You are going to be surrounded by others who aren’t familiar with the rules and tools for success. They are not going to know what you know. They are not going to be Success Rule Followers. Their level of success will be measured in terms of mediocrity. They will be quick to blame others and/or circumstances for their lack of success. “The economy really hasn’t been good.”. “The boss has their favorites and I’m not one of them.” Here is my favorite, “I’ve been here 15 years and they still haven’t promoted me.”. They will whine and complain, and they will want company. Don’t drink from the poison well. Be careful, these dream busters come in all kinds of disguises, from the easily identifiable, obnoxious, miserable, grouchy S.O.B who takes pleasure in bringing you down, to the humble, “you didn’t ask, but I’m going to give you my advice anyway”, coworker, spouse, parent, sibling or BFF who just has your, “best interest at heart”. I experienced it. Once I told co-workers I was going to join an elite organization in the US Air Force called Pararescue. What I heard was, “You know, you’ll never make it”. The said, “I hear the physical requirements are out of this world.”. What they were really saying was, “Hey, stay with me in this lame job so we can continue to hang out (party, drink, play pool… )”, or that they were too lazy to put in the time and effort it would take to be part of something extraordinary themselves. Today I’m proud to be a part of a brotherhood that continues to accept only those who know the rules for success, and want to be extraordinary – The US Air Force Pararescueman and Combat Rescue Officer.
The bottom line is these negative people will try and leave you with feelings of doubt, pangs of guilt, or take away from you your self-worth. Here are some tips to follow to avoid such kinds of people. The first and most obvious step is to separate yourself from them, kick them off the porch, dump ’em. In many situations it really is a lot easier than you think. Real friends don’t put you down or hold you back. In fact, you will find your true best friend is the one that is growing and pursuing their own success right alongside you. They are as excited for you, as you are for them. If you instead find your friends, “encouraging” you to take the easy route, or they make you feel guilty for, “forgetting where you came from”, maybe it is time you remember where you’re going and forget about them.
On the other hand there are those in your life that are not so easy to get rid of, such as family, and in many cases co-workers. They’ll try to make you feel bad by telling you that all you care about is money and material things. At work they’ll say, “There you go again, sucking up to the boss”. Let me be clear. NO ONE will care more about your success than you do. Don’t let someone else dictate your success. If it is someone you can’t separate yourself from all together, then minimize your time with them. “But it’s my mother”, someone once said. OK. Thanksgiving or Christmas. Pick one. Alright, maybe that is not realistic, but I would still avoid interaction when I could. When it can’t be avoided and you find yourself the subject of their teardown, be direct, firm and always polite/professional. Commit yourself to not sharing your plans with them. Change the topic and refuse to engage on the issue. Smile and excuse yourself from the conversation.
My final thought on this is to continue to nurture the seeds of thought that are planted in the garden of your mind by yourself and others. Remember to weed out the bad seeds, the negativity, the ones that steal away the food, water and nutrients of the dreams you planted.
Be Extraordinary! When you’re not being extraordinary, be awesome instead.
Founder & CEO
Leader Development Institute