Why is it we spend so much of our life worrying about what others thinks of us? Why do we care whether others approve of us, think what we are doing is a good idea or not, or agree with our opinions? I ask myself that question on a daily basis. Why do I care so much? I mean, people only look from their perspective. They don’t know what’s inside of me and driving me to do the things I do. I know why I am doing them and that’s all that counts. I have realised that it doesn’t matter how it looks to anyone else, it only matters how it looks to me.
If you are a Rocky fan and have watched all of the movies, you will have watched the sixth movie, Rocky Balboa. In this movie, Rocky is well past his prime, has retired, owns a restaurant and has an adult son. He still, however, feels like he has some unfinished business as a boxer and, when an opportunity to fight in an exhibition bout with the World Heavy Weight champion comes up, he accepts it. Most of the world thinks he is crazy, the media have a field day, his son thinks he is crazy, and he starts to doubt whether it’s a good idea or not.
In a conversation with his friend Marie, he shares his concerns and fears of what others will think if he decides to go ahead with the fight. Marie listens intently, and after a short pause and a little preamble said; “You’ve got this opportunity, so do it! Why not? I mean, this is who you are, and this is who you’ll always be, and you don’t move aside for nobody until you’re ready to move. It doesn’t matter how this looks to other people, all that matters is how it looks to you. (Long pause) Rocky… Rocky… look at me (Rocky looks up at her). How it looks to you! And, if this is something that you wanna do, and if this is something you gotta do, then you do it. Fighter’s fight!”
I get chills up and down my spine watching this part of the movie, and even just thinking about that statement; all that matters is how it looks to you! I am definitely no Rocky, that’s for sure, but the other morning, I was taking Joia for her early morning walk. My morning routine is a little weird. When I get back from my training, I plug in my earphones and listen to worship music as I jog around the block with Joia. Now that may not sound weird to you, but I am jogging on the spot while she is pooping, peeing and sniffing, in an attempt to add to my step count for the day. In addition to that, I sing with the worship songs, out aloud, often with my arms raised to the sky. Yep, that’s weird.
The other morning, I was out doing my thing, when I saw a man, who I have seen before, doing his thing, and something seemingly just as weird. He was walking up the hill, in the middle of the road, and he was walking backwards. So, just as I turned the corner jogging on the spot and singing worship songs out aloud, he was walking backwards up the hill in the middle of the road. I had to smile. I mean, I could just imagine how it must look to other people. What would people think of us? I even thought what he was doing was weird, and I’m sure he thought the same about me. However, do you know what? It doesn’t matter how it looks to others, it only matters and how it looks to me, and how what he was doing looked to him. We both knew why we were doing what we were doing, so nothing or no-one else mattered.
This is powerful! I know that because it is an affliction we humans have, all of us. Can I please share two things? One, people are not thinking about you, or me, they are thinking about only one person… themselves! Two, what they think about you is none of your business! The only thing that matters now and the only thing that ever matters is what you think about yourself. It’s totally irrelevant how things look to other people, it only matters how it looks to you!
I did worry about how it would look to others when I was a skinny, talent-deficient teenager trying to make it at the top level of Australian football. Just not enough for it to stop me, because how it looked to me was more important. I was concerned about what people would think about my writing and my ideas when I decided to write my first book. Thankfully, what I thought about becoming an author was more important, so I did it. Are you worried about how you look to others in your aspiration to; achieve better wellbeing, find a new relationship, restore a broken one, build a business, write a book, change career or any other area of your life? If so, why? Why isn’t what is important to you enough? It should be. Why don’t you trust yourself? You can. Why don’t you naively believe that you are good enough? Because, you are.
In my podcast called, ‘Give naivety a try,’ with Pietro Girgenti, ex-lawyer now founder of the fitness app Fitii, we talk about the amazing strength that lies in just naively believing that you are good enough. As you move forward, hopefully inspired, after reading this blog, please take the wise advice of Rocky’s friend Marie, who said; ‘It doesn’t matter how it looks to other people, all that matters is how it looks to you.’