Growing in business requires taking chances. Taking chances requires sticking your neck out, with the possibility you will get your head chopped off. Getting your head chopped off…oh, I got ahead of myself. You can’t work without a head, although some people try valiantly, but that is a topic for another article.
The point is that, in running a business, you will take missteps, you will estimate (wrongly), you will disappoint, look like an ass, say the wrong thing, and cringe when you say it.
It is not for the faint of heart.
But neither is denying your passion. Denial is a rigorous journey through hell, to disallow expression of passion. I would rather take my chances with trying my maximum best, and with my intentions in the right place than surrender to fear.
Listen, you are not a robot. You are a person who weighs a stack of decisions every day. And sometimes, you venture out on that branch a little farther than you should. Me too.
The old adage is correct, “whatever other people think of you is none of your business,” or something like that.
Not only is it none of your business, but it also holds you back massively, because we sit and spin on an opinion which we have no control over, which we labor to understand…even though we never will, because we are not the originator of the thought. We are simply the receiver.
It is our job to listen, to evaluate depth, and meaning, to decide if we need to take action (if the comment lobbed our way was valuable), but it is not our job to absorb this feedback.
If you think about it, this act of attempted osmosis is actually selfish and presumptuous. Who are we to impact ourselves this way? Who are we to assume such a weighty statement is dedicated to us in complete totality? Who are we to lose time and momentum from our very progress and our achievements?
And when we do, it affects us greatly, holds up the train, which would otherwise blaze down the track. The train of thought, the train of action, the train of positivity and belief.
It’s selfish. Affects others in our realm; it’s shortsighted, gritty, assuming. It’s not for us.
We need to take in what is for us.
It is not to decry the need to hear feedback, to improve. But there is a chasm between constructive criticism (meant to push you into robust acceleration and purpose) and trolling.
Here are a handful of mindset mentalities to lock into.
1. Your treatment by others is directly connected to how you treat others. This is magnetism; this is spirit and vibration. The law of attraction. It is why, until a person does the internal work, to cut out toxic people, they can expect more of the same…no matter the specialization: personal, business, friendships, family. Treat people well. State your feelings. Resist being a peacekeeper. Own your stuff; refuse to carry others’ baggage. Be kind and open and offer to help, even if it puts you out a little, even when it doesn’t directly impact you. Recall also this word: humility. It’s a grounding, leading arrow pointing out opportunities.
2. Picture a Teflon plate in your chest. Think of the negativity, the unnecessary roughness (if you will) as an egg sliding off that plate and hitting the floor. Envisioning and changing your perspective holds a particular enriching power. This mindset will take you out of feeling sorry for yourself (never a good idea, when you are an entrepreneur and are grinding to sell yourself all. day. long.) Even if what you are hearing is relevant and helpful, if it has been delivered in a gentle way, do not absorb it to the degree of obsession. Listen, pluck out the points, which when implemented, will improve your business, your approach, etc. And that’s it. You must reinforce this barrier. Not to discount the fact that hearing truthful and seemingly harsh truths about yourself is twinge-worthy. It is. But let’s not belabor the point either, let’s not to fixate on it. And certainly NEVER mold your next strategic step around another’s view of how you should succeed. Only specific ideas and mantras should be permitted to penetrate past your Teflon. The rest are eggs on the floor.
3. You are only as good as your trustworthy resources. People who care about you and your business, not the cage-rattlers (people who seem to cheer your success, but secretly resent it), not the ones out to make a buck off you, who run your energy into the ground by demanding all your time, not respecting your calendar, etc., these people are not good wells from which to drink. We have all worked with these personalities and when you need to hone your skill set, do not use these contacts. I don’t care who you ask for an honest assessment: a spouse, friend, a co-worker, a mentor, just make sure that you seek honest information about yourself from a source you can put your faith into.
4. Detach from your past. Easier said than done, but make a concerted effort to approach each interaction with a clean slate. It is a supreme challenge to leave behind our experiences as we enter into new phases in our life, but it is critical that we do so, so we can have the freshest perspective on the realities of every situation. So many times, what people say, feel, do, is more a reflection of them and their experiences and not yours. Another old saying, “keep your side of the street clean.” When you do that, when you refute the bulk of past decisions and experiences trailing along behind you, you will have clarity of focus about the situation you’re in. Also applies to relationships, FYI.
5. Remember your victories. When I am having a day sluggish in momentum, where I am running up against walls, where I have shucked instead of jived, it is tempting to fold. It is tempting to start the one-up-internal game. But instead of devolving into a pity party, which can snowball out of control, I think about how far I have come, how fortunate I am to work in my chosen field every day. How pure determination, willingness, and an open heart have done more for me than anything else. I remember to ease up on the pressure and realize I’m having a moment where I might need a little more introspection, versus hard-charging directives. I stop and let gratitude wash over me, remind myself, this, all of it, this glorious and messy life and existence is all a part of it. Every day will not be a glossy ray of hope, handed effortlessly over. We might need to work for it, to argue for the right to take action, to convince, to listen, to expand. The road will not always be rut-free. But I have navigated that road, and so have you. I have made progress on that road. I am proving that I can do this every day. Through sheer perseverance, through renewed passion, through open reinvention. Remember your wins. Write them down if you have to.
You want the life you have chosen for yourself. You deliberately plot your moves to grab the golden ring every day. Each day is the same, and hopefully, better. Protect yourself, your interests, and your lifeblood through the use of boundaries, detachment and the defense of your professional core.
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