How To Stop Letting Other People Influence Your Life

stop letting other people influence your decisions

I have come to the realisation recently that I let other people’s feelings influence me far too much. I can’t seem to make decisions very well without having backup from my friends and family. Of course there are some instances where you can really use an opinion, but at the end of the day you have to go with what you want.

I just had a coaching session with Antonio from The Thinking Mind. We usually focus on my business and improving my professional life. But this week, he helped me realise that something is negatively impacting both my personal and professional life, as well as my overall happiness. My need to obtain other people’s opinions on things only I can decide.

During our coaching session I wrote down lots of important points and powerful things that Antonio was saying. I have summarised everything below in the hope that it will help those who also feel too influenced by certain people in their life. I can’t take all the credit, a lot of these pointers have come from Antonio. Here’s what I discovered today.

Picturing what’s holding me back

Living all your life waiting for approval from someone is very, very bad. It’s exhausting, and it’s suffocating. As I analyse what’s going through my head a very clear image is coming to mind. It’s an image of me going through my daily life, except the being isn’t me, it’s a robot.

My soul is trapped inside a ghost that’s following the robot around. The ghost is trying to reach out to the robot, and trying to tap inside its armour, but it can’t penetrate through.

The ghost is yelling and yelling at the robot but the robot keeps going down the same path. This may sound totally crazy but it’s a clear representation of how I feel, and writing this down is a key part of my learning process.

When you write down the process of how you feel, you start to analyse yourself. So if there’s someone who makes you feel a certain way or disapproves of your choices and this makes you feel bad, go back to that situation and analyse it. It’s the only way that you can start to appreciate yourself and see things that you are otherwise not able to see.

Stop running on autopilot

We often automatically do things on autopilot. We go through the motions. We do things without thinking beforehand. Don’t do this, or you will keep making the same mistakes. Be aware of your thoughts. You can’t change the way someone approaches the world, you can only change the way you approach them. So take some time to write things down and analyze your behaviour and thinking process.

Be more aware of your process. Completely delete the other person or people from your brain and focus on why you feel what you are are feeling and why you are letting someone make you feel like that. What can you learn from the experience?

It’s not a good idea to radically change the way you communicate with the people in your life. You can change how often you speak to someone and the things you say to them, but whenever you do end up speaking to them it’s likely the same thing will happen. You can live your life the way you want to, but also respect others. You just need to work on your reactions, and how you let people make you feel.

The only opinion that’s important is yours

Life shouldn’t be about constantly trying to make other people happy. You don’t have the power to make other people happy. It’s not possible. The other person is only trying to please themselves, not you. You need to decide what is best for you. We cannot live a life pleasing people because people are only pleasing themselves.

We are all selfish, it’s in our nature, and it’s normal. Happiness has to be a selfish act in many instances. The ideal situation is for someone to be happy with your choices without trying to please themselves. They should be happy because you are happy, and not let their own hopes, goals and dreams for you get in the way.

If you are constantly trying to please others you will struggle to true be happy on a deeper level. It’s important to realise that being a people pleaser isn’t possible. You can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try.

Stop blaming other people

It’s common for people who feel they are being influenced by others to blame these people. It’s not their fault, it’s yours. Instead of changing your relationship with them, you need to work on the relationship you have with yourself.

Delve into the reasoning behind why you let others influence you. What might be causing you to behave this way? What’s happened in your past that could have shaped your current behaviour?

Don’t try to change the person. Change your response. Carefully consider how much power you want to give a people to ruin your day, or ruin your future. This is totally in your control, not theirs.

They are not a bad person, they are just behaving in a way that comes naturally to them. You have to lead your life on your own terms. Think to yourself, ‘my life is more important than pleasing other people.’

Your legacy

When you leave this world do you want to think, ‘I feel content because I made certain people in my life happy?’ Of course this would be nice. But your soul will be more complete if you lead a life that makes you happy.

And if you are happy and content with your life, the chances are other people will be too. What people think is a bad decision or choice for you, may end up being the best thing you ever did.

Hanging on every word other people say can make you feel like you are living your life with the brakes on. You are not free to move forward without approval from others.

This will no doubt hold you back, like it is holding me back. But once you realise what’s going on, and become aware of how you are behaving, you can finally take charge and accelerate forward.

You cannot please everyone

It’s not possible to please everyone. People see the world in different ways. Surrounding yourself with only people pleasers who go along with everything you say will not solve your problems, as it creates an unrealistic view of the world.

In the end you will come across people that will try and change the way you do things. You want to be genuine and true to who you are, so live your life based on your values and what you believe is important for you.

To grow and change in a positive way you need to learn to truly respect what you like, and not worry about what other people think. Pretty simple right? Wrong. This is not an easy process, you have to work at it every day. You have to reprogramme your behaviour and notice when you are slipping back into old habits.

You give the power to people to make your life good or bad. In the end, it all comes down to YOU. Be aware of what you are doing, because if you aren’t, you keep doing the same thing over and over again.

Start to be conscious about what you do, look back for reasons as to why you did things in a certain way. The reward is a completely new life and attitude. There is no magic pill. You have to work on yourself, and gradually detach yourself from others.

For me it’s going to be tough. But it will be worth it. It’s clear to me that I need to make a change now if I ever want to be 100% happy. So here goes…


  1. Rochelle
    January 8, 2018 / 6:31 am

    Wow. This was such a good read. I can totally relate to everything in this article. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. February 12, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    I love this. It was absolutely relevant. Now on I shall be considering others’ opinions, as I have been doing, but yes, as you said I will be forming my own as well and will give first thought to my own thought and most of the times. If its otherwise, it’s worth pointing that you look more dumb to people around and they tend to suppress you with more of their opinions.
    Also the thing about carefully considering how much power to give to people to ruin your day or future just hit the right spot of mine!
    Thank you and you deserve more readers. :)
    This is the true secret to high self respect. A prerequisite to become successful.

  3. Stacy O
    April 10, 2018 / 10:21 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this, and even bookmarked it to come back to often. I am struggling with this on a daily basis, in regards to my moms life decisions letting them GREATLY affect me. She doesn’t try to improve her life quality and it is very difficult, but I have to learn it’s HERS, not mine.

  4. Bradley
    July 28, 2018 / 5:21 pm

    I saved this article. I’m struggling because I’m staying at a job I hate due to family and friends pressuring me to stay. I didn’t plan on staying more than 3-6 months, and now it’s been 1.5 years. I know I’ve learned a lot since this has been my first full-time job, but I’m very unhappy and depressed. It’s made it difficult to hunt for another job. I tried to quit twice, but I let others reel me back in.

    And ultimately, I know it’s my fault since I’ve lacked confidence in my decision-making a good portion of my life. I have to have someone else approve of what I do first. This article put my thoughts on this subject on paper. Thanks!

  5. Dipasa
    January 2, 2020 / 7:47 am

    It was a pleasure to realise someone could be that empathetic yet practical. It did help a lot .Thanks :)

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