Jumat, 22 Agustus 2008

3 Ways to Overcome Saboteurs to Your Success

You have no common sense, do you?” My grandmother asked. “Nobody is interested in ballroom dancing anymore.” She followed up the condemnation with a stern look of intense disappointment as she shook her head and exited the room.

If I had allowed her negative comments to stop me from pursuing my dream, I wouldn’t have ended up operating a business that was the vehicle to allow me to climb out of poverty and eventually expand into a number of other highly profitable businesses.

It wasn’t like the negative comment was a one time thing either. Every time I saw her she asked, “so, do you have a job yet?” When I’d reply, “I do have a job. I have a ballroom dance instruction business.” She’d wave her hand in dismissal and say, “no, I mean a real job.” Needless to say, her comments weren’t good for my fragile ego as my business got off to it’s rocky start. Eventually, I found a way to overcome her comments and anyone else's. Interestingly, when I had a major article published in the newspaper about me and my ballroom dancing business and her neighbors were calling her all day about it, she noted, "she knew I'd always make something of myself."

If you have someone in your life that is sucking the ambition out of you with negativity there are three ways to overcome this:

1) Get the negative person to change his or her behavior

This is not usually an easy task, but sometimes it is possible. Frequently, if you analyze why the person is being negative you might be able to do something that will change the way they feel. For example, maybe your spouse is not supportive of your efforts to start a part time business because he or she is afraid that you’ll be around new people and that you might fall in love with someone else. If you can reassure the person, the negativity could vanish.

Other times, if you explain in the right way that what you need is this person’s support and not their negativity, some people can be persuaded to change their tune. If you can’t sway them by convincing them it’s the moral thing to do, maybe you can persuade them that it’s in their interest…for example, you promise to take a trip to Europe with them if your new business hits a certain goal.

If you care about the person being in your life and you really feel that the negativity is taking it’s toll, it’s worth a shot.

2) Remove these people from your life

I know this might seem harsh and in many cases like with family, it’s not possible, but sometimes it is. I remember a trusted older friend advising me when I ranted about how my first wife derided my efforts to get ahead while she complained about how hard it was to be her…how she had to work every day whether or not she felt like it. My friend told me, “she’s dead weight and she’s going to take you down unless you cut loose.”

Naturally, I didn’t want to hear that advice and I kept trying to salvage the relationship until it finally disintegrated and we divorced. Immediately upon this drain on me being gone, my fortunes rapidly increased and my income doubled within the next six months. Now, I’m not saying to run out and divorce a negative spouse, but if you have someone in your life who’s really tearing you down…even a friend…and you don’t think there’s much hope of their behavior ever changing…consider getting out of the relationship.

3) Learn to ignore the person.

If you can’t influence the negative person to change and you can’t get them out of your life, then the only other solution is to learn to not let them affect you. It’s easier said than done, but definitely possible.

People tend to rationalize that they can’t help how they feel, but that’s not really true. If someone puts you down, it’s your choice as to whether you place any value on that person’s opinion.

In the case of my grandmother, I just decided that she was just very misguided…that she was probably actually trying to help me, but just didn’t have the tools to do it in a better way. So, I made the decision to no longer care whether she approved of my efforts or not. Once I really committed to it, her negative comments just bounced off of me without taking any of the life out of my determination.

There are countless people who allow others to impede them making their life what they want, so however you choose to do it, make sure that you don’t allow this to happen to you.

Have a positive day,

Paul Lawrence

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