You have a dream. You apply for an exciting new job. You start your own business from scratch, with nothing. You decide you're going to train for the London marathon in April...whatever...you want to achieve something. Sound familiar so far? How many uninvited “You're crazy!” opinions did you collect on the beginning of your journey? I had so many my eyes were in danger of rolling right round to the back of my head, but I took what value I could find from the naysayers, and discarded what I wasn't prepared to carry.
Too often when we share our ambitious goals with others, those others will attempt to pour ice water over the flames of your enthusiasm. We tell our partners what we're planning >> “You're crazy!” We tell our parents about our dream >> “You're crazy!” We tell our best friend what we truly want to make of our lives >> “You're crazy!” How many “You're crazy!” comments can anyone really take before becoming infected by the negativity, and quitting before the, seemingly inevitable, failure? Well, enough; this is where the likes of me (you're friendly neighbourhood mentor) steps up and actually fans the flames of your enthusiasm, rather than trying to extinguish them.
The naysayers may genuinely believe they mean well by attempting to protect you from the inevitable hard work, endeavour and risk, but you need to remember why you started this ball rolling. In the beginning you thought it was a good idea, that it would serve a purpose and/or it would be fun and enlightening. You believed your goal would afford you an enhancement to your life (be it financial, educational, spiritual, emotional etc), whilst also offering valuable experience, which would move you closer to achieving your ultimate dreams. These are noble reasons and I want you to remember this famous quote from Steve Jobs, when you're up against a multitude of “You're crazy!” opinions...
The people crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do
When you're confronted with well-meaning naysayers who tell you, i.e.: to get a proper job, who ridicule your dream and your judgement, or delight in forecasting how much money you will lose, there a number of ways of protecting your morale and energy from such negativity. The principle point I want you to remember at this time is this: the naysayers are projecting their fears and cowardice onto you. Because they do not possess the Entrepreneur's Chromosome, they don't understand your vision, courage or dedication. It's highly likely they are envious of your abilities and drive to improve your lot in life; where they perhaps feel powerless and stagnant. Their own low, limited self-image may be what's driving their attempts to hold you back, in an attempt to make themselves feel better by quashing your ambition, so you stay at a level they're comfortable with.
REVIEW THEIR LEVEL OF SUCCESS
The next thing you need to do is review their success. If your naysayer has set themselves up as an expert on everything you're doing wrong, then their life must be perfect – otherwise, what right do they have to comment on your life? What exceptional achievement have they accomplished to make them the authority on your ambition? Who died and left them king/queen? Take each naysayer in turn and look at their house, their car, their career, their family, their fitness, their success, their lifestyle and their general happiness. How well qualified are they to tell you that you are wrong, foolish, deluded? If Tony Robbins or Richard Branson tell you you're about to make a big mistake, then by all means pause and reflect. If your i.e.: bitter and under achieving something-in-law slams your plans just because they can, then simply review their magnificent achievements and then re-focus on yours. Ask yourself: “Would I swap places with X?” If you're not prepared to swap lives with your naysayer, then their opinion of what you do is obsolete, isn't it?
IT PAYS TO ENGAGE WITH CHARM
Now that you have the tools to perceive naysayers for what they truly are, how best to handle them? As I said earlier, the majority of your naysayers will think of themselves as well-meaning, and perhaps they genuinely are? Well-meaning or not, it's not a good idea to go around making enemies and causing ill feeling unnecessarily. I always advocate the policy of It Pays To Engage With Charm, so you must smile warmly and return their negative opinion, with your own positive agenda. This is easily done by replying i.e.: “You might be right, you have a point. This feels right to me at the moment so I'm going to press ahead and let you know how I get on. Would you be interested in joining me when this is a success?”
You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so think about who truly adds value to your life and spend more time with them. The same can be said for the environment in which you live and work; does it enhance you, does it help you grow? Like attracts like, so it's a good idea to spend more time in a place, and with people, where success is already rampant. You need to associate with people who are going to lift you higher, who can be your role models – not road blocks.
One sure fire way of sidestepping naysayers is...don't tell 'em! Rather than expending time and energy talking about and defending what you're going to do, spend the time actually doing it. Let your results do the talking. It's impossible to ridicule or warn against the perils of actual success. Instill confidence in others by giving your dream everything you've got, every last drop of passion and determination you can muster; 100% welly or bust. If you believe in you, so will others, because they will think you know something they don't!
My advice for your eternal naysayers who view your success and remark “It'll never last”, hmmmm; just smile enigmatically and walk away from them. You must hunt your dream down for you, not them.
Set you're world on fire and surround yourself with people who will fan the flames.
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