How to Stop Caring What Others Think – Overcome Your Fear of Being Judged

It is easy to live for others, everybody does.
I call on you to live for yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Skip directly to my top tips on how to stop caring what others think of you

I grew up in a small town in rural Germany, where everyone knew everyone and everybody was in your business. 

What others thought of you shaped your ‘status’ in this town. Drama was picked up immediately and looked down on. What’s more, struggling with your mental health of any sort was unheard of. I remember wanting to dye my hair orange for the first time when I was 12 and it was just so out of the ordinary in this town. 

Sound familiar? This is a common way of living, especially in small towns. Evidently, gossiping is everyone’s favourite pastime.

Moving to London allowed me to reinvent my identity

When I was in my early teens, my family and I moved to London. Back then, this was the talk of the town, yet arriving in London stood in complete contrast. It almost felt like losing all sense of identity. No one knows who you are or cares to know, really. I saw more diversity in one day in London than in all previous years combined. People had tattoos, piercings, dressed in all different styles or were not afraid to look ‘different’. It felt freeing.

In London, I quickly realised that it doesn’t matter as much what others think. I could define myself by who I was or wanted to be. Dreaming big was the standard.  

Yet, the fear of what others may think had been deeply engrained in me. Despite the freedom the move brought, I cared. I dressed like everyone in my school, listened to British pop music and tried my best to fit in, so as not to stand out as the foreign girl.

I lost my German accent and got the ‘British look’. If you remember the teenage look in Britain a few years back, I’m sure you know how I feel looking at my old pictures. On top of this, I was obsessed with my weight, thanks to the media back then.

Learning from the international community at university

When I went to university, I finally started to shed these ideals. University is an international environment by default and the majority of my friends had grown up in several countries, often with much greater cultural differences than those between Germany and the UK. Their perspective on life allowed me to reconnect with who I was. Finally, I accepted that growing up internationally is a fundamental part of ‘me’. I see the world slightly differently and that’s okay. 

The final step in overcoming my fear of being judged

In 2020, the pandemic caused lockdowns everywhere.  Being stuck inside for months caused the final switch to flip inside me. I didn’t care what others thought of me anymore – there were much bigger things to worry about. 

I dyed my hair orange, started experimenting with makeup, stopped dressing for the male gaze, explored my online identity. At first, I only took baby steps. Then, I started the blog and Instagram I had always wanted but been too afraid of. I’d been worried about people I know finding out and judging. But how can you live your dreams, if you’re too afraid to start?

BELL Ks with orange hair standing by a river
The first time dying my hair orange - you can tell how happy it made me | © Bell KS

I threw off the protective armour that had been my fear of being judged and realised that no matter what I do, I will be judged anyway. So I may as well do the things I want to do.

I have been happier since than I have in a long time. 

Maybe you have a similar story. Maybe you still struggle with overcoming your fear – I sure do a lot of days. Here are some of the top tips that have helped me to stop caring what others think of me.

How to Overcome Your Fear of Being Judged:


Will their opinion matter in 5 years’ time? How about 1 year? How about 6 months? If the answer is no, it doesn’t matter what they think now.


Could they be projecting their own fears onto you? I think that’s what the majority of us judging other people is. I sometimes catch myself judging someone’s outfit and have to actively scold myself for it. Just because I don’t have the balls to wear it, doesn’t mean I should judge someone else for doing it.


Would they be judging you either way? Sadly, the answer is probably yes. Cancel culture has shown that sometimes people will judge no matter what. You’re free to do whatever - just don’t be a horrible human being.


If the person judging is your friend, are they really your friend? I support my friends without limits. That’s what friendship is about. Make it count.


Can you remove yourself from the judgmental situation? Sometimes, it’s impossible to overcome this fear without starting new. A new city, a new country or maybe just a new job. Moving to London allowed me to reassess what really matters in life. Find your ‘London’.


What have you always wanted to do but never done because you’re scared of what people may think? Now imagine what you could gain by doing it anyway. Make a pros and cons list. People judging you can be one point on the cons list. Do the pros outweigh the cons?


It’s often said that the only person to truly have your back is yourself. Show up for yourself! Do that thing you want to do, because YOU want to do it. We are all the main characters in our own lives. Nothing else matters.

Letting go of what others may think of you is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It will improve your happiness, relationships and overall outlook on life.

Do you have any other tips on how to overcome your fear of being judged? Leave them in the comments!

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  1. Fantastic post! I’m so glad to read that you are living for you! I’m from a small town too and the gossip is awful. Thanks so much for sharing and I love your hair!

  2. Top site ,.. amazaing post ! Just keep the work on !

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