What other people think

What will people think?

  • What will people think if I go talk to that guy who’s not part of our club?
  • What will people think if I am honest about how I feel, what I think, who I am?
  • What will people think if I go to circus school and not law school?
  • What will people think if I only have 1 child or if I have 8 children?
  • What will people think if I move to Hawaii and sit on the beach all day?

What will people think…

Other people’s opinions (real or imagined) impact many of the BIG decisions we make in our lives.  From the people we hang out with to the careers we choose, we let other people’s “good opinions” matter more than our own.

I’m certainly guilty of it.

For years now, I chose to play small.  Why?  If I do THAT, what will other people say?

I actually thought about starting the Stay@Home Attorney community in 2009 when I was launching my solo practice.

So why didn’t I?  What would people say if I told them I worked from home?  Would they take me seriously?  Would clients want to hire me?

It wasn’t about what I thought was good for me.  I was afraid about what other people would think of me.

Who was I afraid of exactly?

Friends
Family
Mostly former work colleagues and other lawyers

I was so concerned that other people would judge me for my choices.

Look at the LOSER who gave up a great in-house career to work at home.  She can’t even get a real job.  She must not be a good attorney.

Some former colleagues of mine went on to do some pretty big things. In my mind, they must be looking at me thinking, what’s wrong with her?

Honestly, I had no idea what people were actually thinking about my life or if they were thinking about it all, but in my mind, they were and they were judging me.  I now know that my thoughts were born of my own feelings of inferiority and doubt after taking 2 years off to be a mom.  But at the time…

So, with nothing more than my own assumptions, I let those thoughts influence my work, and stall my career path.

It took a while to give up the ghost of yesterday and fully embrace the real me of today.

Eventually, I stopped thinking about the opinions of others.  The people who matter most to me support me unconditionally, and like Dr. Seuss says “Those that matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter.”

But the real truth comes in knowing that people really aren’t thinking about me and you and our choices at all.  People are so wrapped up in their own world that they don’t have time to think about us, at least not for very long.

And I they choose to give your life more than 2 minutes of their precious time, who cares! They’re not in your shoes living your life.

What I’ve discovered on this path is that most people are actually happy for you. Most people only want what’s best for you.  And even if they may question your choices, if you let them in on what you’re doing, they often surprise you with their love and support.

Follow your path. Only you know what’s right for you.