Letting Go Of Opinions

“Your opinion is not my reality.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

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“Don’t take anything personally.”  I’m sure you have been hearing a lot about this over the past few years as it is one of the agreements in don Miguel Ruiz’ book The Four Agreements. Being of a sensitive nature, I knew this would be a biggie for me.

Deep down I knew the opinions of others are just that, opinions. I understood what others thought or said about me was more about them than me. Still, I struggled with this for years. Finally, I reached the plateau of being able to release this negative energy and allow those opinions to be the business of others. I learned to concentrate on what I thought of myself. Sound selfish or narcissistic? Perhaps, then again we’re forming opinions here.

What I did in actuality was claim my own story. I refused to allow anyone else to write it for me. I’ve realized what others say and do (even when I am the subject) is their story not mine. When words or actions prick through the skin and scathe the heart it becomes a challenge.

I thought I’d conquered this agreement, but yet I found I was doing the same thing to myself over and over. I had (and still have) many opinions of myself. I focused on my weaknesses. I held myself back by setting unreasonable expectations.

I’ve decided to be kinder to myself. I am challenging my own beliefs about myself. While I’m aware of my weaknesses, I am not concentrating on them except by trying to strengthen them. I am learning to use my positive attributes to my advantage.

Rather than prejudging my abilities, I am giving myself a shot at new ideas and opportunities. Opening one’s mind instills confidence. Approaching life with a positive attitude enables me to be less fixated on things that shouldn’t concern me and helps me concentrate on my own endeavors.

What about you? What do you struggle with? How do you deal with these challenges?


20 thoughts on “Letting Go Of Opinions

  1. Oh, I love this. My personal struggle is living my life authentically, and letting go of the guilt because there are people who do not approve of my choices. I have a picture to share with you…synchronicity at work today! I love you.

    • That used to be one of man as well. Try to think of their reluctance of approval as their hang up, not yours. They should offer you the same acceptance you extend to them. I am so sorry anyone makes you feel less than you are. You are truly one of the most beautiful caring souls I know. I love you too, friend. And yes, I love the synchronicity of that!

  2. So true….I’m also realizing that my opinions reflect who I am. And I want that reflection to be positive and up lifting. Opinions, especially those held with vinegar and vengeance, are destructive. My goal — to always find something positive, even in the seediest, saddest circumstances.

  3. I think we all struggle enough with self-doubt all by ourselves that we don’t need outside reinforcment from anyone. I think we need to do the best we can, and learn from our mistakes. Letting other people “get to us” with negative crap is really pretty counter-productive when you think about it. There are people who I really cannot deal with, and I find I’m better off not trying to. I surround myself with people who make me feel good about myself, and in turn, I really try to make other people feel good about themselves too. It’s kind of a win/win situation. Now, there is one exception here. Alex’s opinion of you and Charles is that you are the nicest, warmest, most down to earth lovely people he has met in a while. (It’s only his opinion, of course, but I whole-heartedly agree with him!)

    • Self doubt is surely a downer. I won’t allow myself to be pulled down to wallow in negativity.
      You’re a fabulous and compassionate woman. I felt like I’d known Alex all my life, what a sweetheart!

  4. “I’ve decided to be kinder to myself. I am challenging my own beliefs about myself. While I’m aware of my weaknesses, I am not concentrating on them except by trying to strengthen them. I am learning to use my positive attributes to my advantage.”

    Yup, I think that’s the key, Suzi! Being kinder and more accepting of ourselves. Yes, we all have weakness and it’s important to acknowledge them, but not allow them to be our main focus because then that’s all we see and end up giving them more power.

    “What I did in actuality was claim my own story. I refused to allow anyone else to write it for me. I’ve realized what others say and do (even when I am the subject) is their story not mine. When words or actions prick through the skin and scathe the heart it becomes a challenge.”

    Amen!

    Excellent post, my friend!

  5. Not specific to your inviting questions, Suzi, but I appreciate and sometimes, value others opinions. I choose which to ponder deeper and which to read/hear with a grain of salt. It’s judgments that I will smack away in a heartbeat. But we each have our own challenges and choose how to best address them. You’re taking action; that’s a good step. 🙂

    • I value opinions as well; I suppose I am speaking more of judgments here of my aspirations and inspirations. I always took what what said to heart and would stop writing or whatever it was I was doing at the time. I don’t let opinions/judgments deter me from my goals now.

  6. One of my new favorite “sayings” is : What others think of me is none of my business. I do struggle with this daily but am trying to get better. Thanks for the words of wisdom. How did you get so smart? Love you!

  7. I think I have, for the most part, finally gotten to that point – where I recognize that what others think or say about me has little to do with me, really. But. I still find myself thinking about it sometimes. I think maybe some of this has to do with indoctrination as a child.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  8. I love Ruiz’s Four Agreements and have written about him and his maxims on my space. I find that it is difficult to not take things personally, but as I grow older, I am learning more and more that much of other’s negativity has more to do with them than who I am.

  9. What a lovely thought, Suzi, being kinder to oneself. Sensitive folks like writers and artists need to develop what my late dad called a “tough hide,” something that would protect us when the criticisms are flying. And fly they will! Well said, my friend.

  10. I’m adopting that quote/motto TODAY! I used to have quite a tough hide, but have noticed that it’s softening as I age. One would have thought it would be the reverse, right? Wonderful thoughts today. Thank you! xox

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