Why You Should Stop Caring What Others Think


If you’re a busy entrepreneur in this increasingly chaotic world, you probably struggle to find the time to take stock of your true work experience.

For many entrepreneurs, there are two states: auto-pilot and reaction mode. Our daily life keeps us jumping form project-to-project and challenge-to-challenge simply reacting to everything that comes our way.

Because of this, it’s likely been a while since you took a critical look at both your own and your employees’ performance status’. Are you maximizing your performance, as you should be, or have you slipped into accepting average from yourself and your team? If this is the case, the first step to re-invigorate your workforce and increase performance is to investigate the underlying challenges your company may be facing. So, what’s holding you back?


Being more aware of how much weight you allow other’s opinions to have on your actions, can make an huge difference in your performance and confidence. If you have made a habit of taking other’s advice and drowning out your own intuition, both yourself and your business are probably feeling those negative effects.

There’s actually science to back it. Citing a study by University of Ohio professor Julie Crocker, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman explain that the effects of giving too much weight to other’s opinions can actually have real, measurable, psychological effects.

“In her study, she found that those who based their self-worth and self-confidence on what others think of them don’t just pay a mental price; they pay a physical price, too,” the authors write. “Crocker’s study of 600 college students showed that those who depended on others for approval–of their appearance, grades, choices, you name it–reported more stress and had higher levels of drug abuse and eating disorders. The students who based their self-esteem and confidence on internal sources, such as being virtuous or having a strong moral code, did better than the others in exams and had lower levels of drug and alcohol abuse.”
– “The Confidence Code”

As the above study illustrates, confidence built on the praise of others is much more vulnerable than confidence built on one’s achievements.

So how do you undo something that’s become this awful habit, holding you back from being the confident, savvy entrepreneur you can be? Just like most other challenges, identifying the problem is the first step to solving it. That’s why I suggest that you start to really pay attention to the amount of influence you allow others have on your decision-making process–while you are in the midst of making such choices. So, for the next few weeks, whenever you are making an important decision, incorporate these three questions into your process:

  1.  Does the potential outcome really feel good to me–or does it just make me look better to others?
  2. Will I still be happy with this decision even if I receive no social validation from it?
  3. Am I more excited to tell others about my decision than I am to actually dive into it?

Of course, everyone needs some sort of social validation, that’s completely normal. There will be some decisions that both feel good to you, and excite others, and that’s great– but it’s not going to happen every time. The main point is to make sure that the drive to go through with a decision really comes from your own desire, and not the expectations of others.

Our world is more connected than ever and being able to communicate and learn from the experience of others is paramount to being a successful entrepreneur. Communication is an art, however, and it’s important to understand that there’s a fine line between respecting someone’s experience and allowing their opinions to overpower your instincts. By becoming ever more conscious of just how much you consider the views of others in your decision-making, you will become more confident in your own choices and experience the joy of being true to yourself.

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