How to walk your own path (and stop caring what other people think)

We all conform to social pressure one some level.
While this is sometimes a good thing (nobody wants to see you naked in the office 😂),
this can become a problem – when caring about what other people think prevents you from doing what you really want.
That’s why I advocate a healthy ignorance of other people’s opinions.
So, here are a few tips on how to walk your own path and stop caring about other peoples opinions!

Establish goals

The first step towards caring less about other people’s opinions is to have clear goals in life.
Without clear goals you become more easily influenced by others.
This can also lead to jealousy of other people’s lives – the antidote is to start setting your own goals.
Setting clear goals won’t change your life overnight, but once you shift focus to a personal endeavour, you’ll have fewer reasons to envy other people’s projects.

Ignore trends

Another way to stay on your own path is to stop following trends that won’t last.
Maybe it’s a Tamagotchi, a designer T-shirt or a new car.
No matter the trend, don’t spend money just to impress or keep up with everybody else.
In a year or less the trend will have blown over and you will have spent time, money and energy in the wrong place.

Identify your core values

By seeking other peoples approval you will become a slave under some one else’s values, not your own!
Your own values, can accompany you throughout life and will also help protect you from unconstructive criticism.
Your values can also serve as a fixed point while habits, opinions, and plans change.
When I started out as a partner in my first freelance business, few understood what I was doing.
I received a lot of criticism and negative feedback.
What my critics didn’t understand, was that my actions was actually aligned with my goal of ultimately running my own business.
I had decided that I wanted more control over my life that being an business owner can offer.
These were my values, and they weighed heavier than the need for social confirmation.
These values kept me on track, and they have also helped me regain my motivation in bad times.

Choose who to listen to

Equally important as blocking harmful influences, is identifying the voices you should listen to.
Identify the critics and influences that support your goal without harming your self-confidence.
For example; when transitioning from the corporate world to entrepreneurship,
most voices will emphasise risks and repeat common doubts.
a few will combine legitimate doubts with solutions – those are the ones you should listen to.

Prepare yourself mentally

When you do something remotely interesting, you’ll encounter criticism and doubts.
The only way to always avoid criticism is by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.
To stop caring about criticism, you need to take on challenges regularly, accepting that not everything will go to plan.
Make a habit of leaving your comfort zone. It can be visiting new places, learning a new skill, talking to strangers, eating out alone, etc.
Leaving your comfort zone will stretch your mental ability and help build self confidence.
By embracing what discomfort teaches you, you’ll become more and more mentally flexible.

This will make you more resilient, help you deal with criticism, and bring you closer to your goals!