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Why You Should Do What You’ve Always Wanted to Do

Why You Should Do What You’ve Always Wanted to Do

You know what you’ve always wanted to do, BUT…

What is it with the rampant self-doubt?

You concoct so many reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t do what you want. No time, money, support, etc. Classes to take, kids to care for, relationships to tend to, and so on. There should be a diagnosis code for this. Call it self-doubt 101, something so many of us suffer from.

What is the possible treatment?

There’s going onto the therapists couch and analyzing who, what, when, and where. Then there’s taking a trip, running away, and trying to find the answers elsewhere. And let’s not forget, the way most of us treat our excuses about why we don’t do what we always wanted: you stuff it down to the back of your soul and plod on. Doing what you think you ‘should’ do.

Here is another option.

Take a look at some people that went ahead and did what they always wanted and succeeded. But not before they failed on an epic scale. So take that in, realize that you can choose to do what you always wanted to and get ready to take some huge falls.

After falling and floundering, getting doors slammed in your face, being called all kinds of names, and shouting back at the voices in your head that scream at you to stop, you WILL succeed – just like these famous people below that did what they always wanted to do.

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You are no different than they are.

stallone

    Sylvester Stallone had it rough as a child. He was taunted in school and in-and-out of foster homes. He was told, “You’re stupid lookin’ do somethin’ else.” His movies grossed over a billion dollars.

    What he wanted to do: Inspire people and act.

    einstein

      Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four, or read until he was seven years old. Everyone thought he was mentally handicapped and would not accomplish anything. He won a Nobel Prize and became the face of modern physics.

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      What he wanted to do: Study physics and change the world.

      thinker

        Rodin was considered the worst student in his school and was continually rejected when applying to art school. His father called him an ‘idiot.’ He ended up becoming a sculptor and famously created “The Thinker Statue.”

        What he wanted to do: Be an artist and sculptor.

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        elvis

          Elvis Presley was fired by the manager of the Grand Ole Opry after one performance. Presley was told, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere… son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”  What do you know, Elvis became the most popular singer in America.

          What he wanted to do: Sing and perform.

          churchill

            Winston Churchill failed 6th grade and lost every election for public office until he was 62-years-old. He went on to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Among many other accomplishments, he renewed the world’s faith in the superiority of democracy.

            What he wanted to do: Serve his country.

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            disney

              Walt Disney went bankrupt and was fired by a news editor for ‘lack of imagination.’ He was the man who gave us Disney World and Mickey Mouse.

              What he wanted to do: Entertain people.

              It’s YOUR turn.

              What do you want to do? Imagine if these individuals above would have not felt they should do what they always wanted to do. We wouldn’t have Mickey Mouse! Or “Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go” (Elvis). How about the Winston Churchill quote: “Never, never never give up? The theory of relativity.” How about Rocky – that movie inspired people all over the world to go for their dreams and never give up.

              You have something that you always wanted to do and we are waiting, the world is waiting. Even if it’s something you don’t think will be the next Thinker Statue, it will light your soul and everyone around you will be encouraged by you. This ripple effect can make a change for generations to come.

              Put the Rocky soundtrack on and run up and down the stairs and imagine what your life would be like if you were doing what you always wanted to do. Prepare for bumps and bruises, knowing that that’s part of the game of life. And in the end, you will be pumping your fist, standing tall and proud of living your life the way you want to. You’ll be using the gifts you have until you cannot squeeze another drop out. Then squeeze some more.

              Featured photo credit: Do What You Love via flickr.com

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              Esther Litchfield-Fink

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              Last Updated on April 6, 2020

              10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

              10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

              Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

              Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

              Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

              So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

              1. Be Authentic

              To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

              Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

              Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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              2. Listen

              Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

              To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

              Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

              Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

              3. Become an Expert

              Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

              You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

              4. Lead with Story

              From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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              If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

              5. Lead by Example

              It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

              ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

              We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

              6. Catch People Doing Good

              A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

              Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

              7. Be Effusive with Praise

              It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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              Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

              8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

              I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

              The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

              If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

              9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

              The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

              The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

              If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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              10. Understand Your Lane

              If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

              Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

              You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

              Final Thoughts

              Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

              It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

              More Tips About Making Influence

              Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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