Why must one care what someone else thinks? Why is there this constant need for approval? I believe it is human nature that makes you feel like you need to belong. You constantly seek out advice from trusted individuals, only finding that in the end, that decision was yours and yours alone. Do you go with the crowd or express yourself?
When you worry about what others think of you, you are really just worried about what you think of yourself. You do not have to settle for anything. It is a decision you make every day. If you hate your life, then start making changes and better decisions. It does not matter how smart you are, everyone makes mistakes. More often than not, problems are rarely as painful as the manner of fearing them.
The challenge is to go against that need, that yearning of feeling the need to belong. Life is too short. At some point, you are going to have to make a decision. Are you going to let people dictate on how you chose to live? Or have the courage to stand out above the crowd? Let the creative juices flow and express yourself. Lose the fear of being wrong. Once you lose that fear, you can do anything, you'll be free.