Yesterday I blogged about how vlogging was helping me not worry about other's opinions of me. Shortly after posting, my writer friend Kenneth posted this article about how you have to care what other's think about you. It was an unintentional coincidence, but I told him I would fight him so here's my response. He had some good points in there, so I don't actually disagree with much of what he said, it was just a funny that he posted that immediately after me.
If you really know me, you'll know that I really don't like systems. I don't like political systems (or politicians), I don't like school systems, etc. All they are to me are way to simplify humanity into a non-human, sheep-like way. Systems pay no mind to the individual, rather to a group that may or may not uphold the beliefs and values of the individuals within that group.
We all have to be part of systems. That's just life. We all have to pay the piper at some point.
So yes, you will have to care what people think of you at some point in your life; teachers, employers, customers. The list goes on.
We all want to be liked, so we have a foundation of needing validation. You don't have to care what people think about you, you naturally just do it anyway in day to day life.
When anyone tells you to not care what people think, they are referring that that innate desire I just discussed. That innate desire is great in base situations, but it can get you in trouble.
Before you know it, you can't distinguish between the opinions that matter and those that don't. Then you find yourself trying to please everyone, which is impossible.
Steve Jobs for example: people thought he was crazy, that the things he was doing was impossible, but he absolutely didn't care. By the end, he only cared about what his customers thought. (and even that's debatable)
There will always be a set group of people who's opinion matters; for me, it's my wife's, my mom's, my mentor, and a couple other people in my life who I respect. Past those 4 or 5 people, I try not to bother myself with it. As long as you know the work you're doing is good, and you're not hurting anyone, don't bother yourself with the opinions of others.
Validation is great but it can ruin you if you get too caught up in it. Critique is also good, unless it isn't constructive. I know some people that are critical just to feel better about themselves, and those are the opinions you should especially ignore. It happens, you just have to move on.
Approval is required whether it's getting a new driver's license or applying for a job. However, the sources in which approval is actually required is pretty limited compared to those we often perceive.
I'm still fighting this need to get approval from absolutely everyone, but I've see where it has hurt me in the past. Some opinions matter, but most don't.
It's not how hard you hit, it's how hard you can get hit, how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! -Rocky Balboa