When you are 20, you care about what everybody thinks of you.
When you are 40, you don’t care about what people think of you,
and when you are 60, you actually understand that people were too busy thinking about themselves.
In essence, don’t agonize about what other people are thinking about you. They’re perhaps busy worrying over what you’re thinking about them.
The 20-40-60 Rule became popular when venture capitalist Heidi Roizen cited it (incorrectly attributing it to the actress Shirley MacLaine) at a 2014 lecture at Stanford. First Round Capital’s Review has noted,
People have enormous capacity to beat themselves up over the smallest foibles—saying the wrong thing in a meeting, introducing someone using the wrong name. Weeks can be lost, important relationships avoided, productivity wasted, all because we’re afraid others are judging us. “If you find this happening to you, remember, no one is thinking about you as hard as you are thinking about yourself. So don’t let it all worry you so much.”
Idea for Impact: Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over Your Mistakes
Chances are, people around you aren’t nearly as critical of you as you are of yourself. No one’s going to remember or care about your mistakes, and neither should you.