People always make it known that they don’t care about the opinions of others. It’s like rule number 1 in the whole self-acceptance, self-love stratosphere. Everyone’s favorite stance is the whole “I don’t care what other people think” stance which is one I completely agree with having. However, I didn’t always think that way and I’m mindful that there are so many people who are still navigating through what it means to make their own rules as far as people’s opinions go. It isn’t about not caring what people think. Making your own rules and leading a peaceful life is about ceasing to internalize the opinions of others to the point of losing yourself.
If we are being honest, that is a place that I am not too far removed from. It is only in the last 4 to 6 months that I have really stopped internalizing people’s opinions about my decisions and my life in general. That means I lived almost 25 whole years living my life to some extent based on what other people had to say in place of how I felt. These are some of the ways that I stopped making decisions and basing my existence on how others felt and started making my own rules about how I could effectively use feedback in my life.
Have confidence in your decisions and in the way you live your life… I mean you are making your own rules, right? If you are making decisions in an effective way that produces the best outcomes for YOU, then you have no reason to lack confidence in those decisions. The only way that people’s negative opinions about your decisions and your life affect you is if you aren’t confident in your decisions and your life to start with. There have been so many times when people had negative things to say about the way I live my life (i.e. “why did she quit teaching? why would she want to be a flight attendant? why are you doing it this way? That’s crazy!”). There were also many times in the beginning that I didn’t feel confident that the decisions I was making were the best ones. Those were the times that the negativity affected me most. Don’t let that happen to you. When you are confident, no comments or opinions can ruin what you have going on.
Don’t reveal every move to every person… There are so many people who are super important to me. I value those individuals, I seek their advice (not their approval), and I care to hear opinions, of course. However, everyone in your life is not one of those individuals. I say that to emphasize the importance of letting decisions and your life in general play out. Social media is such a HUGE part of how we interact with other people and how some people seek approval, but we have to remember that everyone doesn’t need to know every detail of our lives. There are certain things that I choose to keep private and I RARELY make announcements about my life on social media. That has been in major part, due to the fact that it can be so hard to find approval within yourself, let alone approval from others. Don’t tell everyone every move because everyone does not deserve a place at the table where your life’s rules are written. You decide who gets a place and who doesn’t, bottom line.
Decide who your people are and why. I mean really, decide who gets a seat at that table we talked about and why you are granting them that position. Also, be sure that you are giving those valuable voices a place to give you advice, to help talk you through the difficult things, but not a place to grant or deny their approval for your decisions. My mom’s opinion is always important to me because she’s so smart and she is often affected by my decisions. However, her opinion is not often a deciding factor on anything for me. I love my people and I have my reasons for the trust that I have in their voices, but my voice is always the loudest. The reason for that is that at the end of the day, when you are in the solitude of your mind, you have to face yourself. You have to live with the rules that you have written for yourself, the plans that you’ve made, the life you have built. So decide.
Are you seeking advice or approval? How do you incorporate feedback without internalizing opinions? To whom are you revealing your moves and why? Who are your people and why? What will you do today to make your own rules about people’s opinions?
Thanks for reading!