If you are like almost everyone I know, there is something you’ve always wanted to do, but someone talked you out of it. Someone told you that you’re not talented enough. Someone told you that you’re too old or too young. Too slow, too stupid, or too poor. And now, you’re left wondering what might have been. Now what?
Catherine Lanigan was like that. All throughout her young life, she considered herself a talented writer. Her teachers told she was gifted and maybe that she could make it someday as a writer.
So she entered college full of hope. She even registered for a senior level class in creative writing taught by a visiting professor from Harvard. When she wrote her very first short story for the class, the professor asked to see her.
He was the prototypical college English professor. He was 6′ 6″ tall, wore tweed coat with elbow patches and the horn-rimmed glasses. He also had the smug look of a tenured English professor (sorry if that is you, but I had three such professors in college and they all had a smug look).
The one thing I see repeatedly with ultra-successful people in any profession is that they are intentional about who they surround themselves with. Are you?
“Why don’t you get a real job?”
“You’re wasting your time on that.”
“You’ll never make any money doing that.”
The problem with your inner voices is that they are usually lying. And not only do they lie, but they manipulate you, twist the truth, and even make you believe the lies. They’ll even tell you two opposing lies (both extremes)…and you’ll believe them both.
Two Voices – Both Lies
My inner voices are tricky. One voice tells me this:
You are where you are in life only because of dumb luck.
That is the first lie.
Another voice tells me:
You got where you are in life only because of hard work, determination, and because you are just that special.
That is the voice I actually like to listen to. This voice lifts my head up high, puffs my chest out, and makes me feel good about myself.
But both voices are lies.
Everything starts in your mind. Every action starts with a thought. Every invention starts with an idea. Every outcome starts with a vision. Everything starts in your mind.
Have you ever wanted to be somebody else?
Not literally another person, but someone better?
A better leader. A better father. A more focused person. Someone who is making a bigger impact and leaving a legacy.
Have you ever wanted to be somebody else? Then take these words from the band Sister Hazel to heart.
Do you ever hear the voices?
The voices that say you’re too old or too young, too plain or too pretty, too this or too that. You’ve failed too much, started too late, grew up too poor, or you’re inadequate in some way. The voices tell you that your disadvantages will always be just that…disadvantages. They will always hold you back and keep you from unleashing the World Changer that you are.
But what if you could turn your worst disadvantages into your biggest advantages? Yes, even the ones that have haunted you for years, kept you up at night, and crippled your development.
What if you could turn your worst disadvantages into your biggest advantages? (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
13 moves in 14 years
When I was growing up, I moved 13 times by the age of 14. And not just across town either. I lived in 11 different cities and went to 8 different schools.
I felt like life was out to get me. I never stayed in the same school for more than one year. As a result, I never had a friendship last more than one year. The three years I actually stayed in the same city and house from 4th to 6th grade, my best friend moved after 5th grade and I was rezoned for 6th. The bad breaks would almost comical if it weren’t for the pain that it caused at the time.
I felt lonely, isolated, and always the outsider. I never felt rooted. But…
“You make me so mad.”
Have you ever said something like that? Of course you have. So have I. At one point in time (or in my case approximately 108,283 times) we’ve all said those words.
Here’s a translation of that phrase you might not like: “You control me.”
Letting someone else “make” you mad lets that person control you. You give away your power to choose your actions. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
When you let what someone else does or says “make” you mad, you let that person control you. You give away your power to choose your actions.
You give up your right not to be offended. You give up your right not to get angry. You give up your right to be at peace, to be happy, and to focus on your calling.
How do you tune out negative voices and live a life of true joy?
Let’s face it…if you’re achieving anything in life, a large percentage of the voices you hear will be negative. So what do you do with them?
Gertrude Nonterah from Working Christian Mommy shared some great ideas with me recently that I wanted to pass on to you. I love Gertrude’s tagline on her site: On the path to living an unconventionally rich life. When you’re living an unconventionally rich life, the negative voices will come. Here’s what Gertrude had to say about them.
Want to tune out the negative voices holding you back. Read this from @GeeNonterah. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Some years ago, my mom decided she wanted to venture into entrepreneurship by opening a convenience store. It sounded like a great idea to her until she run it by a friend of hers. This friend told her how this was a terrible idea and that entrepreneurs never really make a profit and that her chances for failure were high.
How do you view your current work?
Is it a job, a career, or a calling?
Are you waiting to start or find your “dream job” to pursue your calling or to leave your mark on the world?
Do you have a job, a career, or a calling? You get to decide. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Yale psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski has interviewed thousands of workers in hundreds of different professions and found that people have one of three mindsets about their work. She calls them “work orientations.” They are:
Your negative voices actually have some truth to them.
Those voices that say things like:
“You aren’t as good of a leader as so-and-so.”
“You can’t sell like Joe. He’s the top salesman.”
Those voices are often right. Yes, Mr. Positivity is telling you that those negative voices are often grounded in truth. But they are missing one word. That’s what makes them lies. We’ll get to that shortly.
You aren’t who you are called to be…YET. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
My book vs. my voices: The battle within
As I stepped out into the cold night air, foolishly forgetting that I no longer live in the south and wearing only shorts, a T-Shirt, and slippers, a horrifying thought gripped me.
“Your book won’t be good enough. You can’t write like a bestselling author. Who are you to think you can write like that?”
If you’re not hearing negative voices, you’re probably not doing much.
You’re probably not chasing a very big dream.
And when you do, remember these words from Vincent Van Gogh.
So, if you’re doing anything meaningful, you’re going to hear negative voices. They will whisper. They will scream. They will make sense.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Want to silence your negative voices? Then do exactly what they are telling you not to do.
Do it as an act of defiance.
Do it to shut up your voices.