It Is Your Life

Its Your Life by SIMPLE STEPS

Does every one around you have an opinion about how you should be living your life?  Is there always some well-meaning friend or relative who doesn’t want you to make the mistakes that they did?  Do you just want them to leave you alone?

It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 58 there is always someone who thinks that they know better than you do.  Some may choose to tell you to your face… and others may just be sharing their opinions with anyone except you.   When it comes to your attention that they don’t like, approve or understand why you are doing what you are doing it’s time for you to decide what you want to do about them.

My first advice to everyone and every situation is to look through eyes of love.  Even if the message isn’t being delivered to you with love you can choose to see it that way.  When you decide to think the best of the person it’s easier to consider their words.  That doesn’t mean that you need to agree.  It just enables you to deal with the person in a relatively stress free manner.   

Ultimately we’re talking about your life and you are the only one who can decide what is right for you.  No one else is responsible for your happiness any more than you are responsible for theirs.   Their opinion is nothing more than advice and you get to choose to take it or not.  

Here are a few things to consider:

  • The source.  Is this a person that you respect or someone who just happens to be in your life?  Does this person tend to give advice to everyone and anyone or are they frugal with their comments?  It’s important to consider the person as you’ll be more willing to listen to someone who’s opinion you value.  While this may sound like a “no brainer,” in the heat of a discussion, it’s easy to let emotions cloud your vision.  
  • The motivation.  Are you in a competition situation where the other person has something to gain or lose by your actions?  Is this person someone who has a need to control everything?  Is this a parent or close friend who doesn’t want to see you get hurt or make a mistake?  Also here consider what your motivation is to take or not take their advice?  Do you hope to gain something by doing what they want you to do?  Do you have the urge to do the exact opposite to prove your independence?
  • The outcome.  By taking the advice of another are you being true to yourself or just trying to keep the peace?  As you contemplate what they want you to do or not do how does it make you feel?  Are there red flags going off in your head?  Is this really a big deal or a non-issue to you?

Once you have run through these considerations try this Simple Step to move through the issue and on with your life:

Have a conversation with them and thank them for their concern.   

  • If it is someone that you respect and love tell them that you do. Let them know that the decision you choose to make has considered their thoughts on the subject.  If you feel comfortable sharing your decision, do so.  If not end the conversation on that positive note.  
  • If it is someone who’s opinion really doesn’t matter to you, after you have thanked them, end the conversation and walk away if you need to. You don’t owe them a decision or an explanation.

Consider every person who wants to give you advice as doing so with the best of intent.  It is however your life and you are the only one who can decide what is best for you.  By establishing that precedent and confidence you’ll discover that dealing with the opinions of others is Simple. 

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