What do we do with other people's opinions?
I have spent far too much of my life seeking other people's approval. I craved it. I needed to know that people liked me. And if they didn't, I'd feel so helpless and upset.
I'd try to feel the opposite, as the advice seems to dictate; try not to care about what other people think. If someone doesn't like you, think, "Screw them", and continue as you were. But this advice never felt right to me. After all, we are community-minded animals and we don't want to feel ostracised.
So I'd find myself reacting to other people's opinions in two different ways: either breaking down and trying to change myself into what someone else wanted me to be, or staunchly stomping off in a poorly-considered direction fuelled by some rebellious spirit that had me in its talons.
Here's my advice to anybody in this situation, including me when I find myself floundering: it's not about what other people think, it's about what you think.
It's fine to value other people's opinions, but you should value your own more highly. And you might make mistakes along the way, but that's fine too. Consider the alternatives; think logically about the situation, and decide on your best path. Other people's opinions should be no more than gathered research before you decide what's right for you.