You know when you’re having a conversation with someone close to you about your goals or you’re trying to explain what you want to do to your ‘nearest and dearest’ – and they say:
“You can’t do that” – or
“How’s that going to work then?” – or
“What do you know about? . . . (whatever it is you’re proposing)
As if you and I didn’t have enough trouble with our own limiting beliefs and not being certain what we’re planning to do would actually work.
To have your closest family and friends put down your ideas or tell you your goals and ambitions are unachievable isn’t helpful.
But the thing is they’re not trying to put you down (which is what it feels like), they’re really trying to help you, to protect you, to save you from what they (without your vision) see as a dangerous or potentially fatal course.
(Fatal to your lifestyle that is . . . usually)
The worst that can happen is that you believe them and stop, quit, or give up on your goals, ambitions and passions.
But of course, you and I don’t do this with others when they tell us what they want to achieve or what their plans are for the future.
Or do we?
It’s very, very easy to fall into the trap. Very easy to find reasons why our nearest and dearest or anyone else shouldn’t follow the course they’re proposing.
It’s very tempting to try and get them to tone down their ambitions so they’ll be ‘saved’ from disappointment.
The trouble is it’s instinctive behaviour. It’s cavewoman telling caveman to be careful when he goes out hunting, not to take any risks, better to come back without any food for today than not come back at all. It’s about protecting the tribe.
And although life’s not like that anymore that old protective instinct is still there.
(Just think what would have not happened if the guy who invented the wheel had believed it when he was told it would never work and decided not to pursue his idea.)
This is why you and I should always associate with positive people and, if we have them, keep our concerns to ourselves.
You and I never tell anyone “it can’t be done” or “you can’t do that” – even if we do have no idea what they are talking about, can’t see how they’ll achieve it, or don’t think they have the appropriate skill sets.
The only time you and I ‘step in’ is when others actually ask for help or we see that they are in immediate physical or psychological danger.
You and I say – “I’ve no idea how you’re going to do it but I’m here to help if you need me – do keep me in touch with how you get on, it sounds really interesting”.
You and I turn our thinking away from any concept of our friends not achieving their goals and support their belief in themselves and if we find this difficult, we just think ‘oh well if there are any problems we’ll face them when they crop up and help our friend deal with them at the time’.
The worst thing you and I can do for anyone who tells us about their goals and ambitions is give them any reason not to go ahead, give any support to their own limiting beliefs, or question their abilities to achieve what they want.
And you and I must always endeavour to take the same approach with ourselves.
Ignore our negative thinking, ignore our own questions about our abilities and dismiss all the other doubts and fears we may have – and as Sir Richard Branson says – ‘screw it – just do it’.
There’s a line spoken by the ‘quack doctor’ in the Antrobus Soul Cakers annual Hallowe’en mummers play – “If you don’t believe me, try me”.
It’s the ideal response to anyone who attempts, for whatever reason, to stop you from going ahead with your ambitions (even if you don’t say it to their face!)