12 weeks Of Creativity: How to Stop caring what other people think


Puppy does not care what you think, Puppy is happy being a puppy. Be like Puppy.

One of the hardest things to do, especially when pursuing a creative goal, is to try and not care what other people think. Creative work is especially prone to critique, opinions and ideas on what you should be doing instead of pursuing ___________ (insert goal here).

Life in general would be a lot easier if we actually stopped hinging our schedules, feelings, time and happiness barometer on what others think or feel. Very often, we find ourselves stuck doing things we don’t have the time for or would care less for because we don’t want to disappoint or upset the delicate social balance that goes into maintaining our friendships, relationships and professional lives.

Stop caring too much

One of my favourite Netflix shows is Incredible Kimmie Shmidt. The humour just works for me when I need to unwind and laugh raucously. In one particular scene, Jacqueline White (Jane Krakwoski), who has been trying to maintain appearances as an upper crust New York divorcee, gets taken down publicly by a social rival with ‘Stepford-perfect’ hair, you know how it goes. This time, instead of bursting into tears and fleeing the room as she was apt to do in the past, she looks around at the snooty crowd and comes to a startling realisation, one that she voices immediately: “ I don’t care!” and she keeps repeating it, because hey, it feels so freeing to not care what people think about her money, divorce, hair, clothes you name it. It was glorious.

In real life, the things we care about sometimes get relegated to last because of social pressure. The pressure to be a good friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, mother, in law and so on, will lead you so say yes to stuff you really do not want to do. The pressure to maintain a certain image for example or even reputation will have you stuffing your goals into the bottom rung so you can keep up the charade.

Decide based on priorities

I remember around this time last year, agreeing to go for a friends birthday party because I did not want to look like a party pooper. Looking at my slimmer wallet later that evening, I asked myself if it was really worth it. I could have bowed out of the plan and bought her a nice gift that was within my budget or better yet invited her over to share a home-cooked meal but you know…social pressure.

I stumbled upon this Ted Talk, “The Magic of Not Giving A F***” by Sarah Knight on a morning when I found myself mulling over caring a little too much about inconsequential things … you know like Whatsapp groups. Knight broke it down using priceless terms like “F*** budget” and “F***berg” and it’s just so perfect I watched it twice.

Enjoy and comment below.

*This is part of a weekly series on pursuing your goals as a creative African women. Sign up for more articles like this directly in your inbox *


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