How to Overcome the Fear of Not Being Liked

I’ve spoken to a few audiences in my lifetime, and I’ve experienced that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach as I’d anticipate standing in front of a room full of strangers, worrying about what they’d think of me and what I had to say. Sometimes I would feel the anxiety for days (or even weeks) before an event.

Thank heavens I hardly ever feel that way anymore. Nobody likes to feel anxious or worried about being around people or giving presentations. It’s not a fun feeling! It can be paralyzing, in fact. But at least in my case, I’ve identified a couple reasons why things got easier:

First of all, there is that “getting used to it” thing. Do something often enough, and the anxiety goes away, eventually. Even the most embarrassing moments can pale over time. (Like the moment when I spontaneously demonstrated my sweet Tari Piring skills at a convention where I spoke with 500 guests. You’re not supposed to do that arm thing with food on the plate, but I was trying to be clever. Naturally my pie flew off the plate in front of the directors’ table, aaaaand that’s all I’m going to say about that. One thing I can say is that the feeling of horror has indeed paled.)

Second of all, aside from practice and time passing, there is something else that can be done to immediately get past that self-conscious oh-my-heck-what-are-people-thinking-about-me-right-now feeling, and it has to do with the way YOU think. It’s a pretty cool trick for feeling more comfortable in social settings, and here’s how it works:

As you probably know, the thoughts and feelings you bring to a social gathering emit a kind of a “vibration” that people pick up on. If you’re cheerful, people like that. They enjoy being with other people that make them feel good. If you feel comfortable, people feel comfortable around you.

But what if you don’t know how to feel comfortable?

When you feel nervous around other people (whether it’s an individual or an audience), DON’T WORRY about whether or not they like you, because if you do, you can unconsciously cause the very thing you want to avoid. To entertain worry puts you into an awkward “negative vibration”, which can be a turnoff to those around you.

Instead, all you have to do is LIKE THEM first.

You can choose to like people—just find something to like about them—and by liking them, you emit a positive vibration that more naturally causes them to mirror the feeling back.

A magnetic personality is not achieved by being super cool, amazingly talented, or having sweet Tari Piring skills. It’s achieved by finding and showing appreciation for the qualities, strengths, and talents in those around you.

Keep this principle alive in your life and you will always have an abundance of friends. Besides, as you’ve probably heard before, what people think about you is really none of your business, and most people are too busy worrying about what other people think of them to be thinking about you, anyway

All of these concerns melt away when you’re focused on building up the people around you, and finding their admirable qualities.

Remember this key idea and you can be confident in a room full of strangers. I’ve been told that you should fuss about the way you look only while you’re preparing to be with people, but the minute you walk out the door, it’s no longer about you. Focus on the people around you and forget about yourself.

“Love your neighbor” (Matthew 22:37-39) is a timeless principle here well applied. Plant good seeds by following this advice, and you’ll more easily reap a harvest of good company (Gal 6:7-8).

Learn more about what your thoughts can do with MINDSET FUNDAMENTALS™ Originally published June 28, 2015

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What if My Spouse Doesn’t Think Positive?

GRUMPY SPOUSE? NO WORRIES.

I’ve had this question come in time and again about how much our thoughts can influence a situation if our spouse’s thoughts do not support our own. If we shouldn’t manipulate another person’s freedom to choose, how does this all work in a marriage if both parties are not on the same page?

Some people have a gift of strong faith, and others struggle more to develop it. If you have an easier time with faith than your spouse, it may be your role to encourage, inspire, and exercise patience.

Your challenge will be to demonstrate faith in SPITE of your spouse’s doubt. See how we all grow? Even those who have a natural tendency for faith will be tested, just in a different way.

Positive, faithful thoughts are many times more powerful than negative ones.

Your spouse’s negative thoughts will not sabotage yours, unless you worry that they will. So choose to believe. As long as YOU maintain a peaceful expectancy for that which you seek, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

Just remember though, in your marriage, keep PEACEFUL expectancy for success… don’t be manipulative!!!

In other words, if you keep expecting your spouse to change, stop it.

“People don’t resist change; they resist BEING changed.” Bob Proctor

Imagine your relationship happy. Feel the relief and gratitude you expect to feel when things are better. Imagine the prosperity. As the nature of your thoughts improve from critical and impatient to cheerful and at-peacefulness, the general feeling in the home will improve… and you’ll find that the rising tide lifts ALL ships.

As you imagine feeling the feeling you want to achieve in your home, you’ll be inspired as to what YOU can do to help it evolve in that direction. Don’t be surprised if you feel inspired to relax a little, and stop trying so hard to change everything. Ironically, this is often the first step to realizing true change, and often the hardest step for a real goal-achiever/go-getter to take.

Related: The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Tried to Write

Your vision and thoughts won’t force your spouse to change, nor should you expect them to. But they can certainly create an energy in the home that can help inspire it to happen in a very natural, gradual way.

Choosing faithful thoughts can help your spouse feel more hopeful. Once your spouse feels a little better, and begins to imagine the possibilities, opportunities will naturally follow, by the law of perpetual transmutation.

If your concerned that your spouse doesn’t have a better job, figure out “why” it needs to be better. Because, if the “why” is what you’re really after, the “how” may be something you never thought of. It could happen without a different job. The job itself could morph, or some other opportunity may come along, or you may find a way to accomplish the same ideal without a change in income.

Your thoughts do have power to bring opportunities… but your spouse must choose for him or herself whether or not to take them. So, bottom line, focus on the picture of your life the way you want it, and at the same time, release your expectations on your spouse.

Oh, the mental gymnastics!!!

Consider asking whether or not your spouse minds if you try to picture a better opportunity on his or her behalf. Your spouse may be more supportive than you think, and may end up testing the principles for him or herself as s/he sees things work for you. Best of all, you’ll begin to work together as one to achieve common goals. There is little else more powerful than that.

And don’t forget: it’s possible to get what you need without a change in income. Trades, gifts, odd windfalls… keep an open mind. As Wattles puts it, you “image” the thing, and the Universe will find the most efficient way of bringing it to you. Don’t pinch off the possibilities by deciding how it has to happen. Have fun daydreaming AND at the same time, relax about the “how”.

Above all, be grateful for however things line up. By choosing gratitude no matter what, you qualify yourself for the best possible outcome.

So if your spouse doesn’t respond the way you hope, be grateful anyway, trusting that God is leading the both of you along to learn the lessons he has in mind for you, all at the right time. Count it all a blessing.

In summary…

How to blow it: picture what you want, and wait for your spouse to make it happen. (You’ll end up in a negative “vibration” that will repel the things you want.) You’ll drive BOTH of you crazy if you’re always measuring your spouse’s behavior against your goals. Don’t base YOUR belief on anyone else’s actions. Your belief alone can be enough to initiate a significant shift.

How to succeed: picture what you want, see the prosperity in your mind, and enjoy the daydream, and then take the actions that come to YOUR mind. Trust God to inspire you to know exactly what YOU should do next. You can be shown a way to meet your obligations and thrive, all the while maintaining the values that are most important to you. He will help you get the timing right, too. You may even feel instinctively inclined to wait a little while before hitting it hard. Trust the peaceful impressions you feel, even if they seem illogical.

Knowledge eradicates fear and doubt. The more you understand, the more effective you become at applying the principles with success.

Lastly, read Portal to Genius – because the marriage described in that really FUN book illustrates exactly how all of these ideas really play out.
Originally published February 5, 2007

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