Ep #199: Other People’s Opinions
Too many people spend their lives trying to control other people’s opinions.
It’s a TERRIBLE idea!
Simply put, you cannot control other people’s opinions about you.
As a society, we are deeply influenced by what others think about us, to a point that it holds us back from creating what we want to create in the world.
Join me for this episode as I share my thoughts on caring about other people’s opinions and how you can free yourself from this burden and experience true freedom in your life.
Listen to the show
What You will discover
- Why we put so much weight into other people’s opinions about us.
- How, by doing so, we stifle our growth.
- The changes you can expect in your life when you stop thinking about what other people think.
- Th best way for dealing with other people’s opinions of you.
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Here we are, 199.
Come on man, that's amazing. I seriously am so proud of myself, I can't even stand it right now. That's a lot of freaking podcasts to record. So I am excited, excited, excited to have arrived here, and I'm even more excited for next week where we're at episode 200, I have a special treat for you there. Remember, every 10 episodes I talk about a teacher that has influenced me. So I am excited to record that podcast as well.
But today, we're going to talk about other people's opinions. You know why? So many of you spend your lives living trying to control other people's opinions. It's a terrible, terrible idea because here's the bad news I have for you. You cannot control other people's opinions about you. I know that you think you can. I know that when you people please and when you dress us and when you're kind and you have good manners, and your kids behave in front of other people, or you do really well at something, you think you're controlling their opinion. But I promise you that you aren't.
They choose their opinion based on what their brain tells them. You can be the most amazing, kind, awesome person, and somebody can have a negative opinion about you. I talk about all the time, you can be the juiciest peach on the tree and there's always going to be someone that doesn't like peaches. I'm one of those people, by the way. I don't like peaches. So if you are a peach, I don't like you. And it doesn't matter how nice you are to me, doesn't matter how plump you are on the tree, and especially if you're in a pie, ew! Why you got to put warm fruit in a pie? Come on. That's just not right.
But here's the thing. Some of you love peaches. And no matter what's going on with that peach, that peach could be having a bad day, that peach could be bruised, doesn't matter. You just love a peach. You're committed to the peach. So if this is true, I want you guys to come on a journey with me where you actually believe me for a minute. That you can't control what people think about you. I just read this book, this totally fascinating read, you guys should grab it, it's a national best seller actually. It's called So You've Been Publicly Shamed, and it's by a guy named Jon Ronson. And it's a fascinating read because first of all, it talks about social media, and one of the things he says about that is that the bullying that happens anonymously with social media is something that we've never experienced as a species because typically bullying is something that isn't done anonymously, right? In order to be a bully, you have to be willing to be publicly a bully. And now there are groups of people hating on people and justifying that hate anonymously, which I think is so fascinating.
So I was really fascinated to read his book and to read these stories about people who were publicly shamed, and some of them were publicly shamed because of something that they did, some of them were publicly shamed because of being misunderstood and misinterpreted, and some people were shamed for just being who they are. So it's really interesting to see that collective shaming and how it affects us as it comes to being public in the world and how everything you put on social media is there forever, and if it's misunderstood, the way you post it or what you meant by a post, then you know, it's forever going to follow you everywhere.
And you know, as a coach, I always identify and imagine that every person that is in a situation where they're feeling shame is my client. Whether they've done something horrific or not, I always have a coaching brain, and so I'm always thinking about how people hurt themselves with what's happening in the public media. And so just a really interesting read, I recommend that you guys pick it up.
Anyway, what it really demonstrates is that you have no control over how people interpret you; what you do, what you say, and what you mean. And if enough people misinterpret you, if enough people are wrong about you, they create a momentum around their opinion that actually becomes more significant than the facts of what happened. And so if we know this, if you come on this journey with me where you actually believe that you can't control other people's opinions, I want you to imagine how much your life would change.
I listen sometimes to the Gary V show, he's a crazy entrepreneur. And one of the things he talks about that I think is so fascinating is he says most people don't go and do their work in the world because they're afraid of what a few people might think. They're afraid of a few people's opinions. And so they don't go all out and they don't create what they genuinely want to create in the world. They don’t put themselves out there because they're afraid of what people will think about them. They're afraid of what their mom will think, they're afraid of what their friends will think, they're afraid of what their ex-boyfriend will think. And you know, he's been working with entrepreneurs for years and years and he just says it's such a shame to see so many people hold themselves back because of perception of other people's opinions, not even their actual opinions but the perception of their opinions.
So at some point along the line, I decided that I wasn't going to have this limit me anymore. I talked a lot about this belief system that I have that if I became too big in my life, if I became too successful, if I was just really outwardly how I felt inwardly, in terms of big, that I would have no friends. Because it was so over the top that it turned people off, and it turned off people that I wanted to be friends with when I was younger, and they were just like, "You're a little much." And I remember as I got older, going with groups of people and they're just being like, "She's a little over the top, she's a little aggressive, she talks a lot. She's always talking about dreams and goals and she's just so intense." All the things that I truly am.
And so I found myself so many times like dumbing myself down, quieting myself down, being what Martha Beck would call Brooke light, like a lighter version of myself that was more acceptable to other people, so their opinion of me would be more accepting. And what happened when I did that, and so many of you guys are doing this, what happened when I did that was that I stopped liking me because I wasn't being genuine, I wasn't being authentic. And when people liked me, I knew they didn't really know me. I knew they really didn't like me for who I am.
And I will say, as I have grown, as my business has grown, as I've really started to be who I am with no apology and create the business and the life that I want, I have for sure turned people "off", and they have decided to have an opinion of me that isn’t favorable. And that's totally okay with me now. And I made a decision that it's okay for people to be wrong about me and have opinions of me that aren't true, that aren't based in reality. And so I think that the question becomes at some point, you have to decide who's opinion matters the most in your life. Is it your husband? Is it your mother? Is it your children? Who is it that you want to answer to?
And I think at some point, for me, I decided that I wanted to answer to myself because I was living my life out of integrity. I wasn't living out of integrity, I was living out of integrity with myself. I was pretending to be this light version of myself so I could be more acceptable to other people. And I just decided to start telling the truth about everything. About myself, about how I feel, about how loud I want to be, about what I believe, about who I believe in, how I want to show up in my life, how much money I want to make, how many people I want to influence, how much I love my dogs and my husband and my kids. I just stopped trying to filter all that stuff into a way that would be pleasing for other people to develop an opinion and make it easy for them to develop an opinion about me that was, "She's a great girl." I can't even tell you how many years of my life I spent trying to get people to think that about me.
And I remember thinking, what is my opinion of myself? What do I think about me? And I remember deciding that I just really liked myself on the inside, and I just wish that I could just be that way on the outside. And I know so many of you can relate, right? You just want to be who you really are, but we're so afraid of being who we really are because we're so afraid that people will judge us. But here's what I figured out. They're already judging us. They're already judging us, and if they're not judging us, they're indifferent to us, and that's even worse.
So then I decided, wait a minute, do I want them to be indifferent? Do I want them to not even notice me because I'm Brooke light? Or do I want them to decide if they like peaches? Do I want to actually present myself in a way where they can decide whether it's something they like or not? And do I want to allow people to be wrong about me? Do I want to show up in a way that can be misinterpreted, or do I just want to never show up so I don’t have to risk being misinterpreted?
When I made that decision, when I decided I am going all in, I am going to show up, I'm going to tell the truth about everything, I'm going to be who I am, and tell people I was in a cult, I'm going to tell people how crazy I am, I'm going to tell people how much anxiety I experience, I'm going to tell them that I struggle with my weight, I'm going to tell them that I struggle with overdrinking, I'm going to tell them all of it. And then let's see what happens.
If everybody hates me, at least I'll have me. You know what happened? You guys know what happened. The opposite happened. Everybody who's like me, relates to me, loves me. Everybody who isn't my people, everyone who doesn't love peaches doesn’t like me. Some of them are wrong about me. Some of them just don't - they're just not interested. It's totally fine. It's so great living in this world where I just get to be myself, and my people are here with me. We all show up together. So amazing.
So people are going to look at you and judge you. Period. People are going to judge you because of the way you look, because of your hair color, because of your eye color, because of your weight, because of the color of your skin, because of the clothes you wear, because of the car you drive, the stories you tell, the lipstick you wear, all of it. There is nothing that any of anybody can do about it. So if you let it go and then you just ask you if you're all in with your own opinion of you, do you like the car you drive, the clothes you wear, what you do? What is your opinion of you? And if you like it, that's all you need. Have your own back.
I want you to imagine walking in - I often coach people who have really low self-esteem and really low opinions of themselves, who are terrified of somebody judging them and having an opinion of them. So they hide all the time. And they don't show up, and they don't express their opinion because what if someone disagrees with it? I've had a lot of clients like this who feel this way about themselves, but they have someone in their life that they adore. Maybe it's their husband, maybe it's their kid, maybe it's their mother.
I was coaching a woman one time who kept talking about how much she loved her husband, how great he was, and how terrible she was and all her own self-doubt. And I said to her, "Why are you so worried about what everyone thinks of you?" She goes, "I want everyone to like me." And I said, "But what if somebody told you that they didn't like your husband?" She goes, "Well, they're an idiot." I said, "Oh, really?" She goes, "They don't know what they're talking about if they don't like my husband. My husband's amazing." I said, "Yes. Now, you really love your husband and you really believe he's amazing, so other people's opinions don't matter about him. When you can feel that way about yourself, other people's opinion won't matter about you."
And then my friends, then, there's freedom. Then you get to really be who you are. Then you get to really decide how you want to show up. Then you can really start to dream because here's the thing, when you dream big dreams, you're afraid of failing because what will people think? Who cares what they'll think? Who cares if you fail? And people have an opinion about your failure? Wouldn't that be amazing if you just didn't care what people thought about you?
Here's what I have found to be true. The more strongly I opinionate about myself in a positive way, the more people follow my lead. It's almost like you show them what to think about you. So if I say, "Hey you guys, I can't wait for you to meet my friend Corinne. She's amazing. I'm so excited, she's going to be here in a few minutes, you're going to love her, she's going to be so great." And then I bring her in. Now, if people don't like her, people don't think she's great, first of all, they're already biased towards liking her because I've already told them that she's great, but if they don't, if they don't like her or whatever, it won't matter to me at all, right? Because I have a very strong opinion of her and I'm going to keep it because I want it and it feels good.
So here's what I want you guys to do. I want you to ask yourself this question: what is your opinion of you? And how strongly are you willing to commit to it? And are you willing to have your own back when someone else is wrong about you? Because if you believe - stay with me here - if you believe that your opinion is true, then anyone who doesn't agree with you is wrong. What makes someone wrong if they don't agree with you?
So all these people think that what you're doing is crazy. I know so many people that think life coaches are crazy. There are so many people thinking the work we do doesn't truly matter, that it's soft, that it's a joke, that it's funny, that we're just like, paying for friends. I don’t care what they think at all. You know who's opinion matters to me? The people who agree with me about life coaching, who see the change that it's making in people's lives, who are living the change that its made in their life. People can think that life coaches, like the work that we do isn't important, that it's soft, right?
It's okay that they think that. It's like me saying being a professional football player isn't hard. Who cares that I think that? Certainly not a professional football player. It's not relevant to them. They're not going to be like, "I want to do something where Brooke thinks I'm cool, so I better give up on football." But how many of us live that way? And the best way to change someone's opinion about you, if you really want to change it, is to like, completely ignore it. They'll be like, "What about feedback? What about constructive criticism?" Listen, if our issue was that we aren't open to constructive criticism, I would spend some time and do a podcast on it. That's not what we're struggling with here my friends. We're struggling with not moving forward in our life because we're afraid what other people might think about us. Other people's opinion are none of your business.
You guys remember that song, OPP? Other people's property? Referring to mates, stay away from OPP, other people's property. I want you to stay away from OPO, other people's opinions. They're not relevant. What is your opinion? That's what I'm interested in. What do you think about what you're about to do? What do you believe about you? What do you want to believe about you? That's what I care about. That's what you should care about. Let other people be wrong about you.
Here's the thing. There's a peach on the tree, I love peaches - we both know that's not true, I hate peaches. I don't like peaches. Someone sitting next to me loves peaches. Which one of us is right? Which one of us is right? That's what you have to decide. People can have opinions about you, people can be wrong about you. It doesn't matter to the peach. You are the peach. Don't stop being a peach because you're afraid there's someone that doesn't like peaches.
Kind of turned into a little bit of a rant. I liked it. I liked it, you guys. I hope that you heard it. I hope that you'll decide to care only about your own opinion of you, and then to go live your life where your opinion of you impresses you and only you. I want to have a relationship with myself, I'm like high fiving myself, I'm like, "Girl, you did that. Nice." And then it doesn't matter if anyone else is applauding, because I have my own standing ovation, and that's what I want for all of you because there's nothing better than that. There's nothing better than fulfilling the dream that is in your heart, the desire that is in your heart. Truly. And not holding yourself back because you're afraid of what other people think.
Have an amazing week my friends, I'll talk to you next week. Bye.
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