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We often find ourselves entangled in the web of what others think about us.

It’s time to break free from this stifling cycle and embrace the liberating truth that what others think about you isn’t really about you; it’s about them.

In this article, we’ll explore how to let go of the weight of others’ opinions and emphasize the importance of valuing your own opinion of yourself. We’ll provide tips, examples, and questions to help you on this empowering journey.

Understanding the Truth About Others’ Opinions

  1. Projection of Insecurities: It’s crucial to realize that when others judge or form opinions about you, it reflects more about their own insecurities, beliefs, and experiences than it does about you.
  2. Subjectivity and Bias: Every person’s perception is influenced by their unique life experiences, values, and biases. What one person sees in you may not align with another’s perspective. If it was really about you, everyone would have the same opinion.
  3. Futility of Control: You cannot control what others think or believe about you, no matter how hard you try. It’s a losing battle to attempt to please everyone or shape their perceptions of you. Even if you do it perfectly, they still get to think whatever they want.

Tips for Letting Go of Others’ Opinions

  1. Awareness: Practice noticing your thoughts and reactions when faced with judgment or criticism. Acknowledge and feel the feelings that arise, but don’t simply believe them or indulge in the accompanying negative emotions.
  2. Empathy: Understand that others’ judgments may be born out of their own insecurities or past experiences. Approach their opinions with empathy rather than defensiveness.
  3. Self-Validation: Shift your focus from seeking external validation to internal validation. Value your own opinion of yourself and trust your instincts. This is something you’ll have to practice intentionally.
  4. BONUS TIP— Turn It Around: When you notice your own judgments about others, get curious about how this is really about you. Perhaps it’s a reflection of your own self-judgment, or perhaps it has something to do with your past. The more you see this is true of you, the easier it will be to show your brain that it’s true regarding other people’s thoughts about you.

Stories and Examples

Maria’s Journey to Self-Validation

My client, Maria,” had always been a perfectionist, shaped by her parents’ high expectations. Growing up, she felt she needed to excel in everything she did to earn their approval. As she entered adulthood, this constant pursuit of external validation took its toll on her self-esteem. Maria relied on others’ opinions to feel worthy, always seeking their praise and approval.

As we coached together, she realized that her pursuit of perfection was a never-ending cycle that left her unfulfilled and that her self-worth had become heavily dependent on others’ opinions, especially her parents’.

As we worked together, she started to challenge these deep-seated beliefs and began to value her own opinion of herself. She focused on self-compassion, allowing herself to make mistakes without harsh self-criticism. With dedication and self-reflection, Maria started to feel a growing sense of inner peace and authenticity. She realized she no longer needed constant praise and approval from others to feel validated.

John’s Online Resilience

My client, “John,” was an aspiring writer who had been sharing his work online. While he received praise and constructive feedback from many readers, he also encountered harsh criticism from online trolls. Initially, the negative comments deeply affected his self-esteem. He questioned his abilities and worth as a writer.

As we coached together, John decided to view these comments differently. He recognized that the harsh criticism was often driven by the trolls’ unhappiness, jealousy, or desire to provoke a reaction. This perspective shift allowed him to distance himself emotionally from the negative feedback and see it as a reflection of the trolls’ issues rather than his own writing.

John continued to write and share his work without being deterred by external opinions. Over time, he developed a thick skin and a growing sense of resilience. He learned that his self-worth should not be contingent on the praise or criticism of others but rather on his own belief in his abilities and the authenticity of his writing.

By embracing self-validation and letting go of the need for constant external approval, John discovered a newfound sense of creative freedom and self-confidence.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are your primary reasons for seeking external validation or worrying about others’ opinions?
  2. How do you react when you face criticism or judgment from others? Is your response serving your well-being?
  3. What steps can you take to value your own opinion of yourself and practice self-validation?

Conclusion

Freeing yourself from what others think about you is a powerful journey toward self-empowerment and authenticity.

Remember that others’ judgments are more about their insecurities and experiences than about you. If it was about you, everything would think that.

Practice awareness, empathy, and self-validation to let go of the burden of external opinions.

Instead, focus on valuing your own opinion of yourself and nurturing self-compassion.

In this process, you’ll discover the true essence of personal freedom and self-worth.

Live Free. Love Life.

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