“The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.” ― Osho
As social beings, it often gets difficult for us to stay secluded on our own. All of us are in some way or the other interconnected to the people around us. Our families, friends, colleagues, partners constantly influence our actions, the decisions we take, and also our outlook towards the world.
In such a critically interrelated situation, retaining our uniqueness and claiming our own life is a bit difficult. People are always trying to “squeeze in” the societal norms. Because going along with the crowd is easier than swimming against the stream.
To retain originality, one has to speak up for oneself, instead of suppressing one’s fullest and truest expression.
What often holds us back from going against the wishes of our close ones and following our hearts is the strength individuality takes. No doubt, it is a wonderful feeling to have our dear ones help us make decisions in our life, show us direction when we feel lost but it is also necessary to know that your happiness is not dependent on any form of validation or approval of others. You can function on your own, just as you are.
The first step to owning your life is to start respecting your own opinion and knowing that it is the first and last thing that ACTUALLY matters.
Here are the 4 reasons why there is nothing more significant than your own opinion:
1. You Rule Your Life.
We often believe that letting others rule our life makes us more admirable and understood. What are you ultimately doing to yourself? You are giving control of your life to another person.
Sometimes compromising one’s own utmost wishes, dreams and ambitions will help you bag a lot of appreciation. But does this get you to fulfill your dreams? No.
Ask yourself, which is your priority, your own happiness or their temporary appreciation?
Letting others turn the wheel of your life might leave you feeling secluded at some point in life when these very people will abandon you. Claim your life, your desires as you own, and fight for it till the last breath. Listen to your gut instincts while you decide for yourself. Your mind and body know what’s best for you, not others.
2. Learning Opportunity.
When does a failure hurt the most? When the path to your failure was decided by you.
Sticking to your own opinion teaches you the ability to take accountability for your own actions in life. It teaches you that, others are not responsible for whatever circumstances you put yourself in. You achieve and be successful, it is the result of your own efforts and your choice of direction. You fail and you have no option to blame others for your choices.
Learning to follow through with your own opinions and ideas in life, help you attain individuality. It helps you be self-reliant. Others might influence you today with their thought process, but sooner or later, you will have to be confident enough to decide for yourself.
“Opinions of others may temporarily influence your decisions. But you ought to follow your own inner voice.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita
Once you act on your choices, you also acquire a clear idea about your potential, your shortcomings and invest time in improving yourself if you feel the need to. This way, the next time you won’t find yourself lost in the sea of other people’s opinions.
3. You Know Yourself The Best.
There will be times when you will come across close people in your life who will claim that they know you better than you know yourself.
Don’t trust them. They partially do know you, but not as intricately as you do.
“Others can’t always define your true identity. They see what they ‘want’ to see but beyond your mess, God sees the beauty He created and still thinks it’s good!” ― Chinonye J. Chidolue
Accepting their opinion is the easiest gateway because you not only make them happy but also expend less energy on thinking yourself through. But, it is only preparing you for future disasters. You can only regret your choices in the future. You can in no way rectify the same.
Think for yourself, do others know every single detail about you?
What your limits are, your boundaries are, your value system is, what pushes your buttons, what makes you uncomfortable is only known to you, not to others. To enjoy the best outcomes of your decisions, you must always give importance to your own opinions.
4. Other People’s Opinion Is Based On Their Own Value System.
You should not pay heed to other people’s opinions because of the simple reason that they have a different value system.
Other people’s opinion is based on their distinct, unique life experiences, their ideologies, and value system. Their mindset might not align with yours and hence will never be the best for you.
Don’t be fooled by other people’s declaration that they have wisdom, they have a similar experience. They don’t as every single person’s experience is apparently discrete.
Many people will only project their own insecurities in their opinions and take undue advantage out of your gullibility. A lot of them will ask you to compromise your deepest wishes and desires to follow what makes others happy. And they themselves will invariably fall in this “others” category.
Take this for example, if someone close to you asks you to stay stuck in your comfort zone, which might visibly seem to be a piece of helpful advice, but this will eventually mean downplaying your abilities and undermine your chances of self-empowerment.
Their opinion will rarely be helpful for you as they do not know what you need and desire from your life.
“Don’t allow yourself to be held hostage by the opinion of others.”― Laurie Buchanan
Letting go of the opinions of others and following your heart for your own sake takes courage. Because not many of us have learned to love ourselves before we love others.