By Jamie Kanner
Where did your courage go? What happened to that voice inside of you with all of your dreams and goals? Who silenced it, and why?
I have been an entrepreneur for more than 22 years and the hardest part of my job has always been watching smart, sharp, talented women talk themselves out of their ability to succeed. Even worse, is when they let the significant others in their lives tell them what they can and cannot accomplish.
When did this happen, and why are you STILL listening to the naysayers, including that negative voice in your head telling you what you can or can’t accomplish in YOUR life?
Here’s the scenario that has played out over and over:
I would meet these sharp women, share information about a business opportunity, and they would become excited about the prospect of working from home, putting their kids and family first, creating an incredible income stream or just earning some extra income. They would sign up and order their products and then “the birds would get them” and poof — they were gone. Where did they go you may be asking? Well perhaps a sister, brother, father, husband, or a well-meaning friend with whom they would share the excitement about their new business prospect, would “poop” all over the idea — turning a YES into a NO.
Negative messages look like this: “You will never make any money doing that … You don’t have the skills to do that … My friend who did it was never successful … You can’t sell anything … Those companies are scams … It’s not like you are going to be able to support our family or anything.”
Next thing I know, I would never hear back from “them”. The woman who was so excited by the new job opportunity, would simply disappear. All of her courage gone, game over, before it even started.
Everyone has fears, doubts and insecurities, but some of us are able to quiet them and still follow our dreams and push past all the doubts to reach our goals, while others stay on the bench watching from the sidelines.
Why is that, and how can we get past this voice that keeps telling us what we can’t do and instead listen to the voice that gives us courage to live out our dreams?
How long are we going to let the overheard voices from childhood live in our heads? You know those voices … “Her sister, she’s the smart one, she isn’t good at math, not a good writer, not as pretty, or talented. A neighbor boy once told my daughter, “You will never get into NYU — your grades are not good enough.” We all know the story of Michael Jordan getting kicked off the basketball team and then becoming arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. SO why did Michael Jordan persist despite the obstacles, while others succumb to the opinions of those who have no idea what really lies inside your heart and what great skills you have HIDDEN inside of you.
When did you start listening to ‘them’ and stop listening to you?
The Good News is that it’s not too late. Here are few tips to help you FIND your courage:
1. Get out of Dodge: I don’t mean permanently, just get out of your comfort zone. Take a class, go to a women’s retreat, join a networking group with a subject that interests you, there are a million meet-up groups with different areas of interest. For me, I went to yoga teacher training — what a gift that was and the side benefit was that I made some amazing new friends.
2. Start listening to that voice inside your head: You may be thinking I thought the whole idea was not to listen to negative voices. Yes, but if you really don’t know what those voices are saying, how can you ever silence them? So pay attention. When my kids were little and my husband was traveling four days a week, I got quiet and what I heard was, “This is so hard — I can’t do this by myself.” Once I realized that, I simply changed it to: “Of course, you can do this. You are strong and can accomplish anything you set your mind to.” Then, everything changed. Read the book “Taming Your Gremlins” by Rick Carson.
3. Be aware of with whom you spend time — this could be the game-changer for you. Are your friends uplifting, encouraging, supportive and kind? Or, are they negative and complain all the time? Are they empowering, or is it a “Misery loves company” situation?
4. Watch the movie “Yes Man.” Ask yourself to what have you really been saying NO? We all get stuck in ruts, but how long do you want to stay in one? Be honest with yourself.
5. Don’t be afraid of failing. Note: It is just part of succeeding. All great success stories have stumbling blocks. Steve Jobs got fired from Apple, that’s pretty big and public. It doesn’t have to be a business — it could be going to school to become a teacher, lawyer, or a volunteer.
How about the story of the woman who was 60 when she started medical school. “They” told her: “You will be 70 before you can practice medicine — why are you doing this?” Her reply was, ”I am going to be 70 anyway, so why not be 70 AND a doctor?” Talk about a life lesson. So shake off the No’s, and go for your dreams by listening to that voice. It will guide you to be brave.
‘Would love to hear from you. Post your comments below in the GIRLilla Warfare “Comments” section. And, if you need help to say goodbye to silly voices and to find your courage — my door is always open. Feel free to contact me at: Jkanner92@gmail.com; www.Jamie.myarbonne.com< back