How to stop worrying about what people think of you + follow your joy

Not that I’d like to admit it, but for a lot of my life, I've obsessed over what people think of me.

If people think I’m successful, smart, attractive...

If people think I’m enough, basically.

And what is the enoughness about? It’s about if I’m enough to be loved. That’s what it’s really come down to. Doing enough to be loved. Believing that I need to earn love and without doing enough to be impressive, I could lose love.

This belief, this way of relating to other humans (like you), has also stopped me from really letting loose, just being myself. Myself, myself. Totally myself. Without a sense of anxiety or fear. Following my curiosities, expressing my true self without a sense of deep uneasiness. It made it hard to really follow my joy.

And I wouldn't say this fear has been particularly ‘conscious’; I didn’t really know I was afraid that people might not think I’m loveable.

It was in a coaching session with Chantelle Raven (my sacred sexuality mentor) that I realized I cared so much about what people think of me. How I was really locked up, locked in by the fear of what people thought of me... 

So we focused on this in the session and I was confronted with all these beliefs and choices about how I was prepared to show myself to the world. How I was to choose how I would give no fucks and trust that I’m loved. That the people who truly love me, never stop loving me.

And since turning 30 last month (the official age of giving no fucks), I thought it was good timing to co-write a piece with Chantelle about how to give no fucks and just BE yourself.

On the day of my 30th birthday, I really felt like I’d been initiated into this club of sassy people who aren’t weighed down by the fear of appearances. Those people who have lived to see the earth revolve around the sun 30+ times.

And the funny thing is, there was nothing truly different about me on the last day of being 29 and the first day of being 30 (and being in this new club). It was simply a choice, a realization of what was available to me: that I no longer had to care so much about what people thought.

That I’m entitled to give no fucks. Now.

Yay!

And same goes for you. You’re entitled to give no fucks and just trust you’re enough now, tomorrow, always. The people who really love you, never stop loving you.

 Iris Apfel: a heroine and master at  giving no fucks .

Iris Apfel: a heroine and master at giving no fucks.

How to stop worrying about what people think of you + follow your joy

By Chantelle Raven & Caitlyn Cook

You miss opportunities when you worry about what people think. Rather than doing what nurtures you and gives you juice, you fear how people might perceive you.

Truly, people are most impressed by people who are happy. Joyful. What brings you joy? Is it time with your beloved? Working? Reading? Cats? Exercise? Nature? Art? Don’t lose sight of that.

Believe the opinions of people who know you. These people have your back. They know you, understand you. They’re rooting for you. They also see your areas to grow—and will call you out on your shit.

Trust a few opinions – your mentors, your best friends - and forget the rest.

Honestly, most people are wrapped up in their own world, worrying about what people think of them. Most often, they’re not thinking about you! They’re worrying about themselves.

People are so often trying to prove themselves — to be in, so they don’t get thrown out of their friendships, their community. As if being lovable is actually something you earn. True friendship and love is not something you earn — you are loveable as you are. YOU ARE LOVE. Already.

And remember, people are always gonna find an issue with you if they don’t love themselves.

You’re always gonna be too this or too that for those people: too expressive, too shy, too rich, too poor, too sexy, too strange. It’s a projection for all the places they’re judging themselves.

And when it comes to looking at people’s lives on social media, remember that we never really know anyone unless we KNOW them. What’s presented to the external world (e.g. IG) is often not what’s going on. You can frame a photograph to omit just what you don’t want to show and include just what you do want to show…

Remember who you are. Remember your ease. Remember your beauty. Remember you got this. Remember you are lovable. Loved. LOVE.

The world needs more lions not sheep: be transparent, follow your heart and share that in the world. Be a fully self-expressed individual.

It might sound cheesy to say, but you could be dead tomorrow! What are you doing with your life?  Stop caring what other people think and follow your heart. Don’t underestimate the power of following your JOY.

Margot Ananda describes Tantra as “choosing with awareness what brings you joy.” I love that.

There are no do-overs. You get this life once. CHOOSE.

Get clear about what you want and then think What’s the worst case scenario if I do follow my joy?

And then… ask yourself What’s the worst case if I don’t follow my heart, my joy?

And then CHOOSE.

You’re enough. You are LOVE. Your joy matters. Let’s see it. We need you.