Full disclosure, I am deeply saddened by the change in the breakfast chain. Not only is IHOb less attractive to say, but I don't think I'll ever go there for anything other than hash browns. But this brings me to the most important part: my opinion won't change the course IHOP has taken. In today's age, everyone has an opinion about everything. Whether it's politics, your grandma's cooking or the earrings you wore to prom, someone has something to say about it. I find it exhausting having to not only deal with opinions I didn't ask for but act like some of them have no effect on me.
Moreover, thick skin is essential if you want to live a life out in the open. It's all about confidence and how it needs to come from within. No matter how much we like hearing how fun and smart we are, one day someone might disagree and it shouldn't collapse our world. By being your own source of light, you no longer depend on others to make you happy. You make yourself happy. The ups and downs of their opinions will cause little change in the way you live your life. The person you want to be is shaped by your own personal agenda and interests. Listening to those who don't have to live your life is counterproductive. Their opinions should shape their lives, not yours. Confidence is key, and knowing your worth will help steady yourself.
So what's the trick? Obviously, this is all easier said than done, but reminding yourself of who you are and where you want to be is a good starting point. If you want to 360 like IHOP—or should I say IHOb—that's completely your choice. As long as you're not hurting yourself or others, taking a new path is something only the brave attempt to do. With this change comes judgment and criticism. Some may love the new you, others may not be so keen, but ultimately, you're the one who has to live with the changes. Finding who you are is "living a life that some may not understand." It's okay to be who you are. The most important thing is to remember that the opinions of others shouldn't tear you away from a path you would've otherwise taken.
IHOb took a big step, and although people like me look towards its future with dreadful anticipation, my single opinion won't change anything. That's how you need to see yourself: bigger than the opinions of anyone who has a problem with you. And maybe this means taking compliments lighter too. If you allow positive opinions to carry you it might just let negative ones in too. Whatever the answer, just know your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters. Let it speak volumes about the way you live and see the world. Maybe someday we can be like IHOb, hearing criticism and moving forward anyway.