Ever have one of those days, where you wake up, feeling great, birds are singing, sky is blue (well…its almost always blue here in So-Cal, but beside the point!) and you are feeling super motivated about life and the goals you have in mind….
you start talking to people. Not just anyone, though. People who know what your goals are, your ideas, and so forth. They tend to be the people closest to us or those involved in our lives on a regular basis. And then it begins…a slow but continuous erosion of your motivation, confidence, energy. Before you know it, you are in a slump, thinking of sleep, and in a completely down and out mood.
When other people criticize our ideas, we tend to get defensive and want to prove that we know exactly what we are doing. No one wants to find themselves later in the “I told you so” group. Yet how can you prevent the doubts and fears of others from becoming toxic to your own vision, and at the same time not ignore solid advice?
When others give you their “advice” and their forthright opinion, there are many elements in the mix. There could be their life experience and mistakes they are sharing. For example, someone preceded you in starting a similar business to you, or diet plan, and they share with you why it didn’t work for them. In this case, listen up, take notes, and come back to your mental map later and decide how you can use this information, if at all.
What is more common, though, is that people will project their fears onto your plans. They have their own insecurities, fears of the unknown, jealousy, etc. They will bring up all the angles that can fail, while completely ignoring the other side of the fence, which are all the possibilities of success. This is incredibly draining for you as you attempt to tackle all of the possible “what ifs” out there. If we open THAT door, it will never close….
So, the question is, why do you get so down in the process? It may very well be that deep inside you also have your own insecurities about your vision, plans, and actions. You want to be right, but you aren’t sure you will be. So you take on the defensive, walk away feeling drained, and spend the day in a slump. Not my idea of productivity!
Here is what you can do instead:
1) Let people speak and get it out of their system. Let them share their thoughts, ideas, concerns, fears, worries. The more you let others speak, the faster it will become clear what the REAL issue is. (logic vs. emotional response, for example.)
2) Take note of the bits of information that increase your heart rate! Write them down, mentally log them away. Come back to them later, and examine them. What is it about those comments/facts/statements that bother you so much? Write out your answers so you can see what is going on inside. Is there truth to their statements which you need to consider, but earlier pride got in the way? If you have a solid vision, then a few comments should not be enough to shake you. Instead, you are open to considering all angles, taking into accounts all risks, and being prepared for them as well are being prepared for success.
3) Be flexible. Someone may show you a potential roadblock to your vision, but this doesn’t mean it all crashes there. You may need to find a new way, but there is, in most cases, many ways to get to your desitination!
4) Cut out toxic talk! If someone around you is consistently weighing you down, then make some new friends! Be with people who are high achievers, who can support you in your goals. Our community in DiscoverU is like that. A whole network of people who support each other, offer advice, and creativity to help everyone get to where they want to be. If you can’t cut that person out of your life, then minimize discussion as much as possible on the subject. If this can’t happen, then simply return to point number 1, and have patience.
5) Remember to rely on Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and have Ikhlas. Real success in any endeavor comes from Him. It isn’t up to me, you, or anyone else to determine the success or failure of something. A sincere person should call on Allah for His assistance, to make things easy for them, and more importantly, to grant them a heart filled with Ikhlas so that no matter the outcome, there is goodness in it. This is the heart of the believer. It relaxes and is filled with tranquility upon the remembrance that it is Allah who takes care of all our affairs. All of them.
So dream big, make a plan, pray istikharah, make du’a, and move ahead!