An opinion is a judgment, full stop. It doesn’t necessarily come with the weight of knowledge, lived experience, or even thoughtful consideration to back it up. You know what to do with opinions, and it isn’t “take them to heart”.
We listen because we’re externalizing our own fears and doubts. No one wants to be rejected, or made fun of. The most savvy opinion-spewers know this, and leverage it. They take what you’re already feeling and convince you that it’s true. It’s called gaslighting.
They also understand that we all compare ourselves to other people. At best, we have role models and mentors that we seek to emulate. At worst, we beat ourselves up because we don’t recognize that our own path is unique. We have to be finding our own way, not trying to replicate someone else’s journey. Any opinions that compare you unfavorably to other people are therefore invalid at a root level.
You haven’t received the type of success as they other person because, shocker, you’re not that person. You haven’t suffered their struggles and setbacks, either. The opinion-spewers don’t know all of your journey. What you need to do is respect your own strengths and talents and focus on those.
What To Do with Opinions
My self-worth is innate. So is yours. It’s not based on what other people think of you. That’s madness, because you can’t please everyone. It’s also not your job to please anyone.
For the sake of my time, my productivity, and my mental health, I have set boundaries.
If you ignore them, they go away. When bullies don’t get a rise out of you, they find someone else to hassle. That doesn’t stop them from being awful, and that’s annoying. You can worry about that once you’re got your feet under you.
This is your life. You make the decisions, and you reap the consequences and rewards for that. The only person accountable for your success or failure is you. The only person who has to live with the decisions you make is you. When you follow other peoples’ opinions they may step up to take credit when you win, but they rarely stick around to help you up when you stumble.
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