I’ve been mulling this over in my head for a while. It’s been bubbling to the surface. In the recent past, I’ve noticed a lot that people care a LOT about what others think about them. So much so, that often people shape their decisions, their career paths, even their lives around what they perceive others to be thinking.

Why do we place so much value on what others think? I mean sure, people’s opinions matter. Often they are valid, and I think they are always worth listening to (at least). There may be no right or wrong, but we can always learn something from the thoughts and opinions of others.

Where I think we often go wrong is when we assume what others are thinking about us, or what they might think about us, and we make decisions based on that. But how are we to know what other people may think? And more importantly, does it matter?

Which brings me to what I was thinking, and what has pretty much been my credo for a long time (although I didn’t realize it until a few years ago). Who cares what other people think?! If what you want to do (or wear, or say) isn’t going to hurt anyone, and you want to do it… I say DO IT! If you want to cut your hair a different way, don’t wait for the approval of others, and don’t bail because you are worried what so-and-so will think. If you think that shirt looks awesome on you, don’t bother asking a friend how they think you look – wear it! If it puts a smile on your face… go for it.

Let’s be honest, you aren’t living your life for your friend Bill. The only one you’re living life for is YOU. So do what YOU want (within reason, and of course within the limits of the law 😉 ) Even if Bill thinks that shirt looks hideous on you, WHO CARES? If you’re comfortable, and you like that shirt – I say wear it. Passing judgement on others is what, in turn, makes us self conscious, and what pushes us to make decisions (often big life decisions) based on what other people think.

That’s another piece of the puzzle too… Who are we to judge? If people like eating raw eels for breakfast and they think it’s tasty.. let them! YOU don’t have to eat raw eels for breakfast! So why do you care if THEY do?! Likewise with other things. You don’t have to wear those pants that you find repulsive, so why do you care if someone else does? I say if it’s not blatantly offensive or discriminatory, people should do what makes them happy, and it’s really none of our business.

We live every day in this crazy cycle of passing judgement and worrying about others passing judgement on us. So why not break the cycle by not worrying about anyone else but yourself in this sense. It sounds selfish, but if you practice within reason – it makes sense!