Worrying what others think about us is natural yet can feel limiting. Some tend to excessively focus on how others see them, while others don’t. It’s true that we are motivated when we are autonomous and operate from a sense of intrinsic purpose. And not paying attention to what others think about us can clear the static in our minds to focus on our values, strengths and personal mission.
However, being oblivious to what others think, despite it bringing a sense of empowerment, can minimize our ability to inspire, motivate and effectively achieve collective goals with others. And even if how others view us isn’t fair or relevant to our goals, being aware of it can give us deeper insight into what we really want and what is possibly visible to others despite our intentions.
Intentions create behavior and behavior creates perceptions. Things get lost between each of these three steps but each is important to evaluate in itself. Worrying about those perceptions may not be helpful. But ignoring them is equally unproductive, because they reveal areas where it may make sense to adjust our behaviors or make our intentions more explicit in order to be more effective with others and achieve our own goals.
I was interviewed for a Fast Company article on worrying about what others think and provided my thoughts based on coaching leaders that do worry a lot, as well as many who don’t, but could probably benefit from being more in tune with those signals.
You can read the article here.