Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Google Plus Connect on YouTube

3 Tips for Breaking Free from the Opinions of Others

February 10, 2013 7 Comments


There are some people who say exactly what is on their mind in each moment.  They do all the things that are on their heart to do, and fully express their deepest emotions to all they encounter without any worry about what they may think about them.  They are completely authentic in every area of their life.  For most of my life this was not me.  I envied others that had this quality, and secretly wished I possessed that same free spirit.

My experience, in most situations, was the exact opposite.  I carefully thought about what I should or shouldn’t say in a particular situation so that I wouldn’t rock the boat.  I didn’t move forward with following some of my big dreams for fear that I wouldn’t be viewed as successful in the eyes of others if my venture didn’t take off.  I held back my true opinions in some of my work and personal relationships to avoid hurting the feelings of others or for fear of pushing others away.  I sweated profusely when speaking or presenting in front of a group because I was so concerned about how others perceived me.

To some, that may sound like good emotional intelligence.  Knowing when to speak up, and when not to.  I would agree that it is important to use tact when expressing one’s true emotions.  On the other hand, internal tension and stress build up over time when we keep things inside.  Our bodies show us signs that we are living out of integrity – our thoughts, actions, and words are out of harmony in some way.  We then begin to feel frustrated, annoyed with certain people, stressed, angry, worried, and more.

Over time, as many studies on the negative effects of stress have shown, this can lead to more serious physical and mental health challenges.  In fact, according to WebMD, 75 to 90% of all doctor visits are due to stress related ailments and complaints.  Thankfully, there is another way to live.  A way that can help release stress caused from holding emotions inside.

I didn’t realize what a difference living in integrity would make on my stress level until I started doing it.  It took some time before the things I thought, said, and did were truly in harmony in all areas of my life.  While I do indeed still have moments in which concerns about the opinions of others arise, I can now release them much quicker.  Looking back, there are some steps I followed that helped me become more and more comfortable with being authentic in all areas of my life (work, family, friends, etc.).  I’d love to share them with you.

3 Tips for Breaking Free from the Opinions of Others

1.      Know Yourself

This is the most critical of all the steps.  Whenever I start to become concerned about the opinions of others, I know it is because I have forgotten Who I am.  We were made in the image and likeness of God.  We are more than equal in the realm of Spirit – we are One.  There is no one that you are better than, and no one that is better than you.  While, in the world of form, there appear to be differences among us; in Reality (Heaven), there are no differences among us.  We are all extensions of the Most High.  Yes, all of us.  Remembering this before going into a critical conversation, presentation, or any other situation that calls for us to express our authentic selves, will make all the difference in how confident we feel, and how we are received by others.

“I am as God created me.”  ~A Course in Miracles

2.     Stop Judging Others

One of my teachers frequently says, “The judger always feels judged.”  That is so true.  When you judge others, it makes you feel more self-conscious around them.  You begin to assume that they are judging you in the same way, when that may not at all be the case.  When you are looking at others through the eyes of Love, and assuming the best in them, that is what you will begin to receive from others.  When we see the Light in others, they begin to see the Light in us.  What you put out comes back to you.  We all know this intellectually, but it’s putting it in to practice that brings us freedom.  We cannot continue to put judgment and gossip out into the universe and expect to get back love and acceptance.  It doesn’t work that way.

“The judger always feels judged, the lover always feels beloved.” ~Rev. Jennifer Hadley

3.     Be Authentic

I’ve noticed that I feel the most concerned about the opinions of others when I’m not expressing my true self.  When I’m holding back some part of myself, and trying to conform to the views of others.  I begin to mince words, and my communication is less concise and clear.  The first two steps help me return to a place of interconnection with all life.  They take my mind away from the ego, and return it Spirit.  Reminding me that all that God is all there is.  From that place, authenticity flows more freely.  We can begin to express ourselves more fully, knowing that there is nothing to fear.  God cannot be harmed or attacked, and we are extensions of God.  We care less about what others think when we know all we are saying and doing is fully aligned to Who we know we are.  So, this step is very much about releasing our need to conform to the world and, instead, fully allowing the Spirit to flow through us in each moment.  That is true authenticity.

Being authentic or ‘Keeping it real’ means staying true to all God created you to be, and not being bound to the image you have created for yourself.  This is such an important distinction. It means making the shift from trying to maintain your image to being a vessel through which God flows and expresses Itself. We don’t have to try to be our Self, we just have to release everything that has gotten in the way of our recognition and acceptance of ourselves as God created us.

In moments in which we feel the need to hold back on sharing our true beliefs, it can feel natural to point to particular individuals or external conditions as the cause.  We start to feel justified in blaming others for our lack of full expression because we think “They can’t handle the truth” or “I don’t feel like hearing their attitude when I tell them this.”  When we practice the 3 steps above, we focus on what we can control – ourselves.  In turn, we become free of concern about the opinions of others and live a more stress-free, fully-expressed life.  Others begin to appreciate our authenticity, and may even be more authentic with us in return (although that is not our primary motivation for doing so).  How awesome is that?!

In what area(s) of your life are you (or were you) holding back due to concern about the opinions of others?  What has helped you overcome it?  I’d love to hear from you, and other readers would appreciate hearing different approaches to overcoming this.  Thanks in advance for sharing!

Keep shining!


Kandace Jones

About the Author:

I used to live life shackled by fear, doubt, and worry. I put on a happy face while navigating my day-to-day duties, but I was emotionally drained, stressed, and unhappy. When I hit rock bottom, and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I was determined to live life differently. I knew there had to be another way. Out of that determination, and guidance from Spirit, the "Living in the Light" blog was born. It documents my spiritual journey out of the darkness and into the Light. After nine months of publicly sharing my journey, and consciously releasing my attachment to the ego, I experienced a powerful spiritual awakening. I went from living in fear, doubt, worry, and stress to complete inner peace. My greatest passion has become assisting others on their own journey to inner peace. My spiritual memoir, From Stress to Peace: An Intimate Journal on the Journey from Living in Darkness to Living in the Light, is available now on Amazon and Click the tabs at the top of the page to learn more about the From Stress to Peace 21-Day Challenge, Living in the Light Retreats, 1:1 sessions, and the Living in the Light Community - all of which are designed to support your journey to inner peace. I appreciate you taking the time to visit the blog and look forward to supporting you in any way I can!