Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

Who cares?

Well maybe they do, but if you care too much what other people think of you, it's time to consider a new focus.

Why? Think of the price you are paying as you try to earn their praise and avoid their criticism.

Maybe you adopt their voice - mimicking what you imagine will be their disapproval. You'll be judging yourself harshly. You'll probably be more stressed than you need to be. You'll choose compliance over independence and safety over new thinking.

There's a better way.

Be clear in your own mind what your values are and live according to them.

That seems easy enough, but you will need to stay focused to make it work. Here are some ideas that should help.

  1. Decide that what other people think of you is irrelevant.
  2. Decide that some people will criticise you, disagree with you and misunderstand you no matter what you say or do. 
  3. Remind yourself that people have their own perspectives and agendas and some will oppose you to promote their view of the world.
  4. Adopt the six-month rule, 'Will anyone remember or care what I said or did in six months?' (Six months is the timeframe I use but just plucked from the air. Choose a time that seems right for you.)
  5. Decide that everyone makes mistakes so you are okay with saying and doing the wrong thing sometimes.
  6. Learn from your mistakes.
  7. Strive to do your best. (Not what you imagine is other peoples' idea of perfection)
  8. Forgive yourself. The researchers tell us that people with self-compassion are more resilient. They're healthier too.
  9. Accept that changing the habits of a lifetime takes time and setbacks are inevitable.  
  10. Practise 'Íf, then'. (If people do criticise me, then I will....')
'Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.' - Lao Tzu

(Apparently it's a fake quote, but if anyone complains then I will remind myself that it supports my theme, I've acknowledged that it's fake
- and Lao Tzu would probably have agreed with it anyway.)


This one is for anyone who is worried by the pandemic - or anything else.

We should be wary of anyone who says, 'All you have to do is....' Even so, researchers who've spent many years observing people who handle crises well have some ideas you might find useful.

One research team has developed a three-point strategy for developing resilience and their ' 3Cs of Hardiness' have been well tested.

Control - Making a plan

Commitment (in two parts)

  • Staying committed to the plan (even if we have to modify the plan as we go along)
  • Staying committed to our relationships with the people who support us 

Challenge - Seeing worries and adversity as an opportunity to develop our resilience

You might be thinking, 'I do that already!' 

Great, but could you make more of each of those ideas?  Making the strategy work through setbacks and recurring bouts of worry takes determination and courage.

Other researchers have come up with other useful observations we should add to the mix.

  • Coping well with a medium level of stress builds our resilience for the next time we need it.
  • Helping others makes us happier.
  • Optimism and gratitude are contagious.
  • Dreaming big can be good, but planning what we will do turns a fantasy into a goal.
  • People who plan what they will do when they encounter setbacks to their goals are more resilient.
  • Forgiving ourselves when we lapse from our strategies gets us back on track faster.