Opinions. Everyone’s got one about one subject or another. Political, religious or lifestyle choices often get the most press when it comes to opinions. Too often it’s easy to buy into what other people think of you. It’s becomes a really stressful life when you feel you believe other’ folks opinions of you.
As a child, you picked up the opinions of important people in your life. Parents, teachers and other influential people had opinions about you. At about age seven you formed your ability to reason and your world changed. But you were also filled with other people's beliefs about you as a human being. As you moved into your teen years, you began to challenge your identity and beliefs. This process is the beginning of shaping who you are and how you see the world.
So, how much do you buy into other people's opinions?
When I was in high school, I had many of the same teachers as my older brother and sister. Any opinions teachers had about them were judgment calls about my character. Sometimes that was a good thing and other times it was tough. I had a really difficult time with chemistry and really struggled to pass the subject. I knew I needed to finish this class to get into college. Mom even hired a college professor to tutor me every week. During the last semester in my senior year, my high school chemistry teacher looked me straight in the eye and said. “You will never make anything of yourself.” I stood there, stunned at his comment and left the room. I cried all that evening, wondering how anyone could be so cruel.
Something happened inside of me that changed the course of my life. I knew deep down inside that his opinion was not true. I believed there was a huge world out there just waiting for me. I realized I didn't have to buy into his beliefs. I discovered I had my own opinions, not only about my abilities but how I saw the world.
My eyes opened and I saw a new path before me. I had a choice to get through the last couple of months of school or fail. I chose to succeed. I realized my only goal was to pass this course and go to college. It didn't matter what my teacher thought of me. What mattered how I had the choice of shaping my own destiny.
Here are some tips to stand strong in your own opinions and personally grow stronger:
Be objective. Stick to the facts of the situation. Take a deep breath and assess what is truth and what does not resonate with you. If there is some truth then you have the choice to step up, take charge to improve yourself. Remember, you have the choice to accept or reject an opinion.
Do the work. Someone’s opinion doesn't have to damage how you feel about yourself. It can be all too easy to wallow in self-pity, get confused and not do anything at all. Love yourself and step out of this trap. It’s far more stressful to stay stuck where you are than to take one step to heal.
Surround yourself with winners. Place people in your life that champion your efforts. These are folks that are trustworthy that will support you as well as be honest with you in tough situations. If you find yourself in relationships that wear you down reevaluate how much time to spend or if you want to continue the relationship at all.