What she meant was that she didn’t want us to base our values on the opinions of others. She was an amazing mentor. She did what she wanted and wasn’t concerned about what people thought.
Remember when you were in high school and everyone was wearing Calvin’s, Esprit or Tommy Hilfiger? Or anyone who was anyone was on the cheer leading squad or football team, because everyone. was. Tanya Davis who gossiped about everyone annoyed you, but still, you didn’t dare want to be the subject of her rumors, because everyone. might believe her.
Living in Germany over 25 years has made me fully aware of how strong peer pressure is, even for grown adults. Not that folks are excessively fashion conscious, but many solely value the opinions of others. I see people, every spring, looking in their neighbor’s yards to see what flowers they put out; or cemetery plots to make sure theirs is as nice as everyone else’s; or checking first before making their own decisions. It’s rather amusing, that even a choice of flowers depends on someone else, and can’t be original.
Back in 2003, I read Martha Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star, long before I took the leap to be a life coach. Among the inspiration and fabulous coaching tools, one chapter in particular was Who Is Your Everyone? Martha Beck explains that many of us hold ourselves back from doing our own thing, what our inner self is guiding us to do, because we’re afraid of what people might think. Chances are your ‘everyone’ is a small minority of people you don’t want to hang out with anyway. The people who think like you, love you and support you, are the people whose opinions you should honor, if anyone’s.
Recently, my friend Emm, also a life coach, told me about a magazine article her colleague wrote for the publishing company where she works. Her colleague received a brazen, hateful comment from a local critic. No one knew who the guy was, yet it was hurtful.
Emm said she empathized for her coworker, and yes, glad it didn’t happen to her; yet, she knew that no one took it very seriously.
Did this one person represent everyone’s opinion? We explored the situation for a while, thinking of how we would react to various forms of criticism. You can ask yourself these questions in any situation.
Would we value the critic’s opinion?
Would we question our own worthiness?
Would we take it personally?
Do we need this person’s approval?
Would it spoil your entire day or week?
Are you trying to be like everyone else or are you dancing to the beat of your own drum?
Rebecca Campbell says, “Don’t dim to fit in.”
Wayne Dyer said, “Self-actualized people are independent of the good opinion of others.”
Think about how much you question your own inner self based on the opinions of others.
Then think about how you can change your self belief by looking within and finding what your inner self says.
Do you want to blend in with the crowd ...... or find your own tribe... ???