Have you ever got jazzed about something, a bold new haircut or fun pair of shoes, and then started to second-guess it immediately?
Last week, that was me.
I had just gotten my nails done for the first time in for-ev-er, and before the paint dried I started debating my color selection. Did the bright teal say I have a favorite BTS member and spend more time on TikTok than LinkedIn??
And what would people think when my fingertips flashed across Zoom?
To fight this feeling, I went to one of my favorite exercises for when I’m worried about what “they” might think. It’s a simple question to ask yourself.
Who is my “they?”
When you’re second-guessing, are you focused on what your parents will think? Your friends? Ambiguous “experts” or coworkers or people from your hometown or your super judgy aunt?
Your “they” might be a specific person or a group of people. It could be someone close to you or someone you’ve never met.
But the pressure you feel always has a source, and naming it is a way to shine light on your boogeyman.
Defining your “they” also enables you to consider how important those opinions are. Do you want to live life according to that judgy aunt?
No, no you don’t.
It’s possible you do respect your source’s opinion. Nothing wrong with that. But you do have to choose whether or not you want to live your life based on someone else’s rules.
When I was debating my nail color, I put more emphasis on the opinions of other people than my own. I thought of people with outdated ideas on what it means to be professional.
So the next time you’re feeling the ambiguous pressure of what “they” might think, go ahead and name them. “They” probably aren’t as important as you think.
To being better without nude nails,