Category: stop overthinking

Does it really matter what ‘they’ think?

Do you worry about what ‘they’ will think ?


Were you like many of us brought up with the concern ‘ what will other people think’. It may have been said directly to you or it may have been an attitude you picked up from your parents’ behaviour and general demeanour. They may have actually recognised this attitude held them back and wanted you to be different. Perhaps they actually encouraged you not to worry about others but unfortunately that saying, our children do as we do and not necessarily as we say, is often very true.

Perhaps your worry came from elsewhere, maybe an incident in your life where you felt very exposed and judged by other people. Some of my clients can clearly relate it to an experience when they felt shamed, humiliated or bullied in early life, often at school. In a session we can then work on this memory and produce a positive change in the now.

Does this resonate with you? Do you feel that you are being driven by the unconscious thought ‘what will people think’. If you want to stop it now and model a new kind of behaviour, what can you do?

Awareness is the first step.

If this is just a minor problem for you, perhaps you can start by noticing your thinking and talk yourself out of it. Tell yourself what you would tell a friend in this situation, ‘ what you yourself think is most important’, ‘it doesn’t matter what other people think’, ‘you can never really know what someone else is thinking’ and ‘they are probably not even that interested in thinking about you anyway’. By continuously breaking into this habitual thought pattern you can have the power to change and instead start living by your own internal compass.

I didn’t set out to write a post comparing the advice of Mother Theresa and Taylor Swift, but both came to mind as I started writing – you can’t say this blog isn’t eclectic in its influences! You might think that there couldn’t be any greater difference between two women. However both are great proponents of the advice ‘ stop worrying about what other people think , you have no control over it whatever you do and what’s important is getting on with living your own life’

From Mother Theresa it is in the form of a poem



The Final Analysis

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is always between you and God. It was never
between you and them anyway.


Isn’t this so true ! If you don’t have a belief in God like Mother Theresa please don’t reject this as not applying to you. Perhaps you can read it again and see it can still be as powerful and true if you substitute the word ‘yourself’ in this last line.

‘In the final analysis, it is always between you and yourself. It was never between you and them anyway.’


From Taylor Swift the advice comes not unexpectedly in the form of a hit song – Shake it off.
As you read this/ watch the video does this feel like an inappropriate change of gear. Don’t worry there is method in my madness! In hypnotherapy sessions such a juxtaposition of the profound and the absurd or fun can be a powerful precipitant to a real change in perception. Maybe this will happen for you.

Hopefully this popular culture message will positively affect the next generation and they will take on this encouragement to ” shake it off ” and stop dwelling on worrying what ‘they’ think.

If you feel that it will take more than these simple measures to change how you think, then hypnotherapy could be really helpful to you. During the sessions, by changing how you view others while at the same time strengthening your sense of self, you will begin to live your life free of the constraining thought ‘what will people think’. Instead you will have the power to be in touch with what you think and have the freedom to use your own internal compass to guide your life.

Eyes, toes and pink elephants !

At the moment I am on a month’s free trial of contact lenses. I knew it might take a little while to get used to putting them in – but hey I’m a hypnotherapist I can use self hypnosis and visualise myself being successful – what could go wrong ?

Everything !

I found it a real struggle to get the lenses in. Every time I got near my eyes they wouldn’t stop blinking, even being in my calm therapy room with relaxing music didn’t help. Everybody kept suggesting I stop over thinking it. Easier said than done, for me and also for many of my clients who are overthinking a problem when they come to see me. That saying ‘ Don’t think of a pink elephant’ came to mind.

I know the only way to stop seeing a pink elephant is to replace it with a green giraffe. I suddenly realised my green giraffe could be switching my focus from my eyes to my toes the very next time I tried to put the lenses in.

A great improvement – now only 4 or 5 attempts !

Then another idea came from my unconscious mind. Why not add to the change of focus some positive visualisation with a touch of humour and absurdity. This is often a really good combination in hypnotherapy, when trying to collapse a cycle of unhelpful thinking.


So next time as I brought the lens up to my eye, I imagined placing it perfectly in between my big and second toes. Success the very first time and each time since.

No pink elephants in my mind now just green giraffes !

Are you overthinking a problem in your life ? What could your green giraffe solution be? If you feel stuck you could always consider hypnotherapy to help.

Now I am loving the freedom of wearing contact lenses and my only problem is what do I say at my follow up appointment when they ask me how I am getting on. Do I risk in the middle of Specsavers being thought completely mad and saying – ‘Great, now I am putting them in between my toes’!

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