It’s only natural to give a fuck what other people think about you…
It’s only natural to seek the approval of other people…
But there are serious consequences costs to doing so.
- When you give too many fucks what strangers think about you, you end up feeling insecure in public places.
- When you seek approval through dating (and getting attention from women), you end up on an emotional roller coaster that can leave you feeling ‘unworthy’ and lonely.
- When you give too many fucks what your family thinks about your career, you end up working a job you don’t care about.
In this article I’ll cover 3 steps you can follow to stop seeking approval, so you can free yourself from all the negative emotions that come along with giving too many fucks.
#1: Understand Why it Doesn’t Matter
The first step is to understand why it’s useless to worry about the opinions of other people.
Most People Are Too Self-Conscious to Judge You
You’re not the only person who’s worried about what other people think.
In fact, it’s absolutely crucial for you to realize just how self-conscious the average person is. Seriously, even the most confident men worry about how other people perceive them.
It’s why we take so much time to choose what we’re going to wear. It’s why we go to the gym. It’s why we get cool-ass haircuts. And it’s why we want to make a lot of money and become famous.
The entire concept of fame, and what makes it so attractive, is that it implies that lots of other people will like you…
So next time you catch yourself worrying that everyone is looking at you and judging you, realize that they’re probably too busy worrying about what other people are thinking about them to even notice you.
The ‘High’ of Approval Does Not Last
Here’s another big thing you need to understand: the ‘high’ you experience after getting approval NEVER lasts.
- Get that big promotion? Congrats, you’ll feel super important for a few days. Then you’ll be back at it, chasing the approval of your boss yet again.
- She finally texted you back? Congrats, you’ll feel good about yourself for a few hours. Then you’ll be back at it, anxiously awaiting the next response.
- Receive a nice compliment? Congrats, you’ll walk with swagger for a few minutes. Then you’ll be back at it, worrying what everyone thinks about you.
I don’t mean to be a ‘Debbie Downer’ here, getting approval does feel good. But it’s like a drug…
If you depend on getting approval to feel good about yourself, then you’ll always be chasing it. You’ll never feel happy or ‘complete’ without it…
And you’ll always give way too many fucks what other people think about you.
If you’re having a good day and people are paying you attention, then all is well. But if you’re alone for the day or someone looks at you wrong, then you feel like a worthless piece of shit.
Which leads me to point #2…
#2: Build a Lifestyle You Can Be Proud of
The fastest way to stop giving a fuck is to start living a life that YOU can be proud of… regardless of what other people think. And this all starts with strong daily habits.
Develop the Right Habits for YOU
I’m not talking about brushing your teeth, making your bed, and flossing. No, I’m talking about habits that allow you to live up to your own expectations.
For me, this means doing things like lifting weights, practicing martial arts, playing basketball, writing, meditating, and traveling on a regular basis. I do these things because I enjoy doing them. I do them because I feel happy when I do them.
This way, it doesn’t matter if some girl rejects me. Or if some guy disrespects me. Or if I get a bunch of nasty comments on one of my posts or YouTube videos…
No, I don’t give a FUCK about any of these things!
And it’s all because I know that I can still hit the gym. Or go a quick trip to visit my buddies in Colombia. Or get lost in a deep meditation. Or compete in a summer league basketball game…
No matter what other people say about me, I can always take comfort in the fact that I’ve built a lifestyle that I’m proud of…
And that is something that no one can take from you.
Set Goals YOU Care About
While developing the right habits is the #1 thing you can do to ‘self-validate’ and stop giving a fuck what other people think, it’s also important to set the RIGHT goals.
It’s too easy to fall for the trap of setting goals that serve other people, and what you think THEY want you to do…
But when you do this, you basically chop off your balls and serve them up to someone else. Seriously, you suppress your own aspirations and trade them for someone else’s. You give other people the authority to choose YOUR life’s direction.
So how do you avoid this mistake?
Easy, you avoid setting super-long term goals, and instead focus on setting moderate-term goals (think 1-6 months) that reflect your current interests and aspirations.
You see, other people tend to pressure you (directly and on a subconscious level) to live up to their long-term visions for you. By focusing on shorter-term goals, you effectively give yourself permission to focus exclusively on YOUR aspirations, while gently ‘pushing aside’ the interests and opinions of other people.
#3: Catch Yourself Seeking Approval
In the video above, I share some of my best strategies for overcoming the need for validation and approval. This is the final step to truly stop giving a fuck what others think.
Catch Yourself in the Moment
Even after you structure your life around habits and goals that you actually care about, you are still liable to give a fuck what other people think.
The key is to catch yourself giving in the act of too many fucks.
It doesn’t matter if you’re at work, and you catch yourself agonizing over whether or not your boss is pissed at you. Or if you want to ask a girl out, and you catch yourself over-analyzing whether or not she likes you. Or if you’re at a party, and you catch yourself worrying about whether or not the other party-goers think you’re a cool guy.
Regardless of the situation, follow these 3 steps to break the cycle and stop giving a fuck.
- Catch yourself. The most important thing is to recognize that you’re giving a fuck what others think, or seeking their approval.
- Accept it. The natural thing is lie to yourself and tell yourself that you’re not actually seeking approval. DON’T do this. Instead, accept it and tell yourself that it’s going to be okay.
- Let it go. It doesn’t matter exactly WHY you’re giving a fuck. The important thing is to let it go. And the best way to do this is to focus on breathing 4-5 deep ‘belly’ breaths.
This will be challenging at first, but the more you catch yourself giving a fuck, the easier it will be to let it go. And then you can get back to living your life… with ZERO fucks given!
The great thing about this technique is that it will become a natural, subconscious process over time (i.e. you will slowly retrain your brain to stop giving a fuck).
Be Aware of Larger ‘Approval Seeking’ Trends
The same way you should catch yourself giving a fuck what other people think in the moment, you should also be cautious of seeking other people’s approval in regards to your larger life choices.
In fact, take a minute RIGHT NOW to answer the following questions…
- Why are you working at your current job?
- Why do you have the hobbies that you do? Or why aren’t you doing a hobby you’d like to do?
- Why do you live in the city that you do? Why do you live with the people that you do?
- Why are you afraid of commitment? Or why are you a serial-dater? Or why do you avoid women?
Now, I know we can’t all have our dream jobs, and sometimes we have to make sacrifices to support our families… but I want you to be brutally honest with yourself here.
If your answer is because your father wants you to do it, or because you think it will impress your friends, then take note! Structuring your life around the expectations and preferences of others is a recipe for disaster….
It will cripple your self-esteem and cause you to chronically seek approval from other people. It will make you give way too many fucks.
How to Stop Giving a Fuck
And there you have it!
If you follow these 3 steps, you’ll soon be free from giving a fuck what other people think:
- Understand that it’s useless to worry about what other people think, because the ‘high’ of getting their approval never lasts anyway.
- Build a lifestyle that YOU can be proud of by practicing hobbies that make YOU happy and setting goals that YOU care about.
- Build the habit of catching yourself seeking approval, accepting it, and then letting it go…
…and enjoy the FREEDOM that comes with not giving a fuck (and looking only to yourself for approval)!