THE BLOG
10/30/2013 11:55 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

FOWOT! Can You Guess What It Means?

Fear of What Others Think!

It is something that rules many people's lives -- not yours of course -- but I bet you know someone whose life is controlled by what others think of them or what they are doing!

FOWOT stops us being our true selves; it closes down our hearts; it kills spontaneity and creativity -- and it's a waste of time! The truth is that almost no one is thinking about you -- ever! Most people are so obsessed with what YOU are thinking about THEM they don't have time to think about you!

A leader's mood has a very significant effect on the culture of an organization -- just a parent or partner's mood is significant in a relationship. BUT... not for the reasons you think! It's not as if people at work see their boss in a bad mood and think, "Poor boss -- hope she/he is OK. Hope everything is good at home. Let's all put our heads down and work hard to help the boss feel better!"

I don't think so! When they see the boss in a "bad mood," their innate fear reaction kicks in; they immediately think, "OH NO, something's wrong! Do you think the boss found out what we did last week? Is the company in trouble -- is it going to affect our jobs?" For the next hour people are distracted, not working and gossiping wondering what is going on.

The truth might have been that the boss merely had gas and showed it on their face! Often that facial expression has nothing to do with anyone else but it's human nature to unconsciously assume it's all about us!

Imagine how wonderful it would be if we could ingrain this belief into our children -- or at least our teenagers! That FOWOT is generally a waste of time!

Of course, there are certain morals and values that help people do the right thing -- and FOWOT has a part to play in that, but a better motivation is to do the right thing just because it is the right thing -- rather than fearing what others will think about you! And there are times when people are thinking or talking about you -- but more often in relation to how you affect them rather than to enhance your life or just to fill in conversation!

BUT this is not the same as you limiting your behaviors or ability to be joyful or striving to be your best or trying something new or making a suggestion because of FOWOT!

If we have a strong habit of judging others, I suspect we are more likely to have a bad attack of the FOWOTS! When we judge others a lot, we assume they are doing the same which may not always be the case.

I know one of the greatest gifts my mother gave us as children was to not concern ourselves with what others thought of us! In fact, my whole family was considered "eccentric," but we thought it was normal! What a blessing!

What are you teaching your children or modelling for your colleagues or staff? Do you accept others for who they are -- unusual, interesting or different as they might be?

More importantly, do you accept yourself? When you can accept yourself and not judge yourself so harshly, you may find that FOWOT leaves your life and your confidence grows -- as does your circle of friends and popularity!

Your task for the next 66 days (as that is how long it takes to create a new habit) is to be conscious of FOWOT in your life and every time you catch yourself doing something with that fear as a motivation -- stop! Examine where that fear comes from -- and challenge it. Fears destroy our joy and are most of the time inappropriate or unnecessary.

Notice how often, FOWOT attacks when you are not accepting yourself for who you are -- perfect at this very minute -- with all your warts and flaws and faults. We are all works in progress and part of the beauty is that these blogs help you to do the right work so you grow and develop into your full potential.

Too often we are living lives of habits and patterns ruled unconsciously by fear -- WAKE UP to those unconscious drivers. It's the secret to changing your life and creating the life that you really want.

Zooties,
Amanda Gore

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