How the Opinions of Others Can Influence our Decisions

Almost everything we do in life involves making decisions.  Often they are small decisions that are simple to make, others may have a much greater impact on our lifestyle, behavior and attitudes.

One of the worst things we can do is to make decisions based on other people’s opinions.  Fear about what others may think can make even the easiest decisions almost impossible – it can paralyze us and we could end up avoiding taking any action at all.  This fear may be rooted in different areas – fear of what our family, friends and peers might think of our idea, fear that we are not qualified to make this decision, or fear that we will choose the wrong option.

When we go through the “what ifs” in our own minds, we can easily base our options on what people will think of us.  While it is human nature to want approval from others, but too often we can let our decision be guided by what we perceive will be the reaction of those we are close to.

We have to remember that if we rely more on what other people might think than our own values, the possibility that we will make the wrong decision becomes that much more likely.  It is always good to get insights from others to get the information we need to choose an option, but in the end we must be confident enough to make the decision based on our own values.  We must free ourselves from the fears we carry about others’ opinions, and have the self-reliance to “voice our choice”.

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