But What If They Think I’m Stupid!

A common concern I hear in my office is the fear of what others think.  It comes out in many ways.  Children who come in and report wanting to be liked by friends or wanting to get good grades so that others will think they are smart.  Adults also come in reporting fears of not being liked by coworkers, friends or neighbors or feeling like they will look stupid because of something they said.  While shame plays a big role in that, I’m placing shame on the back burner.  Instead, I want to talk to you about your Board of Directors. 

One of my graduate school professors taught us this really cool way of keeping this in perspective.  When we start to worry about what people think about us, ask “should this person be on my Board of Directors?”  Here’s what I mean: if you were a company, who gets say in your vision or business decisions.  Stockholders?  Hmm, well maybe small decisions.  But who gets to make big decisions?  That’s right!  The Board of Directors.  Get it?

So who should be on your Board of Directors?  Let’s see…parents, siblings maybe or how about close friends.  Only the people who are most near and dear to you.  Here’s a good rule of thumb: someone you would trust with a secret.  Who should not be on your Board of Directors?  Let see…neighbors, co workers, siblings maybe (think about it), the lady in line behind you at the grocery store, the guy tailgating you on the highway, your boss at work, I could go on and on. 

So next time you are worried about what someone is thinking about you, ask yourself “should this person be on my Board of Directors?”  If not, KICK THEM OFF!  You can do it!