I am currently writing this post sitting in my favourite café in Montreal, and unfortunately just had another example that I still very much worry about what others think (see the title of the article). Not even 10 minutes ago, I couldn't find a place to sit because it was too crowded. And the fact that I couldn't sit anywhere defeated the main purpose of coming here: working on my blog of course, but also taking photos (it IS the prettiest café in the city). I eventually had to sit with a stranger, but I felt embarrassed to take my camera out and start taking photos of the marble table with my croissant and my Earl Grey tea. I think I felt like that because of all the stereotypes associated with people who take photos of their food. But I know I shouldn't spend negative energy on that because others' opinions shouldn't influence me or block me from doing the things I want. I've been working on it for many years now, and in some areas, it's still a work in progress but in other contexts, I have improved. Here are some of the tips I try to keep in mind when I start worrying...
Whose Opinions Matter Most?
Worrying about what strangers think is useless in most cases because you're never going to see them again and they know nothing about you. Think about the people you care the most, it can be your parents, your best friend, your teacher, anyone! They are the voices who should matter the most to you because they know about your personality, your lifestyle, and they'll be better judges than strangers. Of course, don't just follow what the people in your entourage tell you, you're entitled to your own choices but they should matter more than strangers. I used to be so scared of wearing bold clothes when I was in my teens because everyone used to dress the same. When I started experimenting, my friends would compliment my outfits and my friends' opinion was truly the only opinion that mattered.
Focus on What You're Trying To Accomplish
If you are here for a reason and the fear of being judged blocks you from accomplishing what you're planning on doing, then you might have to reconsider your choices. In my case, I waited a few minutes and eventually had a table for myself, but I know I could have easily asked the stranger at my table if it was ok for me to take a photo. Chances are, she would have said yes. It's just a matter of pushing yourself. Today I saw a quote on Twitter and it really resonated with me: courage is not the absence of fear, it's the fear walking. Think about that!
Make An Effort To Stop Judging People
I think we're all part of the problem for this one. I've judged people in the past for thinking they were doing something weird. But when the positions are reversed, I feel weird thinking strangers are judging me. If we all make an effort to stop judging, maybe we're not going to feel as self-conscious. It's a work in progress for sure!
Shoes: Aldo / Skirt: Zara / Jacket: Urban Outfitters / Top: Everlane / Necklace: Missoma x Lucy Williams Roman collection