Freedom From the Good Opinion of Others
Posted by Trevor on 27 December 2012 | Post a Comment
American motivational speaker and recognized author Wayne Dyer notes, “Self-actualized people are independent of the good opinion of others.” If this type of independence is the true measure of freedom, which I believe is the case, why don’t we live our lives as such? Most people are desperate to acquire and even proclaim the good opinions of other people. They want to be loved and respected and don’t wish others to regard them in a “bad light.” Unfortunately, when being approved of is the most desired thing, we can make decisions that are not in our best interests.
Step one of Three Simple Steps is aimed at reclaiming your mentality so you can get back to your individual nature to unlock the pioneering spirit with which you were born. It is impossible to become self-made if you are making decisions simply to procure the good opinion of others. When you decide to reinvent your life, you step outside the comfort zones of the people around you, and that usually does not go down well. I don’t recall one occasion in my life when those around me approved of my decisions when I made them. Years later, having shared in the rewards, their opinions changed, but there would have been no rewards to share if I had let being liked by them be more important than doing what I felt was right for me at the time.
The challenge of individualism is that it can sometimes be lonely. Thinking differently among the crowd and swimming against the tide of conventional opinion can make you very unpopular. Nevertheless, your mental survival depends on developing and honing your mentality so it can transcend what anybody else thinks. Oftentimes when you have a stand-alone mentality of doing things your way, it’s not going to be popular. It is a success mentality, however, and one of the rewards of inner freedom. The winner usually stands alone.
Within your own circles, you probably encounter some difficult relationships from time to time, and some of those might even brand you in a negative manner. In my regular career, I was often called belligerent because I would not let go of an objection or counter point. My family and friends have used stronger words. The Three Simple Steps, however, increased my confidence in my own intuition. When if feels wrong, it is wrong, and when it feels right, it is right. Intuition, however, is not yet valued in the workplace or at home. I was often the only voice in the room, saying, “This is the way to go.” Everyone else was decrying, “You’re crazy. Who do you think you are?” I had to develop thicker skin.
The lesson here is that you must be strong enough to ignore negative perceptions of you. You simply need to accept the premise that people are going to react in a “group-think” mentality more times than not. And if you’re more concerned about having a mutual relationship of trust and acceptance than you are about doing the right thing, then you’re not going to have a life of success. Think about the challenges that lie ahead. What is the most important thing in your life: to do the right thing or to be liked? The only way you can do the right thing is by having control of your mentality. You need to get to the point where you can live independently of the good opinion of other people.
I don’t think you can widely change other people’s opinion of you; I don’t think you should try. I just think you should be free from caring about it.