Do You Follow Your Heart or Worry About What Others Think Instead?

by Jayne Kopp on April 10, 2012

worrying about what others think

If I had a dime for how many people I know who worry about what other people think rather than give themselves credit for their own ideas, I’d be rolling in them! (Dimes that is!)

As you might already know, I spend a lot of time on calls either coaching or doing follow up and it seems that when it comes to people wanting to make “out of the ordinary” life changes but feel too stuck to take action,  more often than not, the reason they don’t move forward is almost always related to  what others think of their decisions.

What I mean is, the people I talk to are more focused on “caring about what others think” rather than caring about themselves and putting their own needs and desires first on the list!

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing un-toward about getting input or decent advice.  The problem is however, it seems many comments from “peanut galleries” these days are often not supportive and are from people who don’t have a blinking clue.

For example… I was talking to a fellow the other day (I’ll call him Bob) who wanted my honest opinion about starting an online business and whether I thought it might be a worth while endeavour for him.

Well… naturally, as you may have guessed, I feel that anyone who wants to try their hand at being an entrepreneur… should!  I’m not saying jump in and throw down a huge lump of cash or anything like that…but if you wanted to perhaps take a kick at the can with, let’s say affiliate marketing, blogging, or marketing an online business opportunity… I’ll always be the first one to say “go for it!”

So… after I told him to “go for it”… and give it a whirl, he told me the reason he had been holding off was because one of his friends feels that all internet marketing ventures are scammy!

Hello?  I mean what the heck? (I thought) … how are all internet marketing businesses scams?

Clearly this term is so broad that it makes no sense… does it? I mean, isn’t it obvious that “Buddy” there didn’t have a clue what he was talking about?  So why the heck then would Bob give two shoots about what his friend said?

I mean…okay… yes… there are some ‘scams’ online… but there are as many offline or anywhere else you look.  Making a broad statement like this is like saying everyone on the planet is dishonest!

So anyway…  I said to BOB… “Well that’s a ridiculous statement … what do you think Bob?”

Well Bob told me he personally didn’t think that all  internet marketing ventures were scams (again the whole sentence makes me want to scream)  but he knows there are some that are not cracked up to be what they say… and so… he really wasn’t sure whether to take a chance… or not.

With one eyebrow raised, my next question to Bob was… “Bob… if you started a business and decided to market it online… does this mean that would make you scammer or do you believe you’d be building a solid business with the utmost integrity?”

Bob said… “Well no…I wouldn’t scam anyone,  but what if I decided to market a business opportunity and is was a scam and even though my intentions were honest… what if I found out later?”

I said… “Bob… can’t you think for yourself?  I mean… naturally you’ll have to do some research and look into things and perform due diligence… but if you find something that resonates with you and you feel ‘comfortable’… so comfortable that  it feels right … and it’s something you can afford to invest in… and you’ve asked around….then maybe it’s not so much your fear of ‘scams’ but rather it might be your personal belief system that needs looking at?

“Yea maybe” (says Bob) “but what he (Buddy) said really made me lose nerve to a point…. and then I started thinking about the fact that I don’t know anything about online marketing and the fact I’d likely have to start writing articles or doing video’s… and I was worried about ‘what other people might think’ if I mess up….. or don’t have the right way of getting my message across, yada yada yada”….(long run on sentence I know…)

Although my inner voice wanted to come out in the form of frustration… I also know deep inside that this “worrying about what others think”  is what prevents thousands of people from taking a chance on anything in life.  In other words… ‘Bob’ is not alone.

The thing is… I suppose we all have an inner need to succeed and we all would love to come across flawless.  We all, in a perfect world would feel better with genuine support from our friends and family.  We’d  also like to be seen as “having it all together” right from the get go.  Let’s face it,  everybody fears failure… particularly in front of our peers.

The truth is though, that anything in life that is worth doing in order to create positive change… (the  kind of change we desire in the centre of our hearts), often does require “personal”  willingness to take a risk.  Not only that but we also often have to learn to  say “to hell with everything and everyone… I’m going for it”.

Sometimes… (often really) in order to get ahead we have to put on a brave face and step out into the great unknown in order to ‘know’ if our choices are the right ones.

The only alternative is to have that nagging-panging feeling that tugs at our inner self that will continue plague  our minds forever, forcing us us ‘wonder’ if we should have just taken that brave step when we were so close to doing it… but didn’t.

In other words… sometimes we will never know what “could have been” if we don’t just step up to the plate and find out first hand!

You know, when it really gets right down to it, most people who give negative advice only do so because they A) don’t know what they are talking about, B) really don’t have a grasp or understand everything about the topic, C) try to protect you from making a mistake  or… D) Secretly would hate to see you get further ahead than they are.

To be honest, the reason often has a lot to do with “D”… like it or not… after all, misery loves company and never wants to be left behind or see others take a chance on something that is much greater than anything they’d have the guts to try.

Then of course there’s the “Bobs” of the world; those who take the advice of others and end up doing nothing  instead of following their own dreams and trying new things.

Usually those who care about what other think  A) lack confidence and need to learn to get a handle on limiting beliefs and inner critic, B) really don’t want what they say they want badly enough, C) they are too lazy to work towards their dreams, or D) don’t feel they are worthy or capable of success.


Whilst I do tend to think that more often than not, it’s lack of confidence or a poor self image that holds people back, I also feel that a combination of all of the above is intertwined with limiting belief and is why many cannot seem to trust their own common sense decisions or follow their own hearts.

I’ll give you another example about how caring about what others think can hinder personal fulfillment

This is a true story that does not pertain  to starting a business but rather is about  a friend of mine who wanted to train for the Vancouver Sun Run.  (It’s a marathon held every spring in my neck of the woods).

Now I’ve done this run… even though I’m really not a runner… well at least not these days. (It’s just not my “thing” anymore… but I digress..).

In any event, my friend was “humming and harring” as to whether she was going to start training for it….

When I asked her why she was waning on her enthusiasm… she told me that “her daughter and her husband didn’t think she’d make it!”

Upon hearing this I naturally would have liked to crack all of their heads together… including hers.

I mean… how ridiculous!!…seriously!!  Here’s my friend who really wants to do this run and she’s listening to what others think she can or cannot do??  Gimme a break. ((Please!))

First of all… who the heck are ‘they’ other than her family that is… which sometimes I

think is unfortunate… (I don’t really I’m being a bit sarcastic … but it does burn my britches!).  I just can’t believe that anyone who’s supposed to ‘care’ about someone would say that they’re not capable!

The Vancouver Sun Run is something that anyone can do if they really want to do it.  It’s only 10 kilometres which in the big scheme of things is NOT a huge deal!  I mean, this run can be done in anywhere from 50 to 90 minutes… not much more if you walk it…. but yet… she’s thinking about scrapping the idea of  participating because her husband and daughter can’t find it in them to support her enough… and she’s allowed them to convince her she might not make it??  (Aaaarggh!)

Mind boggling… I know… but why??

Worrying about what other people think always makes me crazy.

Particularly if what YOU want to do… is harmless… I can’t get my head around why a person wouldn’t try anyway.

The bottom line is that if you truly want to make some sort of change or try something new… whether it’s starting a business, training for a marathon, learning to play piano, taking singing lessons, writing a book… whatever it is you want to do … you need to do it FOR YOU.

If you allow yourself to worry about what others think… you are not living authentically.  That is the bottom line!  You will likely go through the motions of living the rest of your days never having the feeling of being truly satisfied with life.

The things you prevent yourself from ‘trying’ will always weigh on your heart if they meant enough to you to have thought about in the first place and I can guarantee in 10 years, 15 years, 20 years down the road you will always look back and wished you had done the things you wanted when you had the chance.

I will also guarantee that when the day comes that you ascend to the “pearly gates” you will not look back on your life and be ‘glad’ you didn’t try something new and exciting and missed a bunch of opportunities in life.

The take away to this rather long post is that whatever you need or want to do… you should do if it will fill a void or you feel there is merit in doing so.

Again, it doesn’t matter what “it” is… it could be learning to earn online, it might be skydiving for that  matter… the bottom line is if it will help you become more fulfilled, give you a feeling of accomplishment  and perhaps get a couple of things checked off your bucket list… do it.

Life is far too short to worry about what ‘George’ down the street thinks and I say it over and over again that we should all latch onto a perspective shift and learn to live in the moment.  One day the nay-sayers might be ‘thinking’ about what you’ve done in a positive way with admiration… which at that stage of the game will just be wind beneath your wings  and put an extra feather in your cap!

Everything is do-able if you want it badly enough.   If others have done it… you can too… so “bugger” what others think… worry about what YOU think!

As Napoleon hill says, “”What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve””.   Let this be your mantra and if you need help or empowerment along the way, contact me and lets get the ball rolling!


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Oliver Tausend April 24, 2012 at 6:15 am

Hi Jayne,

great post. So true, many people worry about what others think. In fact, they’re worrying about what they might think because it all happens in our mind anyway, doesn’t it ?

The problem is that many people are caught in a battle between their own true identity and the identity that is not theirs, but they acquired this identity through the influence of others throughout their lives. When someone decides intellectually to live according to his true reality, he’s most likely not prepared emotionally to follow through with it because he can count on accusations from his environment, such as kind reminders of “responsibility” and “selfishness”, to only name two. When these follow suit, they’re not all mentally prepared to stand these.

Thanks for sharing your insights.




Ben April 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I agree Jayne, and I think that letting go of what others think is one of the most important changes we can make!

One thing i’ve always hated is people who are meant to care about me try to bring me down when i’m making changes or doing something that I want to do. I’ve learnt to use this as for further growth by allowing myself to explore what this is triggering inside me, afterall it isn’t the fact they are saying this stuff to me, it is how I am reacting to it, if I let go of the emotions around it and let go of caring about it, I can just keep moving on. And that is exactly what I have been doing.

As for online businesses, most people can’t identify, when I mention it to people I know they usually go silent and don’t say much about it, but I don’t care anymore, as i’m going to continue doing this!



Jayne Kopp April 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

HI Ben, you hit the nail on the head… it really is how we react. We can choose to pay attention or simply release.

As far as people not understanding your business… that’s a perfect scenario… and one that’s common. You see, MOST people don’t get it… and if they are not silent (which you say many people are) … they often want to give their two bits anyway… and often it’s not what we want to hear because they are not knowledgeable in the first place.

I’m glad you choose to focus on personal triggers rather than the thoughts of others. At lease you have the comfort of knowing you’ll never hold yourself back~! :-)

Lovely to see you Ben.



Stacy April 13, 2012 at 7:24 am

Hi Jayne,

This is a fantastic post – I think that you already know that I am in full agreement with you!

When I was a young adult I was practically paralyzed with fear of what other people thought in so many ways. I grew up always hearing, “You can’t do xyz – what will people THINK??” As a teen I rebelled against that by dressing the exact opposite of the styles that were so popular. Everyone was wearing the Nirvana grunge and I was wearing neon pinks, greens, and such. But as a young adult it had set into my mindset somehow.

Now I’m in my 30s and happy to not be hindered by the thought of “what will people think??” because I don’t really care. Now the job is to figure out what *I* think and what *I* want. I just wrote a post about rediscovering dreams, I hope you check it out! :)



Jayne Kopp April 16, 2012 at 11:03 am

HI Stacy, that’s so good to hear. Thanks also for your kind words.

That really is the bottom line … caring about what you think… because if you can think ‘it’ and it’s important to YOU… then you can make it happen.

It’s all about moving forward in the direction of your dreams and getting rid of the fluff that clogs our energy.

You’ll do great… I’m off to read your post!



Madonna April 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Hi Jayne,

Very profound. Such words of wisdom. I love the reframe with Bob. MLM has such a stigma attached to it. Just read a very inflammatory post on my newsfeed about constantly being asked to look at MLM opportunities. Then half a dozen others joined in and agreed. if I were in MLM, this would make me feel even worse.

You hit the nail right on the head (I hate cliches) when you said that confidence and self esteem was at the heart of the problem. I teach network marketers how to move beyond this and it is is the biggest reason for failure in the industry.

Thanks for a great post. Have tweeted and will repost.



Jayne Kopp April 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

Thanks so much for adding to this conversation Madonna. I appreciate you taking the time.

I know what you mean about when people get on the band wagon giving their own two bits about opportunities. I have to agree that if I were in MLM it would put me off too.

I am not in MLM… I do coaching as you do… but I do enjoy a direct sales business in conjunction. I used to read all the reviews and updates on the business I enjoy and it really was enough to put me off (If I were willing to let it all sink in).

The bottom line is you can build a business selling paperclips if you want… it’s all about what you are willing to do with opportunities that counts. It’s about personal power and personal belief.

I’m glad we are not all created the same as that would make for a very boring world… but it’s also important to go with our own feelings and have enough faith in ‘us’ to move forward and make things happen.

I pretty much do what you do… help people put blinders on and move onwards and upwards. It’s amazing the results I’ve seen.

Thanks so much again Madonna. Lovely to see you.



Adrienne April 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Wonderful post Jayne and it’s so very true.

I stopped caring what other people think of me a long time ago. But my mentor and I were having a conversation and he said I was doing exactly that. I still honestly think he was wrong.

I believe my problem lies in maybe posturing myself more so that I have more confidence with what I intend to share. Deep down I don’t care what they think of me honestly but maybe I just don’t come across as take charge as I would hope that I am. That I am most definitely guilty of so to me there is a difference but then again, maybe I’m wrong.

I know that a lot of us are people pleasers so it’s hard to break that cycle. I had someone in my life like that a very long time ago and that person could not make their own decisions to save their souls. They also ended up living a very miserable life because of it too.

I hope that others will read this post and take charge of what they truly want Jayne and then take 100% responsibility for whichever direction it takes.

Wonderful post and thank you for sharing it. Hope you’re enjoying your week.



Jayne Kopp April 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

Thanks so much Adrienne. Did your mentor tell you ‘why’ he/she thought you were ‘caring’ too much?

Sometimes we have to get a little more daring and posture ourselves… or perhaps have a stronger call to action… one that is a little more persuasive than we might feel we ought.

I have noticed by stepping outside that comfort zone… the results have definitely paid off… but it was a bit of a stretch at first.

Lovely to see you Adrienne.




Ilka Flood April 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Hi Jayne,

Excellent post, as usual! I used to care what others thought, neighbors, friends, family, etc. until I realized how stupid that really is. Think about it….WHO is paying your bills?

Besides…“We’d care less about what others think about us if we realized how seldom they do.”

I’m going full steam ahead.

Thanks for your wonderful insights!



Cathy Miller April 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Jayne: One of the best things about getting older (for me) is you don’t care about what others think when you really want to do something. Sure I welcome feedback from those I love and trust, but ultimately, it’s my decision.

I left 30+years in corporate during the height of the recession to start my own business. Believe me, there were PLENTY of naysayers.

And tell your friend who wants to do the marathon that I am going for my 9th 3-Day, 60-Mile Walk for the Cure. I celebrated the 60 miles last year along with my 60th birthday.

My 3-Day motto could be a life motto – Walk on. :-)


Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. April 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Great post, Jayne!
And, yes, we seem to have raised a generation of lemmings. And, given that fact, without a change in attitude and bearing, they are destined to fail in those endeavors that require one to stick one’s neck forward…


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