I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK
Todd Dewett | September 7, 2021
I don’t care what people think about me. I stopped caring many years ago. It’s beautifully liberating when you achieve this feat.
Okay, if I’m being honest, it’s a long journey – and the goal isn’t to stop caring completely. Of course not. The goal is to meaningfully reduce how much you care so that you are not overinvesting in others’ judgments and underinvesting in productively moving forward.
Above a certain threshold of caring, you’ve depleted your energy for the day – energy that could have been used more effectively. Below that threshold, you sample the feedback you receive, consider it briefly, and then use the best parts of it to help you make progress.
There are a million ways people are judging you, giving you feedback, or otherwise saying something about you. They give you looks, they judge you in their thoughts, they make comments directly to you, they formally evaluate you, they comment on social media, they talk about you to others, and so on.
Stay below the threshold! As a rule of thumb, you know you’re above the threshold and wasting your time when you are spending more than five percent of your time dwelling on what you believe others are thinking. In an eight-hour day, depending on breaks, that still gives you about twenty minutes to churn through those thoughts!
Let’s get practical about how you can make this happen.
Choose a useful focus. If you catch yourself caring too much, choose to switch to more productive thoughts. For example – about your recent performance, the impact of your work, or maybe the keys to your success. Or just choose to get back to work!
Stop overvaluing others. Everyone judging you is imperfect, just like you. Sometimes they are informed and justified in how they look at you, oftentimes they are not. Further, not all of them matter. Only a slice of them has a real impact on your progress.
Put feedback in perspective. Some feedback is worthless, some are partially useful, and some are really important. But none of it defines you! Use what you feel is useful, let go of the rest, and realize you are way bigger than any one piece of feedback.
Again, this isn’t about not caring what others think. It’s about caring less so that you can think more about moving forward. Don’t overthink the judgments hurled your way. It will kill your energy and productivity. Be on the lookout for useful feedback, but also remember to rise above the totality of the judgments you receive. In the end, you are what you create, not what they think.
WHAT’S UP WITH DR. D?
I just delivered a fun virtual keynote to a wide array of professionals at HollyFrontier Corporation. I discussed Diversity & Inclusion and leadership best practices, and as you might have guessed, a lot of it was story-based. Too fun. Next up – a virtual national sales kickoff for Sodexo. I miss speaking in person, but I am hopeful that will pick up when the pandemic is finally under control!
Today I am shooting my fifth TEDx talk. This will be the second one shot on green screen, and the first shot in my new home studio. The topic focuses on how small actions can lead to big change. The core story involves a man throwing a ham off the roof of a building – you know you want to find out what that is all about! Stay tuned…
I was just informed by LinkedIn that one of my courses, Developing Resourcefulness, has been named a top twenty hit in Japan for 2021. Very cool! If you might be interested in Japanese language instruction on this topic, it is free until October 15: https://bit.ly/2Ymi6El.
I’ve been speaking with a lot of you lately about job search issues. I want you to nail the basics! I have learned that most of you do most of the right things, but I want all of you to do all of the right things! Here we go:
Update your resume. It must be complete and compelling and error-free. You must get multiple experienced people to help you improve your standard resume. Consider hiring a pro.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile. It is the best social network for professionals by far and a great place to search for jobs. There are many free resources to help you make an attractive and interesting profile (e.g., YouTube).
Tap your network. The best leads come from people you know. Reach out with social networks, calls, emails, and conversations at professional meetings. If you know them well or if they ask, tell them you’re looking. Otherwise, they can learn that about you on LinkedIn.
Get online and apply! Use multiple sites and save time using RSS feeds (look it up!). The resume and cover letter should be tailored for each application. Apply, and follow up once, about one week later (set calendar reminders).
Prepare for your interviews. You might be asked to engage in online questionnaires, audio interviews, video calls, and in-person interviews. Research the firm, the role, common questions they will ask you, and common questions you should consider asking. Rehearse!
Dress correctly! How you look for a video or in-person interviews matters greatly! Dress appropriately and lean towards making conservative choices. You want to be remembered for great answers and personality, not odd grooming choices.
Follow up. Email is the most common. Say thanks, express your enthusiasm, reiterate an aspect of the job you’re particularly excited about, indicate you’re happy to provide additional information, and that you look forward to continuing the conversation.
Track your activity. It’s easy to get lost, so when applying for many jobs, document everything: date, platform, role, company, contact information, version of resume used, and anything else you feel is vital. Use this data to set application quantity goals and stay on track.
These are the basics, the minimum. Do the work and deep dive on each of the areas noted above. If you are not employed, this is your job. If you are employed, skip nightly couch time for as long as needed and get this done. You’ve got this!
Until next time – stay safe, go learn something, maybe help someone, or at least do something interesting!
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All of my links in one place: https://linktr.ee/drdewett.