When I was younger, I spent years confused, unfocused and unsure about what my “next step” was going to be.
I was going from opportunity to opportunity, and constantly questioning everything I was doing.
At the time, I didn’t really know the reason this was happening.
It just happened that way, and I thought that was how it had to be until I’d one day figure it out.
I didn’t have clarity about WHO I was, WHAT I was supposed to do, or HOW I was supposed to do it…
You know, all the questions whose ANSWERS really make life smoother when you have them?
Before you really know those answers, and as you’re searching for them… they can seem slippery to figure out. But they have to be.
That didn’t stop me from taking action. And I’m glad:
Action here, action there, action all over the place.
As I did this…
From The Outside Looking In,
Most Of That Probably Didn’t Make Sense.
One week I’d be about X, the next week I’d be about Y. I was just looking for the smartest way through. But to an outsider, it looked like I wasn’t doing much of anything.
Friends, family, and even acquaintances judged. And they judged HARD.
But it was what I had to do. I hadn’t “turned in” to myself. So the only way to find the answers was to keep feeling around in the dark, bumping into things and hurting my head until I found an opening.
As an entrepreneur, that’s inevitable sometimes. In the early 2000s, the New York Times even called Amazon a “pyramid scheme”. There were people who said Jeff Bezos would soon end up in jail, because they didn’t understand why Amazon wasn’t turning a profit.
That’s how it had to be.
When your days are filled with constant spins, twirls, and pivots, you might start wondering what people on the “outside” think of you.
Do they think you’re crazy for trying so many different things? For constantly making changes to what you’re doing in an effort to make progress?
To this day, I don’t know what people “out there” thought of what I was doing.
And I learned not to care.
You shouldn’t ask. The answer to it (no matter what it is) will never help you. It will only put you in your head and make things worse.
But there’s one thing that comes out of all of this that is one of the greatest lessons I ever learned…
That lesson is to use this journey to detach yourself from your FEAR of the opinions of others.
If you want to be exceptional, you have to do things others won’t. Of course, they’ll look at you cock-eyed because of it. You’re not following the masses, so it comes with the territory when everyone else is.
So when an opinion comes in, don’t “take it in” immediately…
Catch it, like you put up a catcher’s mitt as it came barrelling toward you…
Observe it in your hand, spend a moment examining it, and decide if it’s useful.
9 out of 10 times, if the person giving you their opinion isn’t doing anything exceptional themselves, it won’t be. So throw it away.
The goal isn’t to “overcome” it or “deal with it” or “fight it”. Or even “judge” it yourself.
The goal is to allow it to pass by without creating a disruption in your flow.
It’s not yours and it has nothing to do with you, even if it may have been said “about” you.
Don’t let it affect your way forward.
Get good at this. Once you do, it will be an absolute superpower.