I spent a lot of time of my life worrying about what people will think about me. Even when I was a small kid, that was the first thing that runs on my mind when I am out. There is this constant pressure to look right, to do right, to study well, to speak well, and to be the best. Without thinking about whether something that I do will really benefit me or not, I was doing things that I thought would be acceptable to others.
I bet most of us have similar situations in our life in some way or the other. When we have to do something, we always think what others will think of us. There was a friend of mine who was going through divorce. He wanted to seek some advice/legal help from few of his colleagues who had contacts in that area. But he was hesitating to ask them as he felt they would start judging him after that. He had this cool guy image and he was worried that people will start considering him as a loser.
So instead of asking from people he knew and trusted, he went out and started seeking for advice from unknown sources. He googled the internet, called up some old connections, gave fake stories to his friends so he can explain the situation and get a solution for it and so on. Basically he was doing things in 4 steps when he could have done it in one step. Things were getting intertwined and he finally decided to tell it to his colleagues to get their opinion.
Once he opened up, the problem was solved in like a second. He got the advice that he wanted and he was able to focus on other things rather than trying to find out whom to go for getting this advice. Nothing happened as he feared; the word of his divorce did not spread. People have their own problems in their lives. The last thing they want is worry about your problems.
A lot of times we think people will judge us and do not do things that we should be doing. Your goal in life should not be to please others. That will take you straight down. Instead your goal in life should be to please yourself. To do things that you like, because when you do things that you like, you will be happy and that will take care of everything else that is screwed up in your life.