FOPO: Fear of Other People’s Opinions

Dr. Brene Brown inspires us to care less about what others think and shares how it will change our lives.

We are on a constant quest for feedback, yet there are a million cheap seats where people are hurling criticism. Brown encourages this simple exercise:

  • Take out a 1“ x 1“ piece of paper

  • Write down the names of the people whose opinion of you matter.

  • You should not need more than the 1” x 1” — there should be six people or less.

When you care about what everyone thinks you lose the willingness to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. When you care what nobody thinks, we lose our ability to connect. You’re hard wired neurobiologically to connect and care what others think — to find the people that love you.

Brown interviewed Michael Gervais about FOPO, “Fear of people’s opinion,” which is the greatest inhibitor of potential. We play it safe and small. We are worried about what will happen on the other side of the critique.She shares four skillsets of courage:

  1. Rumbling with vulnerability

  2. Living into your values

  3. Braving trust

  4. Learning to rise

In Brown’s teachings and writings, she often uses Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena to inspire us to be great and play big.

“It's not the critic who counts.  It's not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done it better.  The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena. Whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes up short again and again and again, and who in the end, while he may know the triumph of high achievement, at least when he fails, he does so doing greatly.” 

GrowthSarah McAdamsComment