Free from the opinions of Others:
“I’m who I am, I do not need your approval” – Byron Katie.
It sounds easy to talk about it, doesn’t it? A popular saying in society is “Do not believe what he says” or “What do you care what they say about you”.
Of course, even if we find ourselves giving this advice, if we are a little honest it seems like there is a good chance that we are acting or avoiding excelling in areas of our lives because of fear from the opinions of others. Plus, if it was that simple as this advice implies everyone would have been following it already and no longer experiencing fear or suffering.
A question that can arise is then: “How do I stop being afraid of the opinions of others?” And “Is it even possible?”. This is without a doubt an important question, it’s one of the greatest explorations there can be.
More than once a client has asked me this question and of course, there is no answer or “magic solution” to the issue, however here is the condensed approach in the best way I can explain it at the moment:
1. Acknowledge and accept that right now, your habit is to please others and be afraid of their opinions. It’s just a habit and it’s changeable.
2. Become “Sherlock Holmes” (how fun!), Start exploring your own crime scene. Start researching in-depth: when are you trying to please others? How is this expressed when you try to please them? What thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are associated with this habit? It’s time to explore deeply!
3. A small change in point of view: it is not “I” that thinks, wants, and tries to please others, it is my mind with its habits from childhood! All that happens is that I am used to following these habits of my mind but if I do slowly follow them, I will be free from them and they will slowly change.
Here’s my invitation to you:
A. Investigate the beliefs behind these habits so that they can be healed and released (and anyone who does not know how is welcome to contact me and I will be happy to help you learn these essential tools).
B. On a daily basis, when you notice these habits arise whether in thought or automatic behavior, stop for a moment, be the one who notices what your mind is saying, observe what your mind is telling you, and do not believe it automatically.
Just pay attention, be skeptical of any kind of thoughts. Be with your breath in the present moment, wait a bit before reacting. From this presence, do the right thing, the thing that is good and supportive of you.
If your brain is used to leading you in the direction of “X” then do the opposite of “X”, do “Y” !. Why do the opposite? Because this is how you buy your freedom from old habits that you did not choose.