Fear of Other People’s Opinion

I am currently 11 months out from retirement and of course the number 1 question I get asked is “What are you going to do next?”

Interestingly, I think most people don’t really care what I’m going to do, they just want to internally compare my decision to what they are doing. Remember, every time that you succeed, it destroys someone else’s excuse. (And most people only ask questions because they have a preloaded response to whatever you have to say.)

There are also the folks who want to give you their opinion on what they THINK¬† you should be doing regardless of what you want to do. (See above, they weren’t really listening anyway) “So and so is doing this and they are making this much money, its such a great job for you too, you would be perfect.” “Why would you do that? That’s dumb, you’ll never make money.” I’m talking about those people.

I’m sure that anyone who has gone through career transition has experienced one or both of those scenarios. These situations are so common and tend to lead to such crippling psychological effects that Dr. Michael Gervais has begun to call the human reaction to this “FOPO” or Fear of Other People’s Opinion.

FOPO is paralyzing and has led many people into accepting unfulfilling jobs and to grinding out years of regret over what could have been. These are often the same people who “live for the weekend” or exclaim “Thank God it’s Friday.”¬† If you are living for Friday or exhaling on hump-day it may be time to address the fear that is holding you back from where you’re truly meant to be.

There will always be fear associated with trying something new. Don’t allow fear to hold you down. Embrace fear and use it as the fuel to ignite your passion. Take a good look at your circle of friends and determine which ones truly support you and where you need to make changes. Remember that sometimes its easier to cut away weight than to add fuel.

Escape Velocity is fueled with-in

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