How to get over FOPO (Fear Of Peoples Opinion).

Mar 18, 2021

Not speaking up in meetings because you are afraid you might say something 'wrong'/'stupid' in front of your colleagues?

Staying in a job you hate because you are afraid to fail and only to hear from your family/colleagues 'I told you should have stayed in your job and be safe'?

Holding back on increasing your income/wealth because you are afraid of what others in your current circle and income group might say? 'You got rich and switched', 'You are not as nice as you used to be' etc.

While very difficult for most people to admit, the biggest fear in the world today is the Fear of People's Opinions (FOPO) and is one of the biggest obstacles for most people really living the life they want.

Where did your FOPO come from?

Given that you were born with only two fears (the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises) where did your FOPO come from?

Typically, there is a negative event (Called the Original Sensitising Event in our coaching model for transformation) typically in our childhood, to which we put a Negative Belief. For example if you said something in school and the teacher said you were wrong and scolded you and the other kids laughed, you would attached a negative 'Meaning' to speaking up. Based on our model below, this negative meaning creates a negative 'Emotion', in this case FEAR.

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How FOPO works in real time?

Following on with the example above, when you are all grown up and asked to speak in front of others, your underlying FEAR gets triggered and you begin to create STORIES and Irrational Thoughts in your head. 'I might say something wrong and they would think that I am not smart and incompetent', 'I might say something wrong and my boss will scold me', 'I might say something and others will laugh at me' etc.

We then believe these STORIES that we have made up in our heads are true and we get paralysed.

5 Steps to Stop Caring About What Others Think?

  1. Catch when You are having a bout of FOPO. Awareness is critical and things like meditation and mindfulness helps in awareness. If it is difficult to do on your own, get an accountability partner like a mentor or coach.

  2. Identify the STORY/THOUGHTs that YOU are telling yourself. Very important to be honest and write these down as it is really our stories that stops us from doing the things we really want to do.

  3. Question whether the STORIES are true or rational. 95% of the times it would be untrue and irrational. It would be PROTECTIVE. This is the tough part because your mind will work very hard to convince yourself that the story is true and rational. You might will try and protect you from being scolded or laughed at etc. An accountability partner like a mentor or coach would be very useful here.

  4. Choose a POWERFUL thought or STORY. Examples 'I am confident about my abilities and even if I make a mistake I will learn', 'I can get help from other people who have been successful at this so I can be successful in starting my business', 'when I do this my life will go to the next level', 'my happiness is more important than this stressful job' etc.

  5. ACT. Take action instantaneously!

The trick is really switching from a PROTECTIVE THOUGHT to a POWERFUL one. It is important to practice this process regularly and what will happen is that new neurological pathways will develop in relation to Other People's Opinions and make the nervous system feel comfortable about what other people might say about YOU.

This one hour training will help you to get to the Root Cause of why you suffer from FOPO.

About Shane Ram:

Shane Ram is an Executive and Life Coach, HR Consultant, Podcast Host, author and a sought after global keynote speaker.

Shane's strikingly effective coaching process shows individuals and corporate teams how to create the personal lives they want while becoming a megastar at work. To book a time to speak with Shane go to To book Shane for events and seminars go to or call 1-868-351-5000 or email at [email protected]

He is also the CEO and Founder of Go For 10, a company that provides transformational education for all ages, through mediums that range from digital publishing, educational technology, online learning, content, events and more. We stand for ideas that enable people to be extraordinary and impact lives. 

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