Updated: Mar 30, 2020
Why do we spend so much time of our lives trying to control other people's opinions of us? One time or another we've asked ourselves "What would they think of me?" "If I wear that, what would they say?' "If I say this or do that, what would they think?" I know I've questioned myself about pursuing a path of becoming a Life Coach so many times. I wondered if people would even understand what a Life Coach was and question if its even a legitimate "career." And not only if it's a legitimate career but I also wondered if people would doubt if I was qualified enough to even consider being one. For a long time, those opinions I formed in my head, that I thought others were thinking, kept me stuck and playing it safe. In all reality, it was what I was thinking about myself.
One thing to really keep in mind is you can't control other people's opinions or their minds about you. Why? Because people's opinion of you, has nothing to do with you at all. It's none of your business. Let me explain. People are living a totally different reality that you are living. Everyone including you and me form our opinions about the world around us through our experiences, our desires and our preferences. I've seen people commit to a life they don't even want only because they are focused on their idea of what other people will think of them. A lot of us spend a lot of time pretending and lying to others in an attempt to control their opinion of us. We want people to look at us in a certain light, so we live for other people. And what does this do? It gives people the power to determine our worth. If people agree or approve of something you do or say, you start to think "I'm a great person" and when they don't you start to think "I'm an awful person" You start questioning your worth depending on how others view or treat you.
When you go through life trying to control other people's opinion of you, it leads to you living a phony and inauthentic version of yourself. Think about it, you may or may not take certain actions because you wonder what others will think about you. You may not speak up for something you feel passionate about because the majority doesn't agree with you. You may even support or not support someone or something because you fear what others will think of you. The truth is you never know what someone thinks about you anyways. They can say you're amazing but you don't know what they are really thinking. Not only that but if you show up everyday as a version of yourself that you think someone will like and they end up loving you, well they are loving a version that isn't you. And how long can you pretend to be someone you're not?
As children we are trained to perform for approval. If we get good grades, clean our room, eat our vegetables or show good manners, we get approval from mommy and daddy. So taking action for approval has been ingrained in us since we were younger. As adults, if we don't receive validation or approval from others, we start to question if we are worthy.
One of the most freeing things I have ever done in my life and in my own mind is gave people permission to not like me. If someone doesn't like me, it doesn't affect me because I know I'm not for everybody. There have been times I've been like, I don't like me either so I understand why they don't. Just because someone doesn't like you doesn't mean something is wrong with you. The same is true with if someone doesn't like oranges or apples, nothing is wrong with the apple or orange, those fruits are still going to taste and perform as they are and people who love apples and oranges will gravitate towards it and those who don't won't, its just a preference and people are entitled to their preference and opinions.
I have my preferences, judgments and my opinions too. I don't like everybody or approve what some people do; but who cares? This should not affect how those people live their life. At the end of the day, its only an opinion. The people who don't like me are not my people and the people who do are my people. Simple as that.
The reason we care if people like us or not, is because of what it means to us. If someone doesn't like you, do that mean in your mind, you're an unlikable person or something is wrong with you? Something to keep in mind is people's opinions of you, themselves and the world around them has to do with things you have no idea about. That's why I say its none of your business jack! Whether people like you or not is not your control, the only control you have is if you like yourself; you also have control over the steps you take to love yourself; even the parts people don't understand, like or support. Your job is to embrace and love all of you. It's a major determining factor in how you show up in life.
One thing that use to really frighten me is criticism and judgement. It was a deep fear so I kept to myself and kept a guard up to avoid anyone getting to close to judge or criticize me, but what I later learned is people would still judge and criticize me based off of things they thought was going on with me. Even if it was the truth or not, they still had an opinion. So here I am putting so much energy to prevent people forming an opinion, yet opinions were still formed. Another thing I learned is if I believed what people said or criticized me for, then it will sting more. So I had to work on myself and learn that opinions didn't mean I was unworthy or incapable; but also if what people were saying did resonate and sting me, what can I do to improve myself and grow from it?
Man, look when you become an entrepreneur, when you are a life coach, and you are putting yourself out there and creating content, products and ideas; you are opening yourself up for criticism and that's just how it is. People are going to not like you or things you create, say or do. They may never say it or you may never put yourself in a position where they can voice it but if you can handle criticism in private and if you can handle it in your own mind then you can handle it anywhere. If you can accept criticism, if you can accept people not liking you, it will set you free. You will be willing to take chances, you will be willing to put yourself out there even if you look or feel stupid doing it. You'll also be willing to fail and make more mistakes. And we all know mistakes lead to self-development which leads to growth. Things will start to happen for you. Your options will be limitless once you quiet out the noise of other people
So after all of this, what I'm really encouraging you to do is live life on your own terms, no matter what people would think. I dare you to put yourself out there that may cause criticism and step outside of your comfort zones. I dare you to make mistakes. I dare you to give others permission to not like you, or agree with you, or support you. When its all said and done, its all ego! Just like you have your own preference, judgments and opinions, you have to give other people that same space and grace to have theirs. I also challenge you to start forming a better opinion of yourself, that way, other people's thoughts of you will not sway how you show up for yourself everyday.
I want to know your thoughts about this. Please share below any thing you took away from this or something you may want to add.