Once upon a time, I was in high school striving to perfect the *perfect* shot for the good olde Instagram. All I cared about at the time in my life was whether or not others would like my photo and sometimes even who would. I wanted others to like my photos and cared wayyyy too much about what others thought of me. Perhaps, it even consumed my life and EVEN into part of my time at college. At some point in our lives, all of us have cared about how we were perceived by others and probably do from time to time. I get it as it IS human nature. However, when caring about what others think of us gets to be too much, it can REALLY hurt us in the long run.

Before getting into the bulk of this blog post, I want to mention that it is important in certain ways to care about how you’re perceived, such as in the professional world, dressing according to dresscode for an occasion (even if it means going into the office), being a kind person, and having a strong work ethic as a student. Those are all VERY important and valid things to be sure you care about succeeding the part for, as you SHOULD! I do, too.

When I was in high school, my Mom asked me “why do you care [about what others think of you] so much?” Mom was indeed right, just why should we care? We shouldn’t. BUT, it is easier said than done. TRUST ME!

In high school, I was *super* self-conscious, which may come as a surprise to some of the folks that knew me in high school. Although I did put myself out there A TON via dressing in my own Katie fashion style as I do today and simply being kind to others no matter who they were, I was also bullied quite a bit for it. The bullying started in middle school where it got really bad and continued into high school but not as much. People are mean and their actions that were hurtful towards me left a sore taste in my mouth and, thus, paved the way for me to be super insecure about how others perceived me. There were even times that I did things just to make sure that I felt affirmed by my friends at the time. Little by little, I was hurting only myself by simply giving even a little attention to what others perceived of me at any given moment.

In college especially during the pre-COVID years, I was beginning to really feel the pressure to be liked by everybody. Meredith College is such a great college and I am so blessed for my experience there. BUT, Meredith College is an historically all-women’s institution, so there is a lot of drama there, too. News flash: girls get catty and Meredith College women are NO exception. There were several moments that were trying at times, many of which only hurt me in the long run. It wasn’t until I started my platform here at The Pink Chickadee that my care for what others thought of me went away. At first, it was there and trust me, 2020 Katie was SOOO self-conscious. However, her confidence grew over time and her care for what others thought of her simply dimmed away.

At the end of the day, caring about what others think of you is a waste of time. Take it from me: a young woman who spent WAYYYY too much of her time – wasted time – thinking about others’ thoughts of me which I CANNOT even control. Instead, foster that time into your passions, walking or petting your pet(s), cooking, or perhaps even a nap. Whatever it may be, you have so much more better things to do with your time. It’s easier said than done – definitely know this from experience. But, caring less about what others think of you will make you stronger in the long run, like it did for me. You GOT this <3

XOXO – Katie <3

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