how to be with other people’s opinions

16th June 2019

I’ve just opened registration for my new coaching programme: Courage Under Fire.

This is for anyone who’s self-doubt holds them back from any risk of criticism, judgement or conflict.

As I’ve been in the creation cave over the last few months, I’ve been thinking a LOT about my own relationship with conflict. And the experiences that helped shape this.

When I worked in London and wore uncomfortable shoes and drank my feelings, I felt constantly braced for conflict.

Because I sought validation from my work, I was sensitive to every piece of feedback. And I tended to interpret all of it as criticism. It didn’t help that I worked with a lot of people who were prone to bullying or using sarcasm to get their point across.

I didn’t have any healthy ways to manage criticism, judgement or conflict.

Like most people, I had a default response, for me that was classic Avoider. I would work really really hard to never deal with any kind of conflict.

I would use humour to deflect it, vodka to drown the sting of it.

To avoid having to give other people negative feedback I would just do other people’s work, so I felt constantly resentful and exhausted. And no one really knew where they stood with me.

I think I believed that if I ran my own business, I would be free of the fear of conflict. But as it turns out: not a chance.

I’ve found that no matter you do, and where you do it, people will judge and criticise. People will disagree with you.

There will always be someone disappointed in your choices. There will always be someone who doesn’t like something you said or the way you said it or that thing you reposted that someone else said first.

And this isn’t helped by technology that encourages everybody to have an opinion. And everyone is publishing their opinions. Constantly.

This is where we can choose to run and hide.

Or we can spend hours ruminating over the least offensive thing we could say in any given scenario. Or use technology to simply block anyone who disagrees with us.

Or we decide to ‘hate the haters’ and come out defended against conflict, armoured in anger and mistrust.

These are exhausting ways to live. They sap your time, energy and importantly, your power.

Power is knowing who you are in the midst of all the noise, the crazy and the opinions of everybody else.

Power is being authentic and courageous in how you show up to all of your relationships and connections, no matter what conflict arises.

Power is having a toolkit that grows your capacity to respond to conflict with a range of resources and emotional breadth.

It’s about trusting yourself to know when you don’t want a conversation, you just want to feel heard; the times you are not willing to negotiate, you just want to take a stand on something, and when you are interested in giving someone the opportunity to express themselves.

It’s about having ways to respond that feel ’emotionally clean’ no matter how hot things get.

This is a deeper, richer waaaaaaay more relaxed place to live. It makes running a business, a marriage, a career, a creative dream a squillion times easier.

What would it mean to you to have Courage Under Fire?



Hello, I'm Sas Petherick. I'm a self-doubt researcher, coach and podcaster who helps thinking humans transcend self-doubt. If you'd like to receive these posts in your inbox please subscribe here (with bonus info and first notice of opportunities to work with me). PS: I totallyInstagram - join me there?


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