It's human nature to care about what other people think.
It's natural to want to be a "people pleaser." It's natural to want to follow the crowd, to want to fit in. Everyone always wants to be liked. Who wouldn't want everyone to like them, and have no one talk down on them? However, you can't let other peoples' opinions control your everyday life. Instead, take into consideration what they're doing or maybe even saying, and base what you want to do with YOUR LIFE off of that.
In my childhood, I was picked on horribly. Everyday I dreaded going to school because I knew someone would make fun of me, or call me a name, etc. It was never ending. Until probably 6th grade, it continued. I constantly would go home so sad because of what people would say, and I wish the me now could go back and give the younger me some life lessons.
If I could go and tell the younger me one thing, it would be this... Stop caring about what other people think.
When you stop caring about what other people think, life is easier to live. People are going to talk, they are always going to. Don't let it bug you. Being care-free will drive the ones running their mouths crazy, literally. They get off on the fact that they're tearing you down. Don't give them that satisfaction.
When you stop caring about what other people think, you find yourself with so much less stress. The constant drama that was always part of your everyday life, is now gone. You start paying less attention to gossip, you don't get tangled up in rumors, and you stop trying to prove yourself as well. You realize that if you need to prove your worth to someone, they aren't worth your time. In turn, your confidence goes up and toxicity in your life goes down. The energy that was wasted on so many people who didn't matter, is now being used for people and things that do matter, including yourself.
When you stop caring about what other people think, you empower yourself to take control of your own life. Yeah, you may still go to friends and family for advice on what to do and what you shouldn't do, but does that mean you have to do exactly what they say? Absolutely not. This is your story and you decide how to write it. Whatever makes you happy, do it. Don't let the people helping you with small choices dictate how your life goes, because suddenly it won't be your life you're living anymore. It'll be theirs. You should want to be unique, as well as wanting to be someone people look up to and say, "Wow, I wish I had courage like she does."
When you stop caring about what other people think, you start to see the world and the things within it in a completely different perspective. In reality, you are such a tiny fraction in this world. Your place in the world is very miniscule, but when you stop caring about what people think that suddenly won't bother you anymore. Your life is what you make of it, and if you believe you did the most you could then that's all that matters.
Most importantly, when you stop caring about what other people think, that is the moment when you start being yourself.