In my new bestselling book, Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Life Your Best Life, I implore readers to stop giving votes to those people in their lives who shouldn’t even have voices. In fact, I believe in this so strongly that it’s literally the very first part of the subtitle of the book. Ignore everybody!
But, what if the people in your life who are naysaying are the ones you can’t ignore, the ones you don’t want to ignore, the ones you shouldn’t ignore?
When I sold my last company, I had a rough outline of the beginning of a semblance of the possible start to a potential pathway. It was, by no means, a plan. And I was totally cool with it. I hadn’t been without a to-do list since the summer before seventh grade, and I felt weightless, buoyant even.
Not so much the acquaintances I ran into on the street, though. I quickly learned that my not having a plan was unnerving to people. They didn’t so much care about me — not so deeply, that is, that they’d continue to think about me after their extra shot double shot venti latte was ready and they were on their merry way — they cared about their own ability to characterize me and file me into a specific file in their mental cabinet for easy access shortcut retrieval the next time we met in the too-long Starbucks line.
Have you seen that look, too? You know the one. It’s the blank look, the wide-eyed stare, the twitch of fear that you get when you tell someone your big-ass hopes and dreams, the audacious adventure you want to eat for breakfast, the spectacular exploits upon which you are about to embark. It’s discomfort at its finest.
And it’s theirs, not yours.
But we all too often adopt it and absorb it, allowing that discomfort to seep in and poison our excitement, to discolor our rainbow, to still our flurry. And, especially so when these balloon popping naysayers with their needles of discomfort are our nearest and dearest.
If the key to happiness is to ignore everybody, carve our own paths, and live our best lives, how do we do that when the naysayers are those closest to us?
We need to remember that most people see to our hopes and dreams through the lens of their own fear, anxiety, jealousy, or just plain old FOMO. Their reactions are based on whether or not our hopes and dreams are doable for them, not whether or not they are doable for us. And, let’s face it, even our nearest and dearest don’t know what we can really do. Because, neither do we.
So, the way to be limitless is truly to ignore everybody. And that includes some of those outdated, outplayed, outnumbered voices in your own head, too.