Break Free from the Chains of FOPO
The opinions that others frame about us certainly do impact the way we feel, show up and perform. The good news is that they can impact you only if you allow them. The fear of other people’s opinions (FOPO) is an excessive worry about what others are thinking about you. Though it helps you play safe and fit in the crowd, it is also one of the greatest constrictors of human potential that keeps you small. It holds you back from bringing your authentic and best self forward.
In this piece, I brief you on how FOPO emanated over the years and ways in which you can break free from this limiting and anxiety-inducing mindset.
Centuries ago, living in close-knit villages and societies meant fitting in, and going against their beliefs led to being kicked out of the tribe. For survival, the brain became attuned to acceptance and created a psychology to constantly fit in. Also as social interactions grew and social media made our lives more public than ever before, generations continued the norm to play safe to fit in and be accepted.
The problem is that constantly worrying about what others think can model you into becoming more acceptable to others, rather than embracing who you truly are or what your true purpose in life is. If you always care what others think, you live your life on their terms and not your own.
However, when you let go of FOPO you’re less concerned about others’ opinions and free yourself from the constraints of societal expectations. This freedom can lead to more creative expressions of yourself and the pursuit of goals that genuinely matter to you. This is your real awakening where you move from a performance or comparison-based identity to a purpose-driven identity. Your purpose is so big and significant to you that other people’s opinions pale in comparison to its intensity in front of you. Further focusing on building your talents and accomplishing goals helps you build a more positive and independent self-image.
Also, it’s important to remember that growth is a lonely process that breeds envy and can get people talking behind your back even more. You just need to be indifferent to opinions, patient with yourself and celebrate the progress you make along the way.
If you care, you should care only about the opinions of people who fall in these two categories:
– People who genuinely know you and care about your growth.
– People who have done extremely hard things, braced through risks and proved their mettle in life.
The opinions of anyone who falls outside of these two groups shouldn’t hold any weight. Whether it’s acceptance or rejection, both are irrelevant to you.
‘I don’t give a shit about what they think’ is when you finally break the chains of FOPO and are no longer beholden to what others think of you anymore…
Alvina Clara, Content Writer, emQube