As a gay man, I have been trained at a young age that people’s opinions matter and that they should help shape and mold you into something that conforms to make other’s comfortable. In my late thirties, I am starting to realize that their opinions, are theirs to own and not mine to allow to attach to me. I have had horrible things said to me about my sexuality that is frankly not anyone’s business. These are 5 ways I have put on my armor when dealing with people’s opinions.
1. Be Solid in Who You Are
Everyone will have an opinion of you. There are good opi5. nions and bad opinions, but you don’t have to be either of those. You can be uniquely you regardless of praise or criticism. If you firmly know who you are, you never have to worry about a person that disagrees because it simply doesn’t matter. You can look at a critic in the face and say, ‘ok’ and move on.
2. Don’t Hang On to Praise
Often the people who do good in the world but they only do this good because they seek the praise of people to validate that they are good. Hanging on to praise is the same things as being hurt by someone that had negative things to say about you. Both are equally as destructive. It is good to remain humble in both positive and negative feedback because your response is a choice.
3. Listen to Your Own Opinions
As a yogi, I’m not free from having likes and dislikes yet, but I am present to those likes and dislikes. More specifically, I’m present to why I like a particular thing and dislike the other. What memories to we have attached to a like or dislike? These opinions of our own often influence our reactions to others. Being mindful of these things help you in being more solid in who you are.
4. Keep Goals
If you have nothing going on in your life, negativity will always find a way to enter your life. Respectably, if you are not working towards something for you and your life, you will let other people influence you or you will follow other people to give your life meaning. You are in control of your own life so why not create something that is completely yours to share with the world. Start by being a person that has higher goals in spirituality or if you need to start smaller start by just being a good person.
5. Accept That Negative Exists
As we learn in the movie Inside Out, the character, Joy, has to learn to accept Sadness as a part of her world. Metaphorically, we have to know Sadness to know Joy. When we accept that negativity has to exist for positivity to exist, we accept anything that comes from and either take something from it or leave it. Both are what makes having critics so valuable. Your critics can give you ideas or make you see something from a different angle. Accepting negative is the first step.
Learning these lessons has taken me many fails, tears and frustrations to come out on this side and I am still learning every day. Although it is supposed to be a children’s movie, Inside Out is a continued reference for me because it has so many valuable lessons. If you have not watched this movie, it is a must. However, if you are one of those that is not taking the next step in being who you are or from starting a life change, don’t let other’s opinions stand in your way. They may be acting out of fear or reacting to something that they are not even conscious to themselves. As they say, ‘Be you, Boo!’ and the rest will fall into place.