FOPO: Fear of Other People's Opinions

Oct 4, 2023
3 min read
Fear of People's Opinions
Group of people screaming in megaphones at scared guy

Do you fear other people’s opinion of you?

In today’s social media-fueled society, we get an inside look at how people live their life- or at least how they want to portray it. As humans, we want to be liked, awed at, and impressive, and ultimately, we would prefer to be at the top of the social hierarchy. In trying to create standing within society, it is easy to forget that we want to operate from a value-based perspective. If it were easy to lose our true selves before social media, now it’s exponentially harder.

Don’t be a victim. Think about where this desire for toting the party line comes from. It’s ok; we aren’t bad people, but we need to understand the proper propulsions of our psyche. Why do we act outside of our intentions and belief and sometimes character due to fear of others’ judgment? It’s because it’s helped us survive for the last 20,000 years. Consider this: being within a group has always increased our chances of survival. 15,000 years ago, if you got kicked out of the group, you’d be eaten by a predator or drown in the Nile after a crocodile pulled you in without a buddy to throw you a vine and pull you up. This survival instinct is so powerful that we often forgo our values or how we truly want to spend our time just being a part of a group. It’s powerful, but guess what? In modern times, you won’t get eaten by a lion if your values and internal motivators don’t align with a socially desirable group and you choose not to be a part of that group!! We have to start doing us. If my daughter wants to hang with what society calls “uncool weirdos,” and that’s where she shares values, perspectives, and positive, uplifting energy, I’m a happy dad. Or, for that matter, if it’s what society deems the “cool” kids and she aligns, that’s great too. The issue is when we act based on what societal pressure says and to be associated with a group for external reasons when our internal values and perspectives don’t align. Great things happen when we lose the fear of other people’s opinions.

Don’t act for the applause; make your decisions because it feels like you’re doing what you’re meant to. If you’re tethered to what people think, you’re essentially handing over the keys to your life. Create your personal commandments, and let them be your North Star. Don’t be a prisoner of public opinion. Life’s not an approval contest. Your worth isn’t up for discussion. Nervous? That’s the sign you’re onto something. Those jitters? They’re your fuel. Turn them into momentum and let them steer you toward what truly matters: contributing something outstanding. Obsessed with reviews and likes? Stop. Think about your legacy. You’re not here to tick boxes or follow a script. You’re here to rewrite it, to redefine what’s possible. Your true self is your best compass. It guides you toward opportunities you hadn’t even considered. Being authentic is your edge, your unique value proposition. Standing out isn’t about ditching kindness or rebellion; it’s about not trimming your edges out of fear. You don’t compromise—you sharpen. Zoom in on your own path. Do it your way. You’re not just ticking a different box; you’re redesigning the form. And that’s not just a win; it’s a revolution.

_Author Anonymous_

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