The Difference Between Influence and Opinions

Auntie Anne Beiler
November 24, 2019

Auntie Anne Beiler

Founder of Auntie Anne's Pretzels
Personal Growth Leadership

Have you ever stopped to think about the difference between opinions and influence? When I think about my family and the seven siblings I grew up with, I can tell you that we all have very strong opinions. We’ve had many opinionated, intense conversations around the dinner table through the years.

At the same time, I also know that collectively, we have influence.

People may forget or reject your opinion, but your influence is rarely forgotten. Influence is more significant than your opinion and is more about action than words. Opinions are always verbal and can be the impetus for many arguments and divisions.

An opinion is a “view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.”

Influence is “The power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways. An emanation of spiritual or moral force.”

The question we all must answer is – Am I more opinionated or more influential?

If you’re not sure which one you lean toward, ask your spouse, your family, or a good friend, and they will know. We have the capacity for both.

Changing our family, neighborhood, and culture is best done through influence.

I’ve been influenced by many people and in many ways, but rarely did someone’s strong opinion impact me. Instead, at times, it would simply shut me down.

I’ve also done plenty of stating my opinion myself. As the years have gone by, I’m more aware that my opinion only builds walls.

I have a long list of unforgettable people that have influenced me from my parents to spiritual mentors, counselors, business associates, friends, and family.

Writers and musicians have also influenced me. I’ve read many books that have challenged and influenced my thinking and behaviors. I’ve listened to great inspirational music that has influenced my walk with God and kept me from falling off the wagon emotionally and spiritually.

Many others have helped me through tough times, which have been a comfort to me.

As you can see, many people have Influenced me through thoughts, words, and deeds. I could never list or mention all of them, but I know who they are.

As humans, we are truly meant to be in connection and fellowship if we are to become ALL that God planned for us.

As the late Dr. Richard Dobbins states, “Alone we die. Connected we live.”

As we influence, we connect and bring people along to a better view of themselves, God, and others.

I am truly grateful for ALL the people who have influenced me and helped me become who I am today.

My ultimate influencer of all time is Jesus. His love, words, and grace have helped me find my identity and given me a life of purpose and influence. I am eternally grateful.

It’s okay to have your opinions but focus more on influencing others, and you’ll be remembered forever.


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