Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Whose Opinions Are Most Important Of All?
By Wendy Collier, B. Ed.
Our fear of what people will think of us can have a great impact on how we live our lives and the choices we make. You worry about what your friends will think of what you wear, who you hang out with, what you do, what you say, who you go out with; the list is endless.
You worry about what your parents think. You worry about what your teachers will think, your coach, the leaders in your life, the relatives, even your grandparents. If you spend all your time worrying about what everyone thinks of you and the choices you make, you will drive yourself crazy, crazy, caaarraaazzzy!
You Can’t Have Everyone’s Approval
It is impossible to have everyone’s approval of everything you do or say. And having their approval does NOT determine if what you say or do is good or bad. It also does NOT determine whether you are a bad person or a good person. And most definitely does NOT determine your self-esteem and self-worth.
We want people to think good things of us. We want them to see our best selves. This need is a true motivator for us to strive to be our highest best self, so it is not all bad.
Don’t go Overboard with Approval Seeking
What you have to watch out for is when the approval seeking goes overboard and becomes unrealistic to achieve. Seeking too much approval from one person or group can also get you into some serious trouble.
What other people think of us is a lot less than you might think. Everyone is so crazy busy keeping up with their crazy busy lives that they don’t have time to really dwell on or think too much about what you say or do. Most people have moved on and have forgotten what you’ve said or done.
The other factor to realize is that other people are wondering what you are thinking about them. Can you see how insane this can get for everyone involved?
What do you think of yourself?
You’ll never know what someone thinks of you and it truly doesn’t matter. What matters is what you think of yourself. Pay attention to how you judge and analyze what you say and do. Are you spending too much time replaying it; wondering if you should have said it differently or made a different choice?
Sometimes you need to just let it go, ignore it and realize it really is a little thing. So what if some of the kids thought your project wasn’t interesting, who cares?
Important questions to ask yourself!
“Who does care?”
“Whose opinion does matter?”
“Who else has a key role in your life?”
“Is it your best friend, your teachers, your coach?”
“Is it a relative, a family friend, someone from your church..?”
Of course, your parents’ opinions will always matter. Once you’ve identified the top people whose opinion does matter, you can concentrate on them. Learn to let the other opinions roll off your back and let it go.
Your A.C.T.I.O.N. Step:
Think of your 5 ‘faves’ (other than your parents) and decide if these are the people whose opinion you really value. Then focus on and listen to what they say about your choices and always look for the hidden lessons in every experience. Your 5 ‘faves’ will generally be the people who will give you valuable, honest opinions that will help you grow and learn to be your highest best self.
Affirmations Empower You!
Write down this affirmation and say it over and over: Affirmation: “I trust and I have faith that others will think good things of me and I will think good things of others.”
Trust and have faith in their guidance and wisdom. Remember you can always change your 5 ‘faves’ just like on your cell phone.