Growing up, I have asked my friends, my family, and people around me this question of “What Do YOU Think?” multiple times. Over the years, I have realized that this question in itself provides a false sense of satisfaction. Whenever, I have asked someone what they thought, in one way or another, I had given them the power to not only state their opinion, but to also possibly impact mine. For me, this realization has been immensely significant. Subconsciously, I never even realized the power of someone’s opinion as it pertains to how it impacts ones own opinion and/or way of thinking.
I think there are many reasons this question has appeared in my life repeatedly. Look, I get it – this question plays a different role for each person. For me, however, I came to realize that by asking this question, I was trying to focus externally on opinions that can make decision making easier for me. In doing so, I didn’t have to explore this concept of confidence internally. In a way, by asking others, I was able to overlook my own lack of self-confidence.
However, over the years I realized that by avoiding self-exploration, I was being unfair to myself. In asking people for their opinions, I was silencing my own inner voice. I was not asking myself what I REALLY wanted. Instead, I was becoming dependent on the opinions of others. At a certain point in time I realized that I had shut out my own voice to such an extent, that I no longer knew what Manisha wanted. At that point, I decided to take full responsibility for my decisions, and of course I still left room to ask others for their opinions, but my decisions were no longer based on that.
There were a few key questions I had to ask myself, which helped me understand the importance of asking what myself what I wanted. Here are the questions I had to ask myself in order to understand the value of my own opinion:
1- Why are you asking other people for their opinion?
2- Did you ask yourself what you want, before asking others?
3- What is your evaluation process after someone has provided their opinion?
4- Do you reflect some more after asking other people for their opinion?
Sometimes, we just need to ask ourselves the very same questions – we don’t want to answer. In doing so, we create a completely new level of trust with ourselves. When I started building this trust – I realized that the only person I ever needed to ask about my decisions was myself.