Do You Worry About What People Will Think?

Fears about what people will think

When asked about the obstacles and fears around following your dreams one of the other women on the Chenrezig mindfulness retreat confessed:

“I’m worried about what people will think.”

That didn’t surprise me. I’m always concerned about what other people will think. I’ll never overcome it but I want to carry on pursuing my dreams no matter what other people think which was why I was on the retreat.

Still I was shocked to hear this other woman voice her fears about what other people would think because, even though she seemed to be an otherwise average white Australian, she was wearing the saffron robes of a Buddhist nun and her scalp showed clearly through her shaved hair.

It seemed to me that she had taken the bravest step of all by assuming the Buddhist garb and shaving her head. I could scarcely imagine anything more scary than daring to stand out from society and display your personal convictions like that in such a public way.

Yet here she was admitting that she was still concerned about what people would think about her.

I loved her for that because it shows that even the bravest among us still have fears. That we may never overcome our fears but that we can learn to walk with them and follow our path no matter what fears, concerns and thoughts crop up along the way.

Do You Worry About What People Will Think?

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  1. Ryan Biddulph August 20, 2014 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Annabel,

    I feel this fear here and there, certainly, but I have released many fears of criticism, thank goodness. It’s great to see this women admitting the fear because that’s the first step to embracing the fear.

    Kelli my fiancee, and I, are living in Fiji for another 2 months. 2 down, 2 to go. We are beyond blessed, and we’ve also been traveling the world for 40 straight months which rocks, but we’ve also had to face many fears and outright resistance from our family members.

    Many folks see our dream life and get jealous, not realizing that many of the same folks would be terrified to face the sh*t we’ve had to face from our family members, from parents, to sisters, for living our dreams.

    We’ve both been lambasted by members of the fam for traveling indefinitely, for not spending time at home, and for all types of other stuff which has nothing to do with us and everything to do with them. Facing these fears head on by dealing with our families has helped us gain their support too, because in some cases they have fully embraced or travels and our life style.

    I think most folks feel too terrified to face criticism like we have, from loved ones, and live an at best unhappy, and at worst, miserable life.

    So….if you’re reading this, and fear to live a good, worthy dream, that will inspire you and others, do it. Chase it. Dive into the fear of criticism with both feet and whether you’re judged or not, that fear will die a quick death, and you’ll be living a pretty ridiculously cool life as we do, all because you were bold.

    Thanks Annabel.

    Tweeting in a bit.


  2. Sandra Pawula August 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Yes, I sometimes worry about what other people think! I don’t think that’s so unusual at all. But, I don’t obsess about it and it’s far less of a consideration than ever.

    I can understand why this nun may have felt this way. When you’re dressed in an unusual garb people are more likely to have judgments about you.

    I’m glad she’s willing to be honest and face her fears. It’s the only way to go!

  3. KarolinaPatryk Travel blog August 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    I think everybody has this fear… But this shouldn’t stop us from fulfilling our dreams :)

  4. Seana August 21, 2014 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    I really, really, really try not to…. because it’s such a waste of time. What someone thinks says more about them than about the thinkee.

  5. Fran August 25, 2014 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    I find it is difficult not to be self conscious for social events. Even though I know that no one is probably watching me, making comments or care one bit about what I am doing they still create the feeling of fear for me. Gosh I might fall over drop my drink, say something silly, etc. For me it is not what they might be thinking or saying but an in build anxiety as to what I might do to look silly.

  6. Jenny August 29, 2014 at 1:10 am - Reply

    Honestly I don’t because I cannot please anyone on anything I do so I’ll just be myself.

  7. Adam August 31, 2014 at 8:46 am - Reply

    I do from time to time, but they don’t know the half of what my journey is about and few even have the foresight to really inquire about it. Long story short, they get dropped from my circle in favor of those that get me (the door is always open for them to get back in my life, but THEY have to make the effort to accept my different view on life)

  8. De'Jav September 1, 2014 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    This is something that most people fear because we don’t want to be perceived as being different or left out. For those that don’t are the ones who are about to do things outside the norm. Hopefully articles like this will encourage others not to worry.


  9. Lily Lau September 13, 2014 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Thanks for your advice, Annabel! In the past I used to be that kind of people more than I am now, but I needed to hear this :) Thanks for your nice post, and for sharing it with us!

  10. lynne September 25, 2014 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Hi, thanks for the good advice, sometimes people tend to be affected too much of what others think about them. Let us decide for ourselves, as to who we really are, what we want in life, just be yourself, be proud and let the whole world know it. Thanks for sharing. Great post.

  11. Patricia Anderson October 18, 2014 at 5:45 am - Reply

    Hi, thanks for sharing your experience from your retreat. It is really surprising that the woman in a robe has still fears about what people think. She must’ve handled her fears very well.

    When I feel conscious about what other people may think about me, I constantly remind myself of my past successes so that I will be encouraged to walk with confidence.

    Thanks for this great post!

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