Why do we feel so obligated?
We are all guilty of letting the opinions of others influence how we feel. We are also all guilty of letting certain people in our life breathe influence over our souls even when we know they are not on our same frequency.
Is it because we feel obligated to hear their opinions even when we know it is far from good counsel?
Is it because our circumstances, unfortunately, position us to have to be influenced by the opinion of others such as a boss, family member, or close long-term friend?
How can we transition from a place of obligation to a place of selection?
Why Am I Writing this article?
Professionally, I have been in situations where I was brought in to share and offer up my expertise and recommendations where limited thinkers filled the seats in the boardrooms. I found that there is nothing more frustrating than to work with ego, inexperience, negativity, and immaturity.
In a situation like this, I have been guilty of letting opinions influence my thinking, and regretfully position myself to drop into a place of self-doubt. I found myself letting these “throw-away” opinions from “the inexperienced” influence my action steps only to land me in a place of embarrassment, poor outcomes and low self-esteem. So not me!
You see, we are all guilty of letting opinions move us away from the goal. As soon I saw myself changing and conforming outside of my professional values, I knew I needed an immediate ticket out of the situation and away from the limited negative naysayers. I punched my ticket out and said goodbye to a high salary, demanding schedule, and a comfortable routine. I was no longer going to feel obligated to adjust to opinions.
It was then I decided, within my professional world, I would seek only good counsel and decide from a place of my own beliefs, or there would no longer be a professional partnership.
Personally, I felt the stronghold of obligation to listen to the opinions of close family members and friends. I mean, come on, they should want the best for me, right? After all, they were loved ones who took up real estate within my inner circle.
It was not long into my journey of powerful transition and change when I realized there was an immediate need to take a hard look at those who offered up only opinions with lack of experience. Sadly, I realized that by attempting to influence me away from the direction I was heading, it was only showcasing their own insecurities and shortcomings, unintentionally or intentionally. I came to realize not all loved ones wanted to see me knock the cover off the ball. They would, sadly, rather me sit on the sidelines next to them.
This didn’t mean they all had ill intentions; it just meant their own insecurities were trying to keep me grounded in mediocre results. I will never forget the day that I promised myself I would revise the invitation list within my inner circle. The attendees would only be those who could offer up solid counsel. Those attendees who would want to elevate me because they understood that the terrain ahead was tough, but worth it. They needed to be encouragers not showstoppers. I no longer felt obligated to take in their opinions. I just simply thanked them for providing what they believed to be good insight and I let it go.
Be Selective! Why not?
Listen to me. We get to choose, and we get to rewrite the rules as to who merely is allowed to be heard and who actually has the permission to influence our viewpoints.
Sure, we may all have people in our “professional” worlds we must listen to, but that does not mean we should allow our recommendations to be silenced or diluted. This is also true for those who are close to our heart space and who legitimately deserve to have an opportunity to be heard.
However, we should never be under the false obligation that one person has the power to singlehandedly derail our thinking. We all know the importance of keeping sound counsel within our inner circles, but do we always stay committed to this instrumental life rule? Do we bend and break? Let’s agree to not only be selective, but to also stay selective.
Most people do not have the ability to relate…
People enjoy being vocal from a place of inexperience. Those who are the most vocal or critical are often the ones who lack the same level of bravery we've had to embrace to take a stand or to move progressively forward.
Recognize this and let’s never forget to ask ourselves, “Does this person have the experience to influence how I feel or what move I should make?” If they don’t, thank them for their time and efforts, but don’t absorb it into your headspace, and move on.
The “aha” for the day….