Saturday, March 03, 2007

What Others Think of You is None of Your Business!

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We all want to be liked and respected by others, right? We sometimes worry what people will think of us when we decide on a certain course of action.

But herein lies the problem.

It is impossible to make everyone happy with the choices we make. If you worry about getting everyone's approval, you'd never get anywhere. You'd be right where they some of them want you to be. If you're not following your heart and achieving your dreams, well, that would be just fine with them!

When I made the decision to go from a safe, 9-to-5 clock-punching job at the bank to a career as a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, I thought I would never hear the end of the comments some of these people were making like, "You're crazy!" "You'll never make it in this business." Had I listened to them, I would not have gone on to enjoy a six-figure, award-winning career at the firm. I would never have known that I had what it took to make it in the securities business. You can read about an interview I had with them here.

The same thing happened when I made yet another stomach-turning decision to quit Wall Street to follow my dreams of becoming an inspirational speaker, writer and eventually pilot. In fact, the naysayers were out in full force!

Several years after I left Wall Street, I made the mistake of telling certain people about my dreams of becoming the world's first deaf instrument rated pilot. They said, "Now, be realistic, it will never happen."

One man, a flight instructor, even went out of his way to prove to me just how impossible that would be. He enthusiastically flipped through the pages of a large, thick book of FAA regulations. When he found what he was looking for, he gleefully pounded his finger on the page where it was written in black and white that two-way radio communication was required for the instrument rating. And then he laughed right at my face, vigorously shaking his head. I'll never forget that day - it made me even more resolved than ever to achieve it.

Who do you think got the last laugh?

People who are two-faced, jealous or critical because of your success are those who have their own issues to grapple with. Their negative emotions usually have nothing to do with you. I know it's hard, but you cannot take it personally.

What you may not be aware of is how fearful they are of moving forward and because of that, they are stuck in a rut - they don't want to see you get ahead either. Perhaps they're having financial problems so they don't want to see you driving around in a new car, reminding them of their situation. Maybe they're insecure with themselves and do not want to take responsibility for all the things they are attracting into their lives - so they pelt you with criticism because you happen to be the closest target. "Well meaning" people might even disguise their behavior behind the facade of "tough love." Has any of this happened to you? Well, you're not alone!

But let's turn the tables on you for a moment. Were you passed over for a promotion? Did a friend inherit a large sum of money or win the lottery? Did someone you know get a fabulous career opportunity? Was your business acquaintance someone who was selected over you for a major contract? How did that make you feel? Were you jealous or genuinely happy for them? Be honest with yourself.

If you were jealous, it means deep down, you don't think you can enjoy the same kind of blessings. According to the law of attraction, that's like telling the universe you feel you cannot have what just happened to them. "Your wish is my command, " is what the universe says in response.

On the other hand, if you are genuinely happy and excited for them, it means you intuitively know and understand that bigger and better things are in store for you too. You understand that God will reward you in time - it's just a matter of due course. So why not celebrate the success of others while you wait for your turn? Wouldn't you want them at your table, celebrating with you when that time came? Who wouldn't? It's no fun celebrating all by yourself!

This is why it's so important to surround yourself with the right people. Last year I wrote an article on this. You can see it here.

In short, the more successful you become, the more potshots that will sling your way. They are simply distractions. And when they arrive, it's very tempting to get distracted from your vision and try to explain yourself or otherwise reason with them. But sometimes no matter how hard you try, they will not "get it" anyway. Realize that not everyone will want to celebrate with you at the table.

The very first lesson I learned about "energy wasters" came while I was a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch. The branch manager had transferred an elderly lady's portfolio to my care. I soon found out why.

At the time, I was a young rookie, eager to please, so I was thrilled to get her account. Every time she asked me to search for new investments for her portfolio, I was like an eager beaver, digging in and spending countless hours looking for the best possible solution only to have her reject my recommendations again and again. With an upturned nose she would invariably say, "That is just not good enough, keep looking!" Pretty soon I was expending all of my energy trying to please her at the expense of my other clients.

Eventually I got smart and realized how I was wasting so much precious time trying to win her over. I ended up "firing her." Her account was transferred yet again to another unsuspecting stockbroker who had no idea of what was coming. The act of letting her go freed me up to assist those who genuinely wanted my advice.

Critics like her abound everywhere. I soon learned that lady was a bitter, unhappy person who had lost her husband and was living a lonely life somewhere in the city. Looking back, I remember when were first introduced. There she was, sitting there with a permanent scowl written all over her face along with a severely pinched forehead. She never smiled and complained about everything she could think of. Unfortunately, being a young, eager beaver, I never paid heed to the warning signs but there they were in extravagant display for all to see!

The lesson I learned is that you must pay heed to what's in your heart, stay focused on your dreams and do not get involved with other people's negative drama. It may be tempting to get down to their level and "fight the good fight" to win them over or even prove them wrong.

NO.

That's not your job. That's the universe's job. Let God handle the naysayers for you.

The more successful you become, the more jealous and critical people you will encounter on the way up. You must learn to steer clear from them - love them at a distance. Do not let them embroil you in their drama. So what if they can't see your vision? So what if they don't like you? So what if they think you're crazy for taking a certain course of action? It's your life, not theirs! If they want to stay where they are, let them be. You must go on.

If a well-meaning person comes up to you and says, "Hey, I overheard so and so talking about you behind your back." This would be a perfect time to put your hand up and say, "No, I don't have time for gossip. I can't control what people will say about me and it's none of my business anyway." Put a stop to it right then and there. That will stop the negative energy from snowballing and consuming you.

On the other hand, if someone starts to gossip about another person in your presence, you could put a stop to it and steer the conversation in a different, more positive and productive direction. Change the energy of the conversation and put some good energy back into it. Don't become a "gossiper" - take the high road and let God handle the rest.

Food for thought: If you let what others think of you become your business, it will consume all of your time and energy, draining you of the ability to move on with your dreams. If God put a desire in your heart and it genuinely feels good, then no one can tell you otherwise.
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