Whose opinions REALLY matter?

opinion really matter

Whose opinions really matter to you?  Have you ever taken the time to really consider your answer to this question? This came up in one of my women’s circles the other night and I think it’s one worth thinking over, because it really can completely change how you feel about everything in your life. And how you spend your energy each day.


We were talking about where we feel truly feminine and most of the answers echoed around the room were along the lines of self care of some sort. Simple things came up like taking a bath, putting moisturiser on, taking the time to do make up properly, listening to music, being with our loves ones etc.


I then asked; what takes you away from feminine energy? Why do we feel like you have to be in that masculine mode of DO DO DO all of the time?  Unsuprisingly all of the answers around why we feel we have to do more and ‘stay focused’ led back to worrying about what other people thought about us.


We thought we had to be focused and driven always at work or we’d be looked over as ‘slack’ or ‘lazy’.


We thought we had to keep our emotions out of situations because otherwise we risk being labelled as ‘too emotional’. (Side note – WHY is this a negative thing anyway?)


We thought we had to keep moving forward, not take sick days (even when we’re sick), because life will fall down if we stop and THEN what would people think?


All roads seem to lead back to worrying about what other people think about us.


Why do we worry so much about what everyone thinks? Especially when the reality is ‘everyone’ is an unidentified group in our head – the unnamed and ambiguous jury.


Nevermind the fact that actually ‘everyone else’ is too busy worrying about all of the judgements aimed towards them, to even have time to judge what you’re doing. And if they are judging – what’s the worst that can happen?


A little perspective often helps.


I asked my circle to do this activity and I’d love to ask you to do it as well.


Take a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of paper.


Write down the names of the people on that piece of paper whose opinion REALLY matter to you.  No writing teeny tiny either.  I’m guessing you fit about 5 names and that’s about it.


Now what if you only had to worry about making sure you pleased these five people and not everyone else?  Oh and bonus points if you wrote your own name on the list.


What if there is still someone on this list who simply cannot be pleased? Then maybe you need to decide whether they should be on your list at all. If they can’t be pleased and you know that, maybe your energy is better spent pleasing the people who don’t suck your energy and instead give you energy in return.


It’s kinda freeing, isn’t it?  Giving yourself permission to only have to think about a tight inner circle. No one else matters, because they aren’t close enough to you to have the WHOLE story. Or… here’s the kicker… care about you enough to be accepting… whatever you do.


And no, I’m not advocating for being a total jack a to everyone else, you can still be your usual kind and caring self, but only to a point.  Once you’ve done what you’ve done, and given all that you’re prepared to give, you have permission now to let everyone else’s opinion of you be what it will be.


You get to let go of feeling like you are responsible for what everyone feels about you. Which usually means you get to let go of a whole lot of other things that haven’t been serving you as well. Like…


Saying yes when you really want to say no.

Helping out when you really just need to rest.

Covering for everyone else.

Answering the phone when you’d rather ignore it.

Going to a big family event, when you’d rather just celebrate with your own little family.

Working an extra shift, or overtime.

Going to work even though you feel sick.


What do you think? Can you let go of everyone else’s opinion and just focus on your little list? Who is on your list?


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