“Don’t let the opinions of others dictate your future.” We hear it ALL the time, and yet we can’t help ourselves when we get criticized or made fun of. Only when it’s too late do we get over the fact that other people’s beliefs about us don’t matter in the end.

Dr. Daniel Amen said it best.

When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you; when you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all.

We believe this to be true, but we still let the potential thoughts of others paralyze us from taking action on our desires. So what are some things that we can do to start to move us forward away from this paralyzing effect? Here are some strategies that will guide you to self-acceptance so you can achieve the goals that have been lingering on your vision board for too long.

1. Monitor Your Self-Talk

If you said out loud to someone else half of the things that you say to yourself, you’d probably get slapped across the face. We have been conditioned to criticize ourselves so strongly; we ARE our own worst critic, and that’s holding us back. Self-acceptance must be reinforced within first, before we can shape our environment to support us. By bringing awareness to what we say to ourselves, we can slowly shift our thinking to a more supportive mindset. A great resource that can help with self-talk is What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter.

2. Celebrate Your Strengths

Too often we try to develop our weaknesses to be at the level of our strengths. We’re so preoccupied with our shortcomings and obstacles that stress us out that we forget to acknowledge the accomplishments and strengths that we do have. It’s time to flip the script to generate gratitude for our abilities and skills that have got us this far.

3. Forgive Yourself

Holding on to regret is one of the big walls from self-acceptance. We must realize that what has already happened is out of our control. Understand that we did the best we could with the information we had at that time. The decisions you make now are vastly more important than the decision you made in the past. It’s in our failures, not our successes, that we learn the most about ourselves.

4. Elevate Your Support Circle

Getting out of our own heads to see things clearly will significantly help you on your path to self-acceptance. Talking through your issues with another person will help you release some of the stress. Take an inventory of your circle and remove those who reinforce negative self-talk. There’s a difference between the people who criticize you for your benefit and those who do it for theirs.

5. Focus On What You Can Control

When you feel negative emotions, see it as a separate event and not a part of you. Good things and bad things will happen to you. It’s just a matter of when. And when they do happen, understand that you can’t control what happens, but you can control your reaction and your attitude.

You’re worth it, and you deserve to be happy.

Opinions. Everyone has them. That’s why they’re only worth two cents.

The number one fear of American adults is public speaking. Can you believe that people fear public speaking more than they fear death?! But why is that?

It’s not the actual act of public speaking that people fear, but it’s the fear of looking foolish in front of others. We care SO much about how others perceive us and often times that holds us back from becoming someone great. It’s not just about public speaking, but it’s any instance where we have to get in front of people. Athletes, actors, musicians, entrepreneurs, online marketers, teachers and basically anyone that goes out in public — sometimes what we wear is affected by what others think!

We’re worried about the interviewer that holds the ticket to achieving our career goals. We’re worried about the attractive person rejecting us if we ask them out. We’re worried about gaining the approval of our peers and family members. When we are chained by caring about what other’s think of us, we are limiting our ability to serve others and impact lives including our own.  The fear of them judging us is ripping away our confidence and joy in the present moment.

At the end of the day, you can’t please everyone. It’s impossible to live up to everyone’s expectations, and you will never be able to stop people from judging you. You can, however, stop it from affecting you.

Here are a few tips to help you move past this roadblock.

1. Understand Your Core Values

You need to know what’s important to you in life, what you truly value, and what you’re ultimately aiming for. Whether it’s family, financial freedom, new experiences, impact, legacy, or relationships, you must understand what really matters in your life. When you know what you stand for and believe in, then what other people think of you becomes significantly less important.

This will help you overcome peer pressure and help you say no instead of saying yes to everything. If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for everything.

2. Elevate Your Circle of Influence

We often think that we need to receive constructive criticism or feedback from others which is partially true. However, most of us take ALL of the criticism to heart instead of the feedback from people that really matter. We don’t need to listen to the money advice from people with massive credit card debt. We don’t need to listen to business advice from those still working a job they hate. We don’t need to listen to relationship advice from someone who’s had three divorces.

It’s important to only open your ears to a select few number of people who you look up to and aspire to be. These are the people that have achieved what you want to achieve. And even with their advice and mentorship, it still shouldn’t hold you back from taking action on your goals and values.

3. 18/40/60 Rule

This eye opening quote from Dr. Daniel Amen will help you dance like no one’s watching.

When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you; when you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all.

4. Be Authentically You and Laugh

What also holds us back from overcoming this fear is that we’re just not putting ourselves out there enough. Share yourself with the world. Be honest and authentic. You’ll begin to attract new people into your life and repel the ones that are holding you back.

You can do activities like blogging, Facebook Live, coaching, or even traveling alone. It’s also important to have the ability to laugh. When you can laugh at your own imperfections, you’ll stop the harsh self-criticism that you put yourself through. One the plus side, the more you smile and laugh, the more attractive you are.

[bctt tweet=”True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. ~C.S. Lewis”]


When someone asks if they can give you their two cents, feel free to say no thanks.