I recently read a great article from my friend Ken Keis about “other people’s opinions and how they can affect our confidence and more often then not…slow us down. I thought I would share as I know it rings true for all of us at one point or another.

What would your life or business look like if you changed it to fit everyone´s (in many cases unsolicited) opinions? You certainly would not be living your purpose.

What’s an Opinion?: A view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter; belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge; a formal expression of judgment.

Here’s why this article from Ken rang so true for us. When Margarita and I had Scenario Design, we came across this “opinion” challenge one too many times. For example, after many weeks or discovery, research and creative process, we would present a great new Brand Identity to a client. We would get their initial gut feedback and give them a few days to “wear” their new Identity. They would always say “You are BANG-ON” it’s a perfect fit!.” They were thrilled and on cloud nine as they left our office.

You guessed it…a few days later, after sharing their new Brand Identity with a bazillion others, of course… they sometimes came back to us with a wack of “solicited or unsolicited” opinions, unfounded feedback that had now shaken their original gut feel…and sometimes totally destroying their confidence and momentum.

A new rule was created at Scenario Design: NO ONE was permitted to leave with any visuals.

When you are confident and clear about who you are and what your purpose is, others´ opinions will no longer impact you. You don´t need validation because you are secure in yourself and in your decisions. And negative opinions or feedback no longer takes you out.

Ken says: “I encourage everyone to stand in your personal and professional space with confidence. You can choose to seek wisdom from others but you must be watchful of the qualifications of your sources.

Unless you are one of my trusted advisors, I am not interested in your opinion about my business or my presentations. After 20 years and 2000 presentations, I know myself. I have my own personal style and I am not going to change—nor should you—just because a minority did not like something.

Of course there are some exceptions, such as feedback from individuals in authority at work and those you trust the most. Even then, make sure you are not being forced to be someone you are not—or expected to compromise your values in favor of another person.”

This Week’s Action Steps

  • Are you completely clear about what is important to you, in all areas of your life? If not, what do you need to confirm?
  • Have you allowed unsolicited opinions from unqualified individuals to influence your life and business? If Yes, why do you think you have allowed that to happen?
  • What has listening to others´ ill-considered opinions cost you in terms of direction, confidence, and success?
  • Decide this moment that you will not allow ignorant opinions into your personal or professional space. What do you need to change or shift to achieve that objective?

The reality is that if you stand for anything, someone will disagree. If you never have anyone disagreeing with you, are you living authentically or are you simply trying to please others? Feedback is an important part of growth; proactively select your group of advisors to make sure they have a proven track record of success in the area where you seek counsel. Make sure these individuals will tell you the truth—not just what you want to hear.

Ken’s point is this: No matter who you are or what you do, unsolicited opinions and comments that have no merit will be offered. They should be completely ignored. That includes “well-meaning” family members and friends who are judging the way you should run your life or business.

If you need assistance in discovering your true purpose and core ideology or if you are ready to raise the bar, download this PDF to learn more about how LeapZone can help you thrive and experience your best year yet.

Ken Keis is President and CEO of Consulting Resource Group International, Inc., which is quickly becoming known as the number one global resource center for Personal and Professional Development.