Today I was wrapping some gifts. I have grandsons due in a few months, so it's baby shower season. As I'm wrapping this package I cut the paper and make it fit and all that good stuff. As I unroll the paper and get ready to make sure it fits around the box, I notice that it's double-sided. So one side was plain, which is the side I thought I bought. Just one color. The other side was that color plus some other color. So it was double sided. I could use either side. One gift I wrapped with one side out and another gift I wrapped with the other side out. I had two different looks for the packages. Now as I'm wrapping, taping, folding, trying to make all the creases just right, make all the paper lay really flat, and make it look really nice, I'm thinking, wow, this kind of reminds me of how we approach life, or maybe you don't, but how many of us approach life?
We have different wrapping paper for different occasions or different packages. For example, when I'm just hanging out at home, I don't really care what I look like. I don't put makeup on usually, I don't necessarily put on my best clothes. I might have my most raggedy sweatshirt on because it's comfy and because I'm home and I don't care. And then I have this other package that's wrapped for when I go to work and I'm standing in front of people. That package is a little different. That package includes undergarments to make sure everything is all sucked in, includes nice pants, a nice shirt, makeup, and my hair perfect. So when I'm standing in front of people, I look nice or I think I look nice. I don’t know what other people think because I don't really ask them.
Next we've got my outfit for when I do other things. For example, if I'm going to do some service work, I may put on makeup and jeans and things, but I might not be quite as worried about the package, the outfit, the wrapping paper, as I normally would. And I was wondering why I wear different wrapping paper. Why do we change how we decide what to wear? And I think for most of us, we decide by what we think other people are going to say. If I'm getting dressed for a consulting job or coaching one on one job, I will dress professionally. Now, what does that have to do with these packages that I was wrapping? I did that for the packages. I brought the paper because of what I thought the people unwrapping the package might think. I wrapped the present ensuring all my corners were good, it was taped down well, and there were no gaps.
It looked fabulous because I didn't want to be judged. Oh, there's the word. I didn't want to be judged for my gift wrapping abilities. Now, granted, I am a pretty good gift wrapper. In high school, I had a job where every Christmas we wrapped zillions of presents in the store I worked in. So I'm a pretty good gift wrapper. But I still worry about how others will look at my gift wrapping. Same as when I get dressed. Same as when I'm going somewhere. I worry about how others will judge my appearance. Even though I know most other people are not thinking about my appearance, they're thinking about their own appearance. Get it. If I'm thinking about my appearance, I don't have time to think about your appearance. If someone else is thinking about their appearance, they really don't have time to think about my appearance.
So what is the moral of this story? For me, I worry a lot about what other people think of me or how other people will judge me even though I know they aren't probably thinking about me. And in the grand scheme of things, I'm not that important. Yes, I'm important. I'm important to a lot of people. But in the big scheme of things, I'm just one cog in the system. That's it.
Why do I worry so much about what other people are thinking when I know in my head they're thinking about themselves, they aren't thinking about me? Well, it comes from the programs we had growing up. Somewhere along the line, growing up, we developed a program around how we look. I call it a looking good program.
We developed this program usually between, oh golly, six and twelve years old. So if you think back to those years in your lifetime, by twelve years old, you are in middle school. Do middle schoolers think about what other people think? Absolutely. Does that happen earlier? I think, yes. I think these days it does. Does it happen when we are little toddlers? No, not so much. A toddler doesn't care. Think about it. A toddler or a three or four year old, they'll pick their nose in public. They don't care. They don't care what you're going to think about them.
So we've developed this program and we've held onto it for years and years and years. In my case, probably fifty-seven, fifty-eight years. And until we notice that we've got this program and until we're ready to work on this program, we won't be able to let it go.
It just doesn't go away. It's something that we get to work on. It's part of healing, it's part of growing, it's part of becoming the best person you can be. I work with lots of people who worry about what other people are going to think and what other people are going to say. So that's one of the programs we work on. I would encourage you, if you're at all interested in growing, healing, becoming the best you can be, to check out what I do, let's schedule just an hour session on me, it won't cost anything, just to see how it feels, see if it's a fit, if it's something you'd like to do.
If you text “coaching” to the 206-309-6580, then we'll get you all set up.It's a text message to me. It goes to nobody else. You'll get a reply back from me, not a robot or anything like that. Then we'll get together and we'll talk. That's it for today. So as you go along this week, notice when you are more worried about what somebody else is thinking than what you are thinking. Just notice, I'm curious, and then send me a little note. I'd love to hear. Have a great week.