Jennifer Keitt, Chief Empowerment Officer

 

 

  

 

Everybody, and I do mean e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y has an opinion about what we should do, how we should act, what we should say and on and on and on. It’s enough to drive any sane person crazy!

I learned over the years that people have to “earn” the right to have an opinion in my life. Here’s what I mean. If a person has an opinion for me, that’s only of benefit to them, sorry you don’t get a say. If a person has an opinion for me, and you’re not a part of helping me, loving me or even engaging actively in my life, sorry, you don’t get a say. If a person has an opinion for me that in any way comes from a place of control or “do as I say otherwise you’ll displease me,” then ABSOLUTELY no way do you get to have a say in my life!

Here are several tried and true keys that I use to decide who gets to have an opinion about my life that actually matters to me.

#1. Are our values on the same page? Do you want what I want the way I want it? Are we heading in the same direction? Do we have one another’s back? I’m not talking about anyone “faking the funk” on this one. In order to have an opinion that matters to me, our values must be alignment. I can’t have you speaking defeat, doubt and negativity, when I’m trying to be about greatness. Too many times we are listening to people who don’t have our same outlook on life. They want different things and go about getting them “by any means necessary.” I don’t give these people a chance to have a say-so in my life. Alignment of values is the first “test” that I give someone to see if I can listen to their opinion.

#2. Do they have “skin” in my game? I am a risk-taker. I like trying new things and breaking out of my comfort zone  . . . walking on the water! Only those people who show up and put themselves out here with me from a place of courage can have the right to have an opinion. If you are unwilling to get dirty, get involved, fight with me and not against me, then there is no way I am listening to your opinion. My husband and I always say the most beautiful part of our relationship is our “battle scars.” Those “scars” that we have from fighting the same enemy together and defeating it!

#3. And finally, are they sharing from a genuine place of love and concern. I always try to figure out what place a person’s opinion is coming. Is it from a place judgment, dislike, or critic that’s negative and not helpful? If so, I do not listen. Constructive feedback is wonderful and extremely helpful. But if a person’s intent is to bully me into doing things their way, I have no time for them! I had a listener one time take the time to write me an email expressing his displeasure with how I handled my radio show. He insisted that I do things differently because he didn’t like it. I thanked him for his email kindly and expressed that I appreciated his feedback. He instantly emailed me back asking (nastily I might add) “are you going to change and do it the way I’ve suggested?” I emailed him back instantly and said, “No.” And then the strangest thing happened. He emailed me back and said that he respected me for responding to him and telling him the truth. We ended on a pleasant note in the email exchange. And I still handle my show my way.

Everyone does not have the right to have an opinion about your life! For me, only those opinions that come from people who are on the same page, with skin in my game and who give constructive feedback matter to me. Stop giving everyone a say-so, and become very selective on the opinions that matter most to you.

Thank you for allowing me into your life!