by Shaa Wasmund Wearing your heart on your sleeve, have you ever told someone your dreams only for them to be crushed in one fell...
Wearing your heart on your sleeve, have you ever told someone your dreams only for them to be crushed in one fell swoop by an ill thought out comment?
Here are some of the most common I’ve heard over the years:
“Why can’t you just be happy with what you’ve got?”
“Why do you always want to be doing something new?”
“Don’t you have enough already?”
“I’m not being mean, but there’s a lot of people our there already writing books. Why not just focus on the business?”
“Don’t you need to sell a LOT of books for it to be worthwhile?”
“Oh, I couldn’t do what you do, it would mean sacrificing my kids too much”
More often than not, these come from people who think they are well meaning. My choices have clearly made them uncomfortable, so they want to keep me in my box, or at least a box they understand.
But their truth is not my truth. And neither is it yours.
So let’s look back at some of those comments and give them a little perspective:
- I’m happy with what I’ve got. Really happy. But that doesn’t mean I want to stop growing or learning or striving.
- See above.
- I have more than enough already. Accumulating more wealth in itself has little pull for me anymore. It’s more about the memories I can create with the people I love and I’ll never get enough of those.
- Yes there are millions of authors out there but writing a book helped my business exponentially. I never thought or worried about how many ‘other’ authors there were, I just focused on writing the best book I could, for me.
- You only need one person to read your book and change their lives . . . and yours. Books open doors in business like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Oh and we’ve sold over 100,000 + books, so I guess we did alright.
- This is the toughest. When people make comments that imply your choices have a negative impact on your child, it’s a cheap shot and a low blow. It’s also rarely ever true, simply an interpretation born out of their need to justify a lack of goal setting or follow through. A happy fulfilled parent makes for a happy fulfilled child and I believe we should all lead by example and let our children see that they too can follow their dreams, whatever they may be.
There is no denying it can be terribly frustrating if you have people like this in your life. It can even make you consider giving up. Don’t.
What can you do instead? Well, I don’t have a magic wand, but here are a few suggestions that have worked for me.
1. Surround yourself with like-minded people
The more people you have in your life that are like you; working hard, pursuing their dreams and jumping out of their comfort zones, the more supported you will feel and be.
They will also naturally drown out the negativity.
If you don’t have these people in your life already, go out and find them, they are there I promise. Join meet up groups, go to events and join my free private Facebook Community The Freedom Collective where you will find over 2500 other entrepreneurs, small business owners and freedom seekers just like you.
2. Remember, their comments are more about them than you
When someone is skeptical or critical about what you’re doing or want to do, it’s always more of a reflection of them, than you. Deep down they have hopes and dreams too, but they lack your courage to pursue them. Go gentle on them.
No matter what your relationship is with them, they are just one person, with one view. Not THE view.
3. What’s the worst that could happen
Face the elephant in the room. What’s the worst that could really happen? This isn’t being negative, it’s being realistic because more often than not, when you do this exercise, it soon becomes apparent that the worst that could happen is really quite manageable and certainly better than the alternative of looking back at your life and thinking “coulda, woulda, shoulda …”
4. Don’t expect people to ‘get’ you
I’m so guilty of this. Or at least I was until I realised how unhappy it was making me. You know how you get frustrated by some people? Even the people you love? They keep telling you about what they’re going to do but they never do it. Or they suffer from the ‘poor me’ syndrome and it seems like nothing in their life every goes right? You just don’t get it. Well, guess what … we can all make people feel that way. Yep, that’s right. With all of our positivity, ‘can do’ spirit and let’s get this sh*t done actions … we can actually drive people mad!
So drop the expectations. You don’t need 100 people to get you; you just need a few, starting with you.
5. Be compassionate
Even if these people are our closest friends or family, we don’t always know the internal struggles they are going through at any given moment. When I look back at my life, there have been times when I’ve said something in a bad mood, or spite, that I later regretted, sometimes instantly.
So the next time someone tells you all the reasons why you shouldn’t pursue your dreams, look them in the eye, reach out, hug them tight and say: “Thank you, I love that you care so much about me, but I’ve got this.”