Believe it or not, this is something I often have to say to myself. All my life I’ve been pretty good (or bad!) at worrying what others think, or needing to be liked. Although interestingly enough, almost everything I’ve done has put me in positions of management or teaching or international levels of influence (as a co-founder of Parelli Natural Horsemanship). Talk about attracting what you most fear.

Here’s what I have learned, that is most important: TO ONLY CARE ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE WHO ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU THINK!

There are times I’ve endured horrible attacks from people who actually know very little about horses, or about me! …Or had fat and unhealthy people criticize my way of eating! …Or had negative and unsuccessful people give their opinion on my positive way of teaching…

There are opinions that matter, but there are a lot that don’t.

Same goes for who you listen to, who you hang around.

In the early 1990s, my husband and I were staying with a friend in LA. He was a multi-millionaire and was giving us business advice. Pat wanted to form a membership, a continuity club for people who were passionate about learning to be good with horses in the ethical way that we teach.

I will never forget the brutal attack that ensued from Harry. He made us feel so stupid and berated us for hours about how this could never work, was such a bad idea.

That night, Pat and I were laying in bed talking about it. We both felt devastated and could not believe our idea was really that stupid. As we talked, it occurred to me to consider the source of the advice. Who was Harry anyway?

As it turned out, Harry had inherited a multi-million dollar shoe repair business. Not because he was a son and heir, but because he was an amazingly loyal and hard-working employee. The owner actually willed the business to Harry rather than his own son, who he said was a lazy good-for-nothing.

Harry took ownership, but over the next 10 years whittled the business down to a fraction of what it was. Yes, he was still living well, but he had not started or grown a business, he had inherited one and reduced it from over 100 stores to three.

Listen with discerning ears. And only heed the opinIon and advice of people you respect, admire, and who have actually been successful in the things they’re advising you for!