It’s another topic I have at heart because it often (if not all the time) comes up in my coaching sessions: others’ opinion
In this article, I’m not going through a method or exploring a topic in depth. I would just like to share some questioning to help you reflect on your own life and your relationships with ‘others’, whether it’s your first circle, your second circle or strangers.
The impact of others’ opinions on our lives
We may not always be aware of the role at play in our lives: the way we dress, what we do and what we say, what we share on social media.
We often look for external validation, assuming that if others approve of what we do and who we are as a person, we’re worth their love.
Do you see the problem when we rely on others to live our lives?
- We may end up living a life that isn’t the one we want (I once interviewed a woman who told me her dream life was completely different from what it was in reality).
- We may end up with regrets
- We may end up not being happy and truly fulfilled
- What happens when people don’t validate us anymore?
Others’ opinion doesn’t really exist
The truth is that others’ opinion is often a myth. It doesn’t exist because it’s in your head. All these ‘What if’ are suppositions, not the reality.
Of course, you may have been criticized in the past, and you may still be vulnerable.
That’s normal. We need to belong, it’s one of the most basic human needs. But what’s the point to belong if you feel so far away from yourself? Is it worth it? One of my clients recently beautifully concluded that ‘it’s not worth living a life for others’.
How does this resonate with you?
Do you think that those who really love you and deserve your love would criticise you? How do you behave with your loved ones? It helps to flip the situation.
Wouldn’t you be happy for your friend to go on holiday for a well-deserved break? Wouldn’t you understand if your friend would refuse to meet because she needs to rest instead?
We tend to be kinder to others than to ourselves, so flipping the situation may help you see with more clarity when you give too much importance to others’ opinions than to yourself and your own needs.
From my own experience, I suffered a lot from it. In some really random situations like going to a party, I didn’t want to, not daring to express my opinion to avoid conflicts, or even staying in a job I didn’t like because on paper it looked good.
What others’ opinion truly is
What we consider as ‘Others’ opinion’ is often a projection of our own opinion, a fear of being judged, that would reinforce the existing negative opinion we have about ourselves.
- I don’t dare to speak because what I may say will be stupid: your own thought
- I don’t dare to say ‘no’ because I don’t want to hurt my sister: your own thought
- I don’t dare to strike a pose because people may think I’m superficial: your own thought and judgment.
You’re not responsible for how people react, it shouldn’t be your problem. We all react differently to the same situation because we all have our own personal beliefs, education, culture, experiences, etc.
What you will do may be seen as bold by someone and irresponsible by someone else, so who’s right?
The only opinion that really matters
The answer is: the one you choose to believe. And by doing this, you depend on others, you’re giving your power away. Is that how you can live a fulfilled and happy life?
Yep, it’s a rhetorical question 😉
So, my little prompt for today is this: what could you do today to reclaim your power?
PS: I’m currently working on a small digital self-love program and others’ opinions will be a topic I’ll cover. Follow me on Instagram @holywhatholistic or sign-up for my newsletter to stay tuned if you’re interested.