focused this morning and still am not). I intend to be back to you no longer than 18 hours from now.




    Dear Lily:

    Having “more self compassion now” is a great progress. Keep at having more and more self compassion.

    “I know better what I want and pay more attention to my own feelings”- significant progress.

    Try to accept the reality that your interview of your friend got only partly recorded and that your cooking didn’t turn out as well as you hoped. You did interview her and you did cook for her- give yourself credit for these two things. Accept what happened and make mental notes so to prevent problems in the future (do what it takes to record as planned and follow a recipe you are experienced with next time), and let it go, best you can.

    Regarding your voice, being child-like, it’s okay to have a child like voice- the words you use, the compassion in your voice, for the person you are interviewing, is more important.

    Stuttering is okay too. Remember Self Compassion.

    When our anxiety is elevated, we have trouble concentrating, and we worry, second guessing ourselves, it is all part of elevated anxiety. And indeed, it will “take some more time to become more comfortable with (yourself)”.

    As for your planned career (“So where do I find a mentor?”), choose a mentor who is successful at the career that you are planning on having. Aim at one of your professors to evaluate your work/ mentor you, if you are planning to be a professor yourself.

    Whatever it is that you are planning on doing for money, ask for the opinion and mentorship of a person who is already successful making money in the specific career you are aiming at.

    “Best to take it step by step”-  I agree.

    Regarding confidence vs talent- work on both: improving the quality of your work and as you do, elevate your confidence (you can record your voice, practice a more confident voice, record again and improve/ record again).

    One thing I notice is that you often add “I think” following stating something you believe in: no need to add “I think” because it weakens your statement. Clearly all that you say or type is what you think, so just state what you believe without qualifying that this is what you think.

    “I feel that there is a lot I need to work on. And I get a little overwhelmed”- remember what you stated in your most recent post: “Best take it step by step”. And persist:  do not give up. Keep going and going and going, forward.



    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  anita.
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