DON’T CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK
If you are leading an authentic, courageous life, one that reflects your inner values, one where you have developed a strong voice and live a life of passion, well, there will be detractors. It’s a guarantee. In fact, if you don’t have any hecklers or haters booing you from the sidelines then you may want to dial up your audaciousness a notch! Certainly we don’t want to incite negativity in others, but it will arise and it will find you and when it does I want you to listen to the criticism, examine it, find any kernel of truth that may ultimately help you grow and then throw out the rest! Being attacked, verbally, in writing or through malicious gossip can be derailing. We have a tendency to get caught up in negative feedback, obsessed and upset. There are WAY more important things in your life that deserve that energy. Don’t give the power of your thoughts and time to your adversaries.
BRING ON THE CHEER SQUAD!
Maybe you were a cheerleader, maybe you weren’t. But one thing is for certain, all people benefit from the enthusiasm and encouragement of good friends who advocate for you, encourage and advise. We tend to attract people who are like us in some way, whether in personality, similar educations, career level, or age. Focus on attracting a diverse group of friends who support you and seek to minimize contact with friends who do not support you or your dreams. Change is a normal process in life and even though at one time someone was supportive they may no longer need such a big role in your life. Maya Angelou writes, “A WOMAN (& I think men, too) SHOULD HAVE… one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…” (& yes, it is ok for men to cry!)
CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE
In life situations arise that you cannot control or change. The only thing that you can do is choose your reaction. This is not to say that you should try to turn off your emotions. That would be futile and damaging. There is a big difference between restricting reactions vs. repressing emotions. The key is to feel the emotion but not become it. For example, in life there are perfectly understandable times when we feel sad and we should feel sad, however, we can’t afford to allow ourselves to become a sad person, to become the emotion. Just as anger is a very natural response to certain events, we should not become angry people. Focus instead on what comes next, distract yourself with the things that most deserve your attention.
BE GOOD TO YOURSELF
This is such a simple idea but experience tells me that it is ridiculously difficult! You’ve heard the adage, you are your own worst enemy? It’s true. You have to stop berating yourself for your perceived shortcomings and missteps. Even if you experience a failure don’t beat yourself up, look at the effort you put in, and give yourself some credit. Some days you are going to be way outside your comfort zone and feel like a total fraud. It’s ok! Believe in your abilities and keep going! When you do succeed take the time to acknowledge that success.
LAUGH AND BE COURAGEOUS
In the midst of all this goal-oriented work and striving, let’s not lose sight of the purpose of life, which is the process of life! Be happy. Laugh every chance you get. Not only is it good for your blood pressure but nothing aggravates your enemies like happiness Laugh at people’s misconceptions of you. Just because someone has formed an opinion of you or your work doesn’t mean you have to take it seriously. In the face of adversity, judgment or obstacles of all shapes and sizes don’t lose your sense of adventure. Be bold. Be fearless. Be brave and go forth courageously! Someone asked me the other day, “how do you become happy?” Happy people are, simply put, curious. They venture beyond the boundaries of their comfort zone to try new, different and often even scary or difficult experiences.
THOUGHT INTO ACTION
Pick one of the 5 tips above and make yourself an action list. For instance, if you choose be good to yourself perhaps set aside an hour for a walk along the shore or simply give yourself the permission to want, to desire and then seek out an experience that reflects this.