One of the biggest reasons writers, artists and creators don’t go after their dreams is because of what other people might think or say. The fear of judgment and ridicule. The fear of having to hear someone else’s negative opinion.
It can be very hard to know that your family and the people you respect don’t agree with what you’re doing or have the opinion that you shouldn’t be doing it. It’s also hard to listen to people give you advice when you’re not asking for it.
Because everyone’s got an opinion. And many of them feel the need to share that opinion with you. Even when you don’t really want it.
Yes, there are times when it’s nice to have someone else’s opinion or advice. I’m constantly turning to my mentors and accountability buddies for opinions and support.
But I always get the final say. And regardless of rules or expectations, I never do anything that doesn’t feel good to me.
When to Listen to the Opinions of Others
So how do you know when you should listen to what someone else has to say? Here are some of the criteria I use:
> Is the person more successful than you are? Is the person giving you the opinion and advice more successful than you are? If they are, their opinion definitely has more weight then if they’re not. Someone who’s already been-there-done-that will be able to share things that only someone who’s been through it can share, and that kind of advice can shave years off your learning curve and help you achieve success faster.
> Do they have a result that you want? If the advice and opinions are coming from someone who has achieved the result you want for yourself, the advice is probably worth listening to. You may not be able to completely replicate how they achieved the result, but you’ll definitely get some tips and inside info that will help you along on your journey.
> Did you ask for the opinion? If you did, there’s probably a reason for it and you may want to consider listening.
When to Ignore the Opinion of Others
On the flip side, here’s when you should ignore the opinions or advice from others:
> They’re not more successful than you–if the person giving the advice or opinion isn’t more successful than you are, you can feel free to ignore everything they’ve said.
> They don’t have a result that you want–if the person hasn’t achieved something that you want to achieve, there’s no reason to listen.
> They’re not living their dream–this is really important because I see so many writers and creators listening to the opinions of people who aren’t living their dreams and are just numbing themselves out with food and TV and other BS. People like that will try to hold you back and keep you playing small because you going after your dream triggers them. And they don’t like that. (It’s my belief we’re supposed to trigger people and get triggered by people–that’s how we all learn and grow.)
Now these are not hard-and-fast “rules” for how to ignore people’s opinions. There are always exceptions where someone who doesn’t fit the criteria will give you an opinion or piece of advice that feels good to you and in that case, it may be worth listening to.
Only you can know for sure which opinions and advice feels good to you. And only taking action on those good-feeling opinions and advice can help you figure out if it will work for you or not.
But once you find what works best for you, keep on doing it. Tweak it when necessary, but stay focused on doing you.
Because if you want to create success on your terms, that’s what it’s gonna take–being fully who you are and continuing to step into the identity of who you dream of being.
Dream life or bust,
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