How not to care what others think

How not to care what others think

Today as I was sitting meditating my mind took me back to a day where a yoga teacher who I greatly admired walked into the changing room and mocked what I had just said to a friend.

She sneered

“oh my gawddd, it’s like totttttallly awwwwesome” without looking at us, as she walked past to the bathroom.

I was taken aback by the bitchiness of it, but I didn’t say anything, I just dwelled on how silly I had sounded and how I should change the way I talk. Though I also lost respect for the teacher for her inability to control the bitchy side of her: her mind – the thing that a yoga teacher of her level should technically be bloody masterful with!

That was over a YEAR ago. But today my mind suddenly conjured up a GENIUS comeback.

“Watch your ego there, Deb”, my mind said, in triumph.

A few years ago I would have continued the conversation in my head, you know, had a good old chat with Deb, told her what I thought, and she’d apologise and be sheepish.

But this morning I found myself smiling at the ridiculousness of my mind’s behaviour. I haven’t thought of this most minor-of-minor incidents since it happened (though I’m not sure that’s true), so for my mind to STILL be taking me back to it to rehash the conversation is pretty funny.

[bctt tweet=”Gone are the days that I get stuck in the hamster wheel of overthinking irrelevant crap for long!” via=”no”]

I’d like to say that I then dropped the thought, but what I really did is start to write this blog post in my head.

But then I dropped that thought and focussed on my mantra for a bit. Then I wondered if I should buy an outdoor table before my birthday BBQ this Sunday. (Ps – it’s my birthday in two days, woohoo!)

So – for anyone who thinks they can’t meditate because their mind is too busy (pretty much everyone I have ever met who hasn’t yet become a regular mediator) – I have news for you.

Even experienced meditators still have thoughts. Having no thoughts is not the point. Catching your thoughts in the act is the point.

Our heart is designed to beat so it can pump blood around our body – to keep us alive.

Our lungs are designed to breathe so they can draw oxygen into our body – to keep us alive.

Our mind is designed to think so it can predict future outcomes and analyse past events to keep us safe and prevent us repeating the same mistakes – to keep us alive.

By analyse, I mean over analyse the bejaysus out of, sometimes for years to come.

The mind doesn’t know that over-analysing past conversations is not imperative to our survival anymore. (It used to be, back in the day – if people didn’t like us we had to be able to analyse their thoughts and change our behaviour or we’d get kicked out of the tribe and die!)

We can expect our mind to keep over analysing things. In fact we can thank it for doing so, it’s just trying to keep us safe.

So for alllll the people who ask – HOW CAN I STOP CARING WHAT OTHER’S THINK?

Don’t expect to be able to stop your mind THINKING about what others think.

But you can stop LISTENING to what your mind thinks that others think.

And that’s where you’ll find the magical ability to not care what others think.

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G'day, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness facilitator and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in my unconventional mind-taming program for indecisive overachievers - Bloody Good Life. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.