When I started my business I leapt into all sorts of business events and groups.
I have to say, fresh into it and without context, I heard some serious bullshit. I heard things like “you can do anything”, “the Universe will deliver”, and the worst “you’re great just the way you are”.
Luckily I sat on my hands and, miraculously, kept my mouth shut long enough to start to understand the context and realise that the bullshit was my problem, not theirs.
You see, I’d grown up in an environment of “don’t”s and “no”s.
“Don’t do that David”, “No you can’t do that David”, “You don’t want to do that”, “No you can’t work for your father” and so on. My parents wanted the best for me and their way of steering me was to tell me what I couldn’t do, not what I could do. They protected me from their fears and it was my job to escape.
My new business friends however, were saying in their way, “yes you can”.
I still find it hard to take compliments and encouragement. These are important things to fight for in your own mind and your business. I find it harder still to say that I am good, successful, funny, and handsome or anything else even slightly positive about myself. OK that last one IS a lie – I know I am not handsome, cute maybe, handsome no!
Self-deprecation in others has always annoyed me. I didn’t realise why until I realised I was a prime offender. Whinging annoys me even more. I used to catch myself whinging and that would be the point when I realised I had to act instead of expecting someone else to fix things.
Don’t worry folks, this isn’t therapy about me. It is about you and your business seeking out people and businesses that encourage and support you. You don’t want negative people, you don’t want people who see the flaws in all your ideas and dreams, you don’t want whingers taking the shine off all the shiny stuff.
These supportive nice people exist by the truck load. You just have to make a choice to go out and find them instead of hanging out with the other kind.
Being born to the other kind puts you behind the 8 ball but believe me it isn’t the end of the game.
You can tune into it and change if you want.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Turn the social media, the news and current affairs television off – it is all lies and lowest common denominator rubbish that you don’t want in your world (and I stress YOUR world).
When people offer you compliments, things, money, help, whatever take it. Know that you deserve it. You know how good it feels to give, so let the other person feel that good. Don’t spoil it. Remember what it was like to have your gift rejected? Don’t do that to others.
Smile, laugh and be playful. Just try it. The rewards are fantastic. On a recent holiday to Japan my wife and I decided to give what we called “Emergency Koalas” to nice people who helped us as we traveled. One day in a small town restaurant our waitress was a teenage girl, miserable and unhelpful. I decided to change the Emergency Koala criteria. She needed a smile and if a 90 cent clip-on airport Koala could give her one it was worth breaking the rules. Was it ever!
Support is not about keeping you where you are, it is about taking you to the next level.
Surrounding yourself with the right people takes as much focus and practice as anything else in life.