Sometimes, as humans, we get something into our head that we want to do or help make happen and we look for outside validation that we, as humans, will succeed. It’s the second part that is the problem.
Sometimes, as humans, we forget that other people cannot see what is inside our head, or heart. And sometimes, as humans, this frustrates us. If you are anything like me, you take it personally. When I say things like, I’m going to publish this book and I’m met with half smiles that are more on the side of polite than out right excitement and support like I’m looking for, I get pissed. Then I second guess myself. Then I lose track of my momentum. Then I step off of my path and fall into a depression. This is what is called “giving away your personal power.”
My close friendships and I have this thing that we do, Michael and I could say that we are attempting to become American Ambassadors to the New Zealand Republic and they will jump up and down and ask us to tell them more about it. They want us to regale them with what our first steps in getting started will be, and how they can help. Michael and I do the same for them every time they share something that excites them because we are genuinely and authentically excited for them and want to participate in their support. Whether it is them attempting a promotion, running for President, or dying their hair flaming orange. The point being, that there is no dream too large to come to fruition in our social circle, and if we believe that we can do it, then everyone supports us in our dream. On top of the genuine excitement, they lend a pair of hands, or an ear. When we hit roadblocks, or if we are getting into our own way, someone inside this social circle is always there to be honest, in a fresh way and lend their support. Our circle consists of former neighbors, childhood friends, some family, business colleagues, and their energy is what can fuel us for months, and vice versa. Energy begets energy so you must make it good energy. Alas, for every reaction, there is an opposing re-action. Not everyone reacts in excitement and support when we talk about our dreams and plans. Not everyone jumps up and down or even wants to help in any way. Sometimes, people just don’t believe us.
For every good experience of support and unconditional cheerleading that I’ve had from someone, there is a story that I could share about the doomers. Doomers are people that only want to point out why you can’t do it, why you shouldn’t do it, and are always happy to share a story about someone that they know that failed doing it. While I appreciate any constructive criticism, emphasis on constructive, I try to look at the storyteller’s background before I let them bring me down. Have they ever started a business, became an Ambassador, or ran for President? No? Then anything that they say really needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
What if the doomer is a family member or a best friend? What if the half smiles and “oh that’s nice dear” comes from who you were thinking would be your biggest supporter? It hurts. It makes us doubt what it is that we truly believe. It blocks creativity and us being in touch with our intuition…if we let it. The doomers more than likely reside in a continuous state of anxiety, doubt, fear, worry, or anger. When we expect them to be excited for us and then they are not, that can lead us to take on their doubt, fear, worry, and anger. It becomes personal like “why can’t they see how great this idea is?” or “Why can’t they see me accomplishing this?” It’s almost as if you are asking them to look inside your head and see what it is that you see…and they can’t. They are humans with their own perspectives and agendas that are subject to being jaded by their negative emotions. So what is an artist/entrepreneur/future President to do? Become very and I mean meticulously clear on what it is that they want to happen. Believe that it will and stand in that belief at all times. Allow for it to happen by making space for it. “If you build it, they will come.” In the meantime, rally your troops. Your support troops that is;
1. Recognize who your cheerleaders are: That girl that will gladly walk your dog while you finish a chapter so you can get it to your editor on time. That friend that will listen as you sob into the phone during times of brutal self-doubt or creativity blocks, and then stop you when you start bashing yourself. Those people are the go to people. They prove that they believe in your dream just as much as you do just by their sheer existence in your life. Honor them.
2. Recognize who your critics are: We all need them. We don’t have to believe everything that they say, but sometimes the negative perspective can help us come back to center when we get too flighty. These people can be beneficial in helping us spot issues before they become major derailments. Use who you have.
3. Recognize who doesn’t believe you: Use these people as fuel for your tank. However, these are not the people to go to and bounce off that new idea that has you excited.
4. Recognize who just doesn’t care: For these people, never tell them anything. If and when they become interested, they can seek for themselves.
5. Recognize that #3 people and #4 people will kill your creativity: Self explanatory. However, recognize that you may be related to some of them, accept that and move on.
There will always be times that we need some outside validation that we are doing it well. There will always be times where we are completely centered and do not require outside validation. But when you do need an outside perspective, People in category #1 can do this for you. For people residing in #2-#4, it’s best to just talk about the weather and keep doing your work. Even if some of these people are related to you. It’s hard to not take it personal, but don’t. Accept them for who they are, and keep pressing on. Those with eyes will see and those with ears will hear…eventually.
Oh yeah….comments are open. Play on playa. But play nice!