Allodoxaphobia is the fear of hearing other’s opinions about you. If you experience this from time to time, you likely realize that your fear is unfounded and irrational. Yet you place restrictions on yourself, hoping to garner or maintain the approval of others, or at least not appear foolish.
Fears make us self-conscious: How am I doing?, What will they think?, What if they see me as incompetent, uninformed, etc.? You begin to hold back, shy away from speaking up, stay clear of taking risks and pass on sharing your ideas. You think next time you will be bolder, but you fall back into fear.
It’s our nature to want to be accepted and valued, however, trying to shape your behaviour according to what you think others expect and want from you, keeps you from being your natural, authentic and uniquely creative self.
There is little value in trying to understand where your fear originated. As children, we are often looking to maintain our ‘approval rating’ from parents and teachers. However, as we mature, we begin to see that others may want us to show up a certain way as a convenience to them or have them ‘look good’.
Fears cannot be overcome by the intellect or rational processes, because they are not logical. You can’t talk yourself out of fear because it feels tangible to you. You can sense it in every cell of your body. When you understand that you can have insecure and fearful thoughts that feel real, but aren’t real, you are on your way to seeing through your fears.
We all live in a personal thought-created reality. Thoughts can become ‘sticky’ meaning they come around more than once. Repetitive thought can assume more substance and credibility and start to seem relevant and ‘something to pay attention to’. However, thoughts are forms of energy that we can feel in our bodies. They are like clouds passing through the sky. When you don’t give them much attention, they dissipate or move on leaving you with clarity and natural confidence.
I love what Byron Katie wrote: “What others think of you is none of your business“.