Think about the last time someone told you that you couldn’t do something. They might have been trying to give you advice from their own experiences. They might have been trying to protect you from an outcome they could only envision as a disaster, or they could have just been trying to manage your expectations.
Now think about the last time you told someone the same. Was it a friend you were looking out for, a family member you thought was making a rash decision, or a colleague who was taking on too much?
Throughout my life, one of my greatest motivators for success and achievement has been valuing the perspective of those who say I can’t, but going for it if I think I can.
Listen to the people who tell you that you can’t do it, but if you think you can, go for it. Smash their perceived barriers, impress even yourself. One of the best motivations for me is following my own instincts.
Believing in yourself is the stepping stone to being significant and being successful. Believing you can run that extra mile, believing you can live with less, believing you can make it to the top of your professional or personal ability.
You know what your priorities are, you know your strengths and you sure as hell know your limitations. So if your gut is saying do it, then go for it! Go ahead and do it.
Now success for me isn’t what it used to be. I no longer see financial status as a mark of success. A luxury car, heaps of material possessions and long hours which result in being able to purchase the former are no longer success criteria for me.
Life is too short for me to spend my money on a new car instead of making memories with the people I love. But that’s me, you might have a different outlook and that’s what makes us great as people. We are all unique.
Success is being able to do the things I love. Success is being able to contribute to my long term goals such as seeing the world, spending time with loved ones, and contributing to others. Success for me is smashing my professional career because I love what I do, not for the material bonus. If I didn’t love my work and spent 40 plus hours a week doing it, would I look back happily on these years of my life?
So right now being able to travel, spend time with friends and my husband and being able to blog and create the things I love means that for me, my life is a success. Since caring less about the material and cultural definition of success, I personally feel like I have achieved more.
Today I listen to the people who say I can’t and use it as motivation for making sure I can. Too often we try to coach people with well meaning concern, and limit their opportunities and ability in the process.
All in all, as long as we are doing something that contributes overall to making our life more meaningful, why on earth shouldn’t we try. If we fail, we fail. But if we don’t try and get told we can’t, we will never know.
One of my all time favourite quotes is:
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds” – Einstein
Now I am fortunate to have had some wonderful guides, mentors, managers and inspirations currently and throughout my life. They are always there to help you with your latest idea or projects. They push you to succeed for your own personal reasons.
However I have also known some nay-sayers. But you know what, I am grateful for them telling me I can’t, because it has only supported me to do better and know that I can.
So go forth, listen to the people who say you can’t do it, and show them you can. Live your meaningful life, and do the things that make you happy, and be successful in your own unique way.