We live in a world that’s quicker to understand what we can afford in monetary terms rather than life-limiting terms. We easily recognize if we can’t afford a yacht or a beach vacation, and accept if dining out several nights a week may uncomfortably stretch our budget, yet we’re slow to realize the life-limiting costs of everyday behaviors robbing us of potential joy. If we could put a dollar amount on what our concern over what the crowd thinks of us truly costs us, I’d wager that it’s more than any of us can actually afford to spend. It keeps us from trying new things. It causes us to dim our lights, lower our voices, shrink inside of ourselves. It forbids us from experiencing the true freedom of discovery and expression of self and our unlimited capacity, all due to the fear of being booed by the crowd. But here’s the rub: the crowd is only as real as you make it.
If you’re scratching your head over that one, let me put it this way: it’s not that the boo-ers and naysayers don’t exist, but rather that they need not be a factor in your world unless you allow them that power by default. If you decide caring what others think is not in your energetic budget, take preventative measures to ensure you don’t invest another drop of your energy into the habit. Decide that from this point on others’ opinions of you are of no concern to you. Remind yourself of this continually. Decide that how things appear to others is no longer a driving force in what you choose to do or not do. Remind yourself of this continually. Don’t expect this to come “naturally”. Most likely it won’t. That’s why I said to remind yourself of this continually and repeated it because we all need the reminder. Often. If you don’t take action because you’re waiting to truly “not care” what others think, you may likely never take action. We’re human and wired to seek validation, but we also have the capacity to redirect our thinking in a manner that will serve and empower us to habituate new behaviors. How do we do that? With the same type of thinking that doesn’t allow you to spend money you don’t have. Ever want something that you can’t afford to buy? Going to assume that’s a yes… Ideally, you don’t buy it simply because you want it. You acknowledge that you don’t have the luxury of purchasing every single thing with your hard-earned dollars just because the voice of want invaded your thoughts. Your Spirit “dollars” are even more hard earned and valuable! So it becomes not about trying to make yourself “stop wanting” but instead truly grasping the realization that regardless of what you want or don’t want– you don’t have the luxury of squandering your energy on the fitful thoughts and opinions of others. And we’re all “others”. We’re ALL the crowd. Or we’re ALL not the crowd. We can either help or hinder one another, but we don’t have the luxury of waiting on the other guy to decide which one that’ll be. And we don’t want to go broke trying.