Step 65 – Your Opinion of Me Is None of My Business
Yeah, I know. The second you hear the sentence I chose for the title of this post, it sounds very cocky to you. It sounds like my self-esteem is sky-rocketing and my ego is bursting at the seams. But the fact is, this sentence is about something else completely.
The first time I heard it, it came from Brene Brown, the author I look up to and who inspires me. And it blew my mind. It’s not about self-confidence; it’s about self-awareness. It’s about setting your boundaries and standing up for what you believe in. The older I get, the more I realize how difficult that is. The older I get, the more I notice how just about everyone has an opinion about our own lives.
I am really working hard on not being judgmental (I’m getting better at it), but I also see that I (and you, too) am constantly being judged. It starts with our looks, job, money situation, relationship status… we’re all being judged. Every day. People’s opinions of you and of your life always come from their projections and their… fears. If someone points out something that they don’t like about you, it usually means that it’s the very thing they’re struggling with themselves. They will put their anger about their situation right onto you: especially if you dared to do something they themselves are afraid of doing. If you do something that really scares them, you lose, because you stepped out in front of the crowd and you disturbed their comfort zone.
And this is what the titular sentence is about. It doesn’t mean: „I don’t care about your opinion”. I do, but it depends on how well you know me. If my closest friend, whom I hang out with regularly, tells me that I suck or I’m to blame of shitty things, I will stop and listen. And I will try to change. But when the opinion comes from people whom I barely see (if I see them at all), not to mention those whom I don’t even know that well (or have never met), I would hear them out, but I would do my thing anyway. Because the truth is – these people don’t really know me. I discovered that I can’t please everyone and I don’t want to try anymore. Because it’s simply impossible to please everyone and not hurt yourself in the process. And I choose my own happiness and my own mental well-being over someone’s acceptance. If you carefully thought through just where is it that you are going and what’s your next step – and you suddenly start getting different opinions concerning your decision, that’s the right time to say: „Your opinion of me is none of my business”. You can’t care about everyone’s opinion and stay true to yourself; you just can’t. It’s impossible. You can’t build a life that’s truly your own based on other people’s expectations about you (and not lose yourself in the process). You have to stay strong. You have to keep to your path and be willing to say: “No” to anyone who wants to change your life, just because it “doesn’t feel right to them”. And again – it’s not about your ego and about being cocky, it’s about your right to make your own choices and to live the life you want. They don’t know what you want. They don’t know what’s going on through your head before you close your eyes and fall asleep at night. No one knows that.
Only you know those things, which is exactly why you have all the right in the world to tell all those folks to keep their opinions about your life to themselves because it’s simply none of their damn business.