I only have an opinion to offer here, right now ;-) so for better
or worse, here it is. It covers direct management of others' opinions
( immediately below), managing their effect on ourselves here,
and a brief reminder of media attention here.
Managing opinions directly
We can do little about other peoples' opinion of ourselves. Though
it's a factor in confidence, I don't think it's often sensible to
attempt direct management of opinion for yourself (there goes a
whole marketing industry... :o) ) Whatever, my take on that one
your achievements speak for themselves.
The implication is that the most you can honestly do to change
an opinion is to make the facts available. But it is a time consuming
business, and for the most part won't change your scores. I think
the only time it's worth 'managing' another's opinion in this context
is when someone who really matters just doesn't share your view
of 'success'. That can be demoralising, and you can do without that.
Under those circumstances, you can either live with it or talk about
it honestly. Not much else works.
Managing the effect of opinion
You CAN do something about the way other peoples' opinion affects
you. For example:
how well informed the opinion is; if they don't know everything,
the opinion is worth that much less.
how easy it is to focus on others' failings; 30 wins won't count
as much as a recent second place in many eyes.
But on the whole, I don't think it's wise to pay a lot of attention
to other people's opinion. You're the only person who really knows
what 'success' means to you, and the only outsiders who should influence
your performance targets are the people you're trying to beat. And
if that's true, their opinion isn't important; only their performance
Finally, one set of opinions to think about in advance. If you
get really good at this game, you'll meet the media. This tends
to be a difficult experience. Particularly as most of them don't
want your life story, they want the first news on the next doping
scandal, or the gossip on which of the power lifters is gay.
So if media attention is on the cards, prepare for it in the same
way as for any other possible downer; get your coping plan sorted
in advance. a) Prepare for unwarranted flak and lousy press readings
from journalists with next to no understanding of your sport and
an apparently unshakeable belief that placing fourth in the world
is a failure. You don't have to listen. b) Make damn' sure your
team manager is prepared for it too. c) Take advice from someone
who's been there; it'll pay.