Once I stopped giving a F@$%, people started giving a F@$%. - Eminem 

Wise words Slim Shady, but hard to execute.

Worrying about what other people think of me was one of the biggest roadblocks to perform at my best and enjoy the moment. Because I’m human, I’m still working on this struggle everyday.

What about you? Do you wrap all of your self-worth around fitting in, getting acceptance, how you look, and hearing praise? If this is your mindset, you will be trapped in performance jail by what I call Bad COPs: constantly Comparing yourself to others, obsessing over Opinions, and chasing the lie of Perfection.  


Most of the time, the biggest hindrance of peak performance is not how much we care about our performance...we all want to win, but the fact that we care too much. All too often, our self-worth is wrapped around our outcomes, and our perceived perception of what people think of us.

I love this quote from W. Timothy Gallwey, author of the ground breaking book the Inner Game of Tennis, “But who said that I am to be measured by how well I do things? In fact, who said that I should be measured at all? Who indeed? What is required to disengage oneself from this trap is a clear knowledge that the value of a human being cannot be measured by performance—or by any other arbitrary measurement.” 

Based on self reflection and my research in high performance, here are four keys to not give a shit (pardon my French). 

1.  People are thinking about themselves not you

This is rule number one in turning down the dial of overly caring about what other people think of you. It’s the realization that most often, people are obsessing over themselves, not you. While you are busy sizing the opponent up, they’re actually sizing themselves up and comparing themselves to you. You are not the only one thinking, “How do I look and how am I doing.” ...whether this is an athlete, official, coach, manager, sales professional, or parent, etc. We all play this game at the same time.

Also, when you are in a group setting, eyes are not just on you, but others as well. When you understand this, that it’s not just about you, it helps lower the stress of constantly judging yourself. 

2.  The world isn’t flat  

Whether it was a game or big sales presentation I was preparing for, I used to let the anticipation of that event completely consume me. I couldn’t see past it. I had the fixed mindset of allowing one performance shape my value and self-image. In other words, my world was flat...there was nothing beyond that event...especially if I failed...I’d fall off the end of the earth into a pit of insecurity.

I've come to learn that the world isn’t flat. It circles around the sun. There will be a tomorrow. When there is darkness, there will be a dawn. Success or failure are not people, but events. I’ve learned that I can grow and improve regardless of the outcome. My worthiness is not limited to one event or mistake. Win or lose, the sun will rise and I’m not the center of the universe, but a collection of other stars. 

3. Own the moment 

Think about your thought life. How much mental energy do you spend worrying about what could go wrong in the future or replaying a past mistake? If this is you, you are only leaving around 20% of your focus in the present moment. Be where your feet are. When coaching business professionals or athletes, I like to remind them that:

There are no big moments. Every moment is important. 

Practice is just as important as a game or big presentation. When you can value every moment the same, you will be more present and less stressed.  

4. The four “I knows...” 

Athenticity is a super power. Here are two quotes I love about internal clarity: 

  • With clear values, decisions are easy.  
  • If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.  

Take some time to self reflect on the four I Know Statements:

  • I know I’m loved by God
  • I know who I am
  • I know what I want
  • I know what I need to do to get there

Clarity is power. Let these prompts guide the vision and actions in your life.  

Its easier said then done, but the less you can care about what others think, you will flat out perform better. Just ask Eminem.

For more tips on improving your performance, get Collin’s new book: Master Your Mindset, and learn the tools needed to win the inner-game.