Let’s go deeper…
If you could, with 100% CERTAINTY, achieve ANY dream with no loss, no regret, and no criticism, what dream would you CHOOSE to go after RIGHT NOW?
Your answer to the above two questions will clue you into where your true desire is… and it will also let you know where you’re most susceptible to the judgment of others.
Even without knowing it, you may find yourself in a space where you’re not pursuing your dream because, on some level, you fear what “they” will say:
What if they don’t like it?
What if “they” don’t support me?
What if “they” can’t handle the aftermath?
What if I fall flat on my face and “they” say “I told you so”?
The list could go on and on but the fact remains:
“They” could be keeping you from following your life’s calling… and you’re the one giving away all that power!
So… how do you overcome the fear of other people’s disapproval?
There are a number of ways (and I cover all 10 in my upcoming Fear-To-Fuel Acceleration Program) but here are 3 of them:
1) Show first, tell later. There are times when proclaiming your dream to the world is extremely valuable… and times when announcing your plans to people who are absolute criticizers is a total waste of your time and energy. It’s important to know what time you’re in. If you’re dealing with people you know will judge you or use passive aggressive behavior to sabotage your efforts, do not say a word about what you’re working on. Keep all of your positive energy focused on taking the day-to-day steps that you need to take to be successful. When success comes, you won’t have to say a word. Your success will speak for itself. Oh and what if you live with “them” and you can’t really hide what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis? Simple: act anyway, deflect the criticism, change the subject, and find pockets of time where you can work on your dream without “them” being present… even if that means you pack up your laptop and tablet, leave your comfy home office, and go to Starbucks. You can even make it fun by putting on some Inspector Gadget sunglasses, ordering a mocha frap, and enjoying alone time at a corner table in the back of Starbucks. Again, if you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to get it done. Otherwise, you’ll find an excuse.
2) Create a two year plan that involves small steps (mini-milestones) so your transformation evolves slowly over time. Both you and your critics may need time to adapt to the you you’re becoming. Overnight success is a myth. However, far too often, people go for big changes, achieve them but never prepared themselves for dealing with life once the transformation took place. Rather than rush for the finish line, write out a 2 year plan that takes you from where you are now to where you want to be and, at each milestone (each achievement that marks a significant change in your life), ask yourself 3 questions: 1) What will be different? 2) How will I respond to the changes? 3) How will I handle the criticism? If you have a game plan up front, the criticism later won’t hurt any less but you’ll deal with it better.
3) Get new friends. Yup, I said it. In ANY relationship, 1 of 2 things will happen: You either 1) grow together or 2) grow apart. Especially when the relationship doesn’t involve a parent or a spouse (yes, I even include siblings in this one), it’s important to make a conscious choice about who’s in your inner circle… and who’s out. Some people will adapt to your transformation and applaud your success. They’ll cry with you when you’re down and laugh with you when you’re up. Others will not. Rather than wasting time and energy trying to convince them to be on your team, drop them like it’s hot and replace them with people who are either on your energetic level (meaning at the same level of drive, gratitude, enthusiasm for life, etc.) or who are way above you. People can either bring you down or build you up but no person is neutral. You are responsible for the energy you bring into the space. Energy is finite so wasting it on people who love their victim story and would rather bring you down than lift you up is not a viable option. Do not give your energy to emotional vampires who criticize, belittle, and judge your dreams because they aren’t living their own. You don’t have time for that. Like I said, drop ’em like it’s hot.
If you want to know the other 7 ways to overcome the fear of other people’s disapproval, join me in January for the 5 week online Fear-To-Fuel Acceleration Program. I’ll be posting more about it in a few weeks 🙂