Other people’s opinions

Do you ever struggle with other people’s opinions? I must admit that it has been an issue for me most all of my life, but I have come to realize that I am not alone. So, if you replied ‘yep’ to the first line of this post, I am sending a hug your way. Me too!
What I have come to understand is that the thing that I think people are judging me for, is the thing that I judge myself for. Somewhere in my past, a negative self-judgment crept into my brain. And now I know that each time after that, when I would think the thought again, that I was helping to make the belief stronger. To the point where I just assumed that everyone who looked at me immediately saw my flaw(s) with crystal clarity.
For a while, I tried telling myself to just not think those thoughts. I would share with my husband and that was the advice he always gave me too.
But what happens when I tell you to not think of the color blue? (don’t think of the color blue, don’t think of the color blue) It is all you can think of, right? Telling myself to not think those thoughts wasn’t working. It probably just made it worse.
So, how do you correct a thought error?
The best way I know to quiet negative self judgement is to create a new thought that will serve you. But hear me, you can’t just think it once or twice and expect It to stick. The old belief has a well-worn neural pathway evolved from thinking it over and over again. So, in order to make the new thought the norm, you must practice thinking it. Not just a couple times, but multiple times in a day, for many days and weeks until it feels comfortable.
Sounds like work, but I decided a few years ago (thanks to some good coaching) to create the belief that I was a good mom. It went against what my inner voice had been telling me, but I decided to think it anyways and I practiced it. And lately, let’s just say that my foundation as a mom has been challenged. But what I have learned is that while having others give me support is nice, what I needed was to be able to be my own support. Having thoughts that serve me allow me to act from a good place and I have my own back on this one. And I don’t really care what anyone thinks.
Uh oh.
I just felt the pang. Maybe I do care. But I’m working on it.