One of my favorite new acronyms to think about (like FOMO and JOMO) is FOPO.

Fear Of People’s Opinions.

It’s one of the things that has held me back in my life, personally, more than anything else. (and believe me, there are other things! But this is the biggie!)

Whether it is our own family of origin, who owns steadfast opinions of who we are and who we should be, to the people we imagine area judging us for any number of things (who are THEY, anyway?!) and everywhere in between.

It can be painful to step out, to be vulnerable and to risk the judgement of others- real or imagined. But that is precisely where the living of your best life is done. Pain is necessary to living our best lives.

How has fearing what someone would think of you held you back in the past?  How about in the present?

We don’t have to be “cured” of this in order to work positively with it. We can have the fear, write about it, think it over, ask- is it really true? and then act anyway. You can feel fear and take action- it’s both/and, not either/or.

You can get stronger and care less and less by improving your confidence and trust in yourself. These are things that you can work on, and you can grow yourself inside. I think this is one of the most important mindsets we can strengthen.

Get to know yourself, take small steps and show you that you can trust yourself. Get strong people around you who support your dreams, understand that others will hold you back because they feel uncomfortable. Understand that people are mostly not thinking about you. If someone does actually have a negative opinion of you, it is based on where they are at in their lives. They are just not the right people for what you are offering. That’s okay,

How would your life be different if you did not fear other people’s opinion. If you were able to truly be you and to express yourself completely- what would happen?

Don Miguel Ruiz tells us that it is none of our business what someone else thinks about us. What they think is based on their past and their personal life experiences.

Who’s opinion are you most afraid of? Why is that? What’s the real truth? What’s the worst that can happen/

Don’t let someone else’s opinion, or worse, what you perceive someone else’s opinion is or will be, stop you ever again. Life is too short and what you have to bring to the world is too important to be missed. Someone needs you to be you.

It takes vulnerability, courage, devotion to yourself and your goals and dreams.

A great resource for more on this is the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.