Ever tried to pursue a goal that others were skeptical about/voiced their doubts to your hearing? If YES, do you recall how painful it was to hear them express a lack of faith in your ability to do something YOU BELIEVED was within your capacity to do? (Maybe they had not seen you in previous endeavours REPEATEDLY defy all odds to succeed…something that helped you DISCOVER the TRUTH that you can achieve ANY goals you set).
Now, can you remember a point during your pursuit of the set goal when you had a setback(s), delay(s) or disappointment(s)? What kinds of looks did you get from those who felt they had “warned” you not to embark on your “journey”? What comments did they make to your hearing? (You’ll probably never know what they said behind your back!).
Were you able to overcome THE “temporary defeat” (that’s what it is, you know – “temporary”), to eventually achieve the goal? I hope so, because if you did not, that means you chose to STOP because some tactless, “know-it-all”, arm chair theorist cum “dream killer” decided to give up on your behalf, and YOU LET HIM/HER!
1. It’s All About Perception: When human beings decide to embark on some meaningful endeavour, they usually try to share the “dream” with those they care about, and whose opinions they value. The problem sometimes however is that people we care about measure us based on the “inside” knowledge they have of our foibles.
In ironic contrast, total strangers who observe us(without bias) in passionate pursuit of our goals tend to become our greatest fans, and most fervent advocates. Why? Because their perception of us is NOT coloured by what they KNOW (or think they KNOW) about us! NB: In my experience however, if someone who has “inside” knowledge about us chooses to be mischievous, s/he can use it to “discourage” the “strangers” who admire/cheer us (and THIS does happen), so that the latter also begin to think/act like the former.
Everybody has shortcomings, inadequacies, or weaknesses. What sets one person apart from another will be his/her ability to ACHIEVE in spite of whatever limitations s/he has. Now, to achieve in spite of your “missings”, you will need to BELIEVE in yourself. Those who know you, unfortunately (for THEM) may not be willing to do the same.
By the time you start out in pursuit of your challenging goal some will cheer – initially – while others may fold their hands to “wait and see”. When the inevitable delays, disappointments and setbacks begin to come, you may start discovering that NOT all those who are with you are really WITH YOU!
Having said that, the truth is you do not need others to believe in you FIRST before you can succeed. What you must however avoid is a situation where those who do NOT believe have the FINAL say about whether you should keep going or give up when things get tough. You must NEVER put that kind of power in the hands of others – especially NOT people who do not believe like you do, in your dream/vision.
2. Deciding If YOUR Dream Is Still Worth Pursuing: To keep going, you will come up with a new plan based on learnings from each one that fails, and summon courage to mention it to those who are still around, and who are magnanimous enough to pay you ANY serious attention. With some you may have to grit your teeth to ENDURE their heavenward “rolling of eyeballs” and sighs/looks of boredom. Oh yes, I’ve been there before – believe me! 🙂
If you’ve been at it a while, you will probably have gotten used also to walking into a room and having those seated at a table suddenly stop talking. In this regard, a perpetual nagging feeling that you were being “discussed” may not be altogether unfamiliar!
The point being made is that you could end up completely ON YOU OWN at some point, with no one else believing in you, or your cherished dream – except YOU! THAT would be the ultimate test of YOUR own self-belief.
If you are the kind of person who judges whether something is worth doing based on the number of OTHER persons interested in doing (or willing to do) it, then you are UNLIKELY to stick with it till you achieve your purpose. This is because THEIR loss of interest would be likely to cause you to lose your motivation to DO IT, even though you could actually succeed.
Self-Belief is what makes it possible for a small David to defeat a BIG Goliath in real-life. VERY often it’s not size that matters, but ABILITY. Funny thing is that regardless of our size, as influenced by our genetic make-up, we can ALWAYS hone our SKILLS so that our ability to ACHIEVE is improved. And frequently, when we back our IMPROVED ability with determination and SELF-BELIEF, it becomes extremely difficult for us to LOSE.
3. Quick Example – Law Degree At Age 60 Years(True Story): I once read an article by Valerie Young in which she mentioned how a 60 year old Beverly Goodman whose marriage just ended, (ignoring discouraging comments from others that no one would hire a lawyer her age) attended law school while holding a full time job, passed the bar exams, and went on to land a job with a law firm at an age(61) many assume retirement is inevitable! Goodman reportedly said “I thought this age stuff was baloney”. She believed – in spite of THEIR unbelief – that she could do it!
4. Don’t Engage “Fickle Minded”/”Failure-Phobic” Supporters! Napoleon Hill advised that when you choose members of your mastermind team (persons you “recruit” to support you in pursuit of your valued goal), MAKE SURE you DO NOT choose persons who take defeat seriously.
Let me repeat that: Do not bring on board or share details of your plans’ progress with people who have a NEGATIVE view of “failure or adversity”. Don’t engage “cry babies” i.e. the perpetual worriers and fickle-minded persons who see every little problem as a catastrophe, and who readily conclude that ALL is lost without being willing to join in to find solutions.
Fickle minded people are driven – even RULED – by their FEARS. This makes them VERY risk averse, and consequently they never venture beyond what they already know, to try anything new in their own lives. The result is that they live lives of mediocrity till they pass on.
If you have such people in your team, they WILL be the first to throw their hands up the minute any little problem crops up. By the time the BIG problems come, they will be screaming for everyone to “abandon ship”. If you have many of them on board, they’ll all jump off leaving you behind.
If they happen to be the ones you depend on for financial support, and/or access to other resources, you will find it difficult getting ANYTHING out of them at critical periods. That, and NOT the fact that your situation is hopeless is what could ultimately cause your plans to fail PERMANENTLY. At that point, THEY would have successfully given up on YOUR behalf!
Your dreams are too IMPORTANT to the world, for you to let that happen. So PLEASE avoid enlisting the support of these kinds of people – who can sometimes come in the shape of your closest relatives and friends. In case you discover one or more such persons in your team, plan to “offload” them As Gently As Possible (AGAP) and ASAP! Trust me – you’ll be glad you did.