Do you listen to more or less everyone’s opinions, including strangers?
Or perhaps only your friends? Or your family? Or your pet?
At the most basic level, we can feel free to listen to the opinions of anyone that cross our path in some way. But “listen to” doesn’t mean “agree with”, or even “take seriously”.
And that goes doubly for other people’s opinions about us.
But at the same time, we also shouldn’t completely isolate ourselves from getting feedback from the outside world. Because that feedback can be an important tool for growth and for keeping us grounded.
So what do we do?
How do we ensure that we don’t listen to the wrong people, but that we also don’t lose complete touch with reality?
Well, there’s a very simple rule of thumb for that.
Only listen to the opinions of people you would ask for advice.
And not any advice, but advice specifically about the thing they are giving you their opinion about.
The people we would turn to for advice tend to be the people whose values, knowledge, or experience we both respect and are compatible with.
These are the people whose opinions will, most likely, be inline with your own values and understanding of the world. They will support our current journey based on who we are as a person.
For someone to have such a position in your life, it’s also very likely that they are someone close to you who mirrors the respect you have for them. Or someone you look up to because they have achieved things you want to achieve, in ways that feel right for you.
In either case, this means that they are more likely to give opinions that are constructive and compatible with who you are as a person, rather than plainly critical and disconnected.
And even if we don’t feel we need any advice on the thing they're sharing their opinion about, we should listen.
Because even though we didn’t ask for their opinion this time, we do respect and appreciate their insight, and they might see something that we’re blind to.
That being said, I want to again remind you that “listen to ”doesn’t always mean “agree with”.
Even when the people whose value, knowledge, or experience we respect give us their opinions, it is ultimately up to us to decide whether we should listen to those opinions or not.
So take your time to think about what they said. Consider whether you agree with it, and why – or why not.
Once you’ve decided whether you agree or not, and what the reasons for that decision are, you can confidently move forward knowing that you have made the best choice you could make.
And when you do, you should feel good about yourself for taking yet another step forward in your personal growth journey.
Hi, I'm TJ Guttormsen.
Since 2009 I’ve coached clients ranging from Olympic gold medalists and billionaires, to people who simply want more out life.
I’ve done over 100 national media appearances, published books, and created online courses that have earned several “Highest Rated” titles from their 11 000+ members.
Today I coach clients from all over the world, and teach seminars for business and events from my home in Las Vegas.
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