Why Do We Fear What Others Think Of Us?

 

I’ve been bothered recently. Bothered about my the About Me page on my website and how I present my ‘story.’ Your equivalent may be your CV or Bio.

Mine feels a bit Disney.

Because I don’t have a typical ‘happy ending’ after the roller-coaster business ride I’ve been on, I’m concerned I may present stories in a way to make me look good. I guess that’s what we’re all conditioned to do when it comes to selling ourselves; but it’s leaving me a little dis-satisfied. I always thought I’d wait to be wholeheartedly transparent when I was in a position of ‘success’ again. I knew I’d never cope lacking vulnerability forever. It’s just not how I’m wired.

But surely not yet?

After all what fool goes about talking about the mistakes they made, when they need to put food on the table for their family.

I don’t really want to share my weaknesses and my failings, because when people share the real stuff, they make themselves vulnerable.

When I make myself vulnerable, I risk being trampled on.

But.
I.
Keep.
Reaching.
Uncomfortable.
Full.
Stops.

Gandhi was happy to be vulnerable and trampled on.
Martin Luther King was happy to be vulnerable and trampled on.
Jesus was happy to be vulnerable and trampled on.

And that’s why I’m bothered.

Three of my ‘favourite dinner guests’ would no doubt challenge me. They may say that it’s in the process of letting go; of losing your life that you find it. And even now, I realise that they probably weren’t happy to be vulnerable and trampled on. I think they were just prepared to be. The level of trampling they would have faced, puts my little old emotions in perspective.

If I had dinner with them, I think I’d draw boldness from their strength and example and rise to the challenge. I wont get dinner. But I can read their words. And I have.

And the full stops keep getting stuck at the back of my throat.

And.
It.
Bothers,
Me.

A few years ago, when I went bankrupt and lost my business, I’d have found life too raw to talk too vulnerably. I was in emotional lock down and I’d have needed people’s approval too much. I would have been writing to garner sympathy, forgiveness or simply to justify myself.

But now, I am excited to descend and let go.
To let go of the need for other people’s approval.
To let go of the need to maintain my ego.

Perhaps I’m not excited. But I’m prepared to let go and embrace vulnerability.

I could absolutely rationalise away the reasons why it’s good and important to present yourself in a certain light. I’ve been doing that for some time. People don’t need to know about your mistakes. It may affect your future work. People judge on first impressions.

Equally I could say to myself, people don’t care about my ‘About me’ page. Writing a post like this is ‘incredibly self indulgent.’ And that may well be true.

But as my friend Jacob recently pointed out; stand in the middle of your city at rush hour for 5 minutes and watch the throngs of people walking by.
They each have stuff going on in their heads.
Their stories.
Their lives.
Their struggles.
Their little corner of the world.

Others may not care about my ‘About me’ page, but they care about their own.

And I care about mine.
My story.
My life.
The life I live with my family, my friends and those around me.

And I have to be the same person wholeheartedly if I’m going to have anything to truly offer others in my thinking.

‘Don’t put your trust in walls, cause walls will only crush you when they fall’.
Ray Lamontagne

For me, I’m choosing to live lighter, more freely with open arms and a heart released from the trappings of fear.

I’ll start by re-writing my ‘About Me’ page over the coming days. And for future blog posts I’ll write what I feel will benefit other people, even if it puts me in an un-favourable light. There’ll be wisdom applied i.e. I wont write content that could hurt others or are other people’s stories to tell. But I’ll certainly choose to no longer hide behind my own shame and fear.

Excitedly I’ll stumble on with a lighter skip in my step…

So let’s get away from talking about myself and throw a few questions back at you?

Are you comfortable in your own skin? And in your online digital skin?
Are you afraid of what people think of you?
What’s the worst thing you’d hate others to know? Is there a chance that by speaking it out to the relevant people, you’d be releasing it of the power and the hold that it has over you?

I’ve not got the answers, and I’m not even sure if what I’m proposing is a good idea. But I want to let go and relax into myself more. I want to be at ease and not let fear win the battle in my life. No doubt it may still win the odd fight, but let’s limit it to that.

Fear and shame have had their day.

Full.
Stop.

You’re journey is a different one; no doubt full of your own remarkable twists and turns. Many beautiful and some painful. If you want to or feel the need to, I’d love to invite you to share and to let go.

And here in my little corner of the world, I’m deeply interested in your story, and I’d love to hear it. Regardless of whether it’s got a Disney ending or not.








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