Back again with another post. Hope you’ve been enjoying your week and started executing your plans. If not, then what’s keeping you? If its because of unnecessary chatter from naysayers (who by the way have no business in your personal matter), then please continue reading as I share how learning to handle unwanted opinions helps your journey in international living.
I find that when we don’t follow through on tasks or start to self sabotage its mostly due to mental roadblocks. As were trying something new, naturally, we will attract every opposition. Sometimes they come from family and friends; other times from curious strangers. This isn’t a new observation but it was a theory I’ve always held that now I’m ok with labeling as a fact. We, as living beings, are naturally curious and fascinated by things that are different and unknown. We will always question and lay out our doubts until we either (1) understand or (2) accept it.
Looking back, I remember the first time I had to explain to others why I’m vegan and why minimalism helps me to live intentional. Explaining to others about the importance of keeping a well balanced and intentional life not only helps yourself but your loved ones and others surrounding you. I mean who wouldn’t want that. What I realized is that it wasn’t as much as not wanting a peaceful and a balanced life that trips people, its the process towards it. The “why?” was accepted but the “how?” is where I’d lose them. And it will ALWAYS be this way. Here’s why?
1. Everyone’s experiences in life are different.
2. Everyone’s walk/journey looks different.
3. Family dynamics are also different.
4. Level and maturity of needs are different.
I’ve learned to let go of the fact of trying to make others see my point. I’ve allowed myself to accept the advantages and disadvantages I’ve encountered. I’ve acknowledged my emotions and those of others. I’ve accepted that not everyone will get it.
Let me be the first to say that It’s a difficult journey learning how to not let other people’s opinion affect you, but its also not impossible. If your truly ready to let go, here are few thoughts to keep in mind when the situation comes:
1. Be Set on your Reason: I remember the day I’ve settled on the reason of my transformation, I become intent on killing and crushing it in every area of my life like my health, finances, personal relationships, and so on. I also know that I’m the type of person if I start something and not follow through I become restless. Staying on top of your motivations and finding ways to inspire yourself to move forward tunes and/or cancels out hindering opinions. I’ve learned that once I started focusing on my goals and taking action to meet them, it didn’t matter whether or not if others approves.
2. Be Open to Questions: Remove the original reflex of getting defensive when someone asks for an explantation. Remember, its inevitable. If its something that will benefit and add value to the other person then take that time to explain. If its personal than say so confidently. Remember that “No” is also an answer. For me, since I’m always in my head, its refreshing to say things out loud. It’s as if I’m giving a play by play on what’s going down. I welcome curiosity because I want to share the benefits of my lifestyle choices.
3. Be Present: Acknowledge the person your conversing with. Observe their behaviors and facial expressions. Pause and take deep breaths when responding. Most importantly remember to listen. It makes it easier to know when a conversation should continue or end. When life started becoming about me explaining too much and trying to get out of long winded conversations, it taught me to keep my words short, clear, and concise. I wanted to get my point across without having to water it down or adding too many descriptors so that people would “get it”.
4. Be Confident: One of the biggest struggles when going against the crowd is dealing with self-doubt. Self-doubt and fear is the number one killer of creativity, transformation, innovation, and so on… You get it. Having confidence doesn’t just help you move forward, it also helps you to own it. Whatever it is your planning on doing or started doing, be confident in your abilities even if you don’t feel like it. Biggest part of not letting other people’s opinions own you is realizing that you have control over your thoughts and actions.
Food for Thought:
Its pretty easy to fall prey to others opinions. Have you found a way to handle unwanted opinions? Share your hacks or what you’ve found difficult in it?