How To Stop Caring What Other People Think Of You At Work ✓

This week’s video is on the soft skills side. Starting from next week, we’ll talk about more hard skills, like; Project management, risk management, strategy development. But this week, I will have to shed some light on a problem that most of you suffer from.
And that is the fact that; at work; you care too much of what other people think of you. This phenomenon sometimes results in you losing your happiness, you losing your “will” your fighting power to do your best, or sometimes it makes you lose your job.

Enjoy the video;




Your human pleasing tendencies got to a stage that dictates your psychology and your performance at work.

If somebody praises you, you feel great. And if they god forbid they criticize you, then you feel horrible. Your day is ruined.

If that is you, then stick around a bit more; because in this video, we are gonna cure you of your human pleasing tendencies and make you immune to a criticism at work.

Let’s first talk about why this is happening. Why you are obsessed with people pleasing and why it wrecks your life when somebody doesn’t like you or what you do.

Why you are happy when you get praises and discouraged when you get criticism at work.

In your mind, you have created this mental image of how you perceive yourself, of who you are, what you are capable of, what you can achieve.

This is not a problem. We all construct that image of who we are.

But, the problem is; you are constantly looking for validation of that image.

You want proof that your image is accurate. You want this proof to come from your team members, your managers, from your subordinates.

You are dependent on the opinion of others.

And that’s where you make the mistake.

Your perception of yourself is independent of how they perceive you are. I’ll explain this a bit more.

There isn’t a single perception of a person that unites all the viewpoints. And that’s what you need to accept if you want to lead a happier career.

I can go out on the street right now and ask 10 different people of what they think of one of the greatest leaders in our time Barack Obama. I am confident I’ll receive 10 different perceptions of himself. Some will think he was a great leader, fought for the good of humanity, equal rights, and some will think he was a weak leader who sold the country to banksters.


So, what is the key takeaway?
The key takeaway is that the moment you realize that your perception of yourself is independent of what people think of you,

then you will realize that there is simply no reason to look for validation of that perception from those around you.

Hmm.. Did you get this?

I’ll repeat;

Once you realize that your perception of yourself, your mental image is independent

from what people think of you, then you will realize

it is silly to look for a validation of that perception.

So, what’s the solution;

The solution isn’t very simple. And it’ll take me about 5 minutes to explain it. So, please be patient.

You need to start feeling confident of who you are and who you can be at work.

You are like a river. With praises and criticism, you go a little west a little east, but you still go towards the ocean. A river doesn’t stop because it encountered a mountain. It goes around it.

A person who is truly grounded with himself or herself doesn’t really need feedback.

positive or negative.

Because you should already know your weaknesses and strengths. You already know your capabilities and your potential.

Once you reach that level of self-realization at work, you will quickly find that the feedback you receive from your managers and subordinates are pretty much useless or redundant because you should already know them in advance.

That’s how you create a powerful life.

You have to become your biggest support but also your biggest critique.

I’ll quote Richard Feynman here;

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool”.


You’ll understand me a lot better once you start reaching your self-realization. Hopefully soon.

Once you are there, you’ll realize for yourself that 9 out 10 feedback you receive are completely useless or redundant.  With this approach, maybe you will potentially miss out on that 1 valuable feedback that you weren’t aware of. But, at least, you are saving yourself the distraction that comes from 9 useless ones.

It’s a trade-off.

It’s a decision you need to make.

Praise and criticism are both problems for you.

Look there are 2 routes you can take,

Route A is my way. Be grounded enough so you are not affected by either the critics or the praises. You are grounded. You truly know who you are. And you try to do better every time.

Route B is, live your life affected by the praises and criticism.

And I know receiving a praise feels awesome. Even if it’s temporary, it feels great. Your brain releases Dopamine. You feel happy. But at the same time, be prepared to receive a stress hormone; cortisol when somebody criticizes you. You can’t pick and choose which hormones you want. Once you open that door, it’s a very distracting game.

You either completely ignore them both. Or you be prepared to get distracted and sometimes emotionally wrecked by critiques.

I choose Route A. I choose independence. No one around me at work can have such a power over me.

Now, the counter argument you can present to my stand is that hey I love my life.

I get a lot of praises every day at work. I am awesome. I have a brilliant career.

Then, I would say, it’s probably time for you to step up then.

It means you have outgrown your role or even your employer. If all the feedback you get is positive ones, the praises, then you are a league below where you should be. You put AC Milan or FC Barcelona in an amateur’s league all they’ll receive is praises. They’ll win the championship without a single loss.

So, if that’s you, I guarantee you that it’s not sustainable. There’ll come a time in your career when you are challenged to your bits and you’ll receive more criticism than praises.

Maybe you’ll have to change your employer; a new manager will come… Who knows…

or another possibility is that…

you will lose your skills.

You know there is a saying “Who you spend time with is who you become”.

One way or another it’s not sustainable.

And when that happens, it will destroy your psychology. Because all those years, you have conditioned yourself to get your energy and motivation from positive feedback.

You have conditioned your subconscious mind to value feedback. Of course, you would, it’s all positive. Why wouldn’t you? So, it must be true.

And that’s exactly why you’ll be a total mess when the tide turns.

I see this a lot. Whenever we get a new member to our team at PwC Consulting, if that person is joining from a non-management consulting background. He is wrecked. The level of intensity we play is not comparable to anything out there.

So, in all their lives, they achieved amazing things with their former employers, be it P&G, Unilever, Goldman Sachs, Google. They achieved a lot and they received nothing but praises. So, they got used to it. They join a consulting firm, and their life turns upside down. Most of them don’t even survive the first year. I’ve seen men in their 50s crying out loud, in the middle of our office. The guy was a former VP in Google.

So, what’s the solution to this? How do I solve this problem?

You need to come to a self-realization right now.

You need to acknowledge that the current strategy you are using, the strategy of seeking validation of your self-image is a crappy strategy. And it’s time to get rid of it.

You need to acknowledge that the happiness that comes from receiving praises,  is also the very reason why you feel sad when you receive criticism.

If you train yourself not to be happy with the unwanted praises, then only will you be able to become immune to the emotional wreck that comes with criticism?

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t just be happy with praises and not be sad with criticism.

You don’t need praise to keep on going and excelling in your life. If I needed praise, I would have never developed LIG, the most powerful career transformation program in the world.

if I needed praise or if I paid attention to all the critiques, LIG would never exist and would never have transformed over 1,000 careers, and lives. And now looking back, I consider that the biggest achievement of my life- not being a manager with PwC, a decade of management consulting experience, or my fancy MBA degree. No.

This video is getting really long. But if you have time, I want to talk about one final topic. The remaining of the video will be of extra interest to those of you who are more analytical than intuitive.

The worst kind of feedback that I reject at all costs is the ones that I receive after every single client presentation.

In your case, it may be a sales pitch if you are in sales, or developing reports, handling meetings, something that you do very often.

So, the reason for that has to do with a concept called Regression to the Mean.

What it is is that a phenomenon that if a variable is extreme on its first measurement, it will tend to be closer to the average on its second measurement.

Or in more simple terms, it is a technical way of saying that things tend to even out over time.

For example, you deliver a great presentation today. That means you probably won’t be able to repeat it again tomorrow.

It doesn’t mean all of a sudden you forgot how to deliver presentations. It’s just the natural progression of how things work. Things always work in volatility.

Random chance plays a huge role in everything we do. You always fall back towards your mean average. if you do horrible today, then you’ll likely do a lot better tomorrow.

So, receiving a praise or criticism for every single one of your presentations is ineffective at best or detrimental at worst.

Knowing what to do or what not to do is very different than being able to do it at such high quality, all the time.

I see this all the time. The majority of employees in today’s corporates are Agreeable-Givers. What does this even mean?

Giving and taking is the back of our motives, right?  What are your intentions toward other people? Do you want them to succeed or do you want to them to fail?

And being agreeable is also great. It’s just about pleasing other people. Being in harmony and getting along all the time without confrontations.

But being highly agreeable as a giver is a curse. Because you end up becoming a push over. Everyone expects you to not just listen to them but implement all their suggestions and feedback. And that my friends are the easiest way you can screw up a career.

This is especially horrible if you are in managerial positions.

My advice to you is to become more of a disagreeable giver. Meaning, you still hold the best intentions for other people around you, be it your boss or your subordinates, and thrive to make them successful but at the same time be disagreeable.

Somebody comes up to you with feedback or suggestions. Be prepared to reject that suggestion.

So, final thoughts;

a person who is truly grounded is the biggest praiser and the biggest critique of himself

If you can achieve this, then everyone else at work becomes “just another ordinary human being. And that’s when you start becoming an extraordinary human being”…

And you start leading a lot happier life as you’ll be a lot happier at work.

This video is done. Thanks for watching.

And if you benefited from this video, please remember to share. Sharing is caring. And if you share in LinkedIn, please feel free to add me to your connections. And any questions please put them in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

See you next week!