Author: Byron Pulsifer, © 2016
That’s impossible. It can’t be done. How many times have you heard these expressions being thrown upon the ideas of other people? These kinds of negative torpedoes have been fired by thousands towards targets that have been destroyed.
Robert H. Schuller, in his book Hours of Power, put it so clearly when he stated the following: “Impossibility Thinkers are people who immediately, impulsively, instinctively, and impetuously react to any positive suggestion with a sweeping, unstudied, irresponsible assortment of reasons why it can’t be done, or why it is a bad idea, or how someone tried it and failed, or (and this is usually their clinching argument) how much it will cost!”
Unfortunately, we have all met or encountered people who are the ones who seem to revel more in putting down great ideas than they are in seeing the possibilities. These are the type of people who you can meet in every walk of life; these are the same people who you face in every aspect of your life.
Let me ask you a question? It is a question that you can answer honestly because you are the one who is reading this article where your thoughts are not influenced by another. This question pertains to you as a person, not as an employee of someone else. The question is this: have you been discouraged to try something new or different by a spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, another family member or a friend?
Maybe you decided that you needed to go back to school to obtain your high school diploma, or to go on to college, or to attain a higher degree from university, or to take additional courses to help you move forward in your career.
Maybe you are plain fed up with working for other people and have decided that the best option is for you to start a business where you can utilize the skills you already have but that allows you to be your own boss. Maybe you have an idea for a business where you can do what you love to do and grants you a reasonable living.
At this point, you’ve developed what you think is a great idea. And, what is your next step? The most common course of action would be for you to ask for opinions about your idea from a person or persons closest to you. Why would you do this? You would do so because you are excited to share something that is important to you; something that you feel would move your life forward. If you are married, you would want to share your plan with your loved one who you feel would also benefit from your idea or decision.
The ultimate reason you would share your idea, and, in essence expose your ideas to scrutiny, is your expectation that your idea would be supported, or encouraged. You don’t share a new plan with the intent to be put down, criticized or ridiculed do you? Of course not.
But, so often, the person or persons closest to you who you would expect unending support and motivation to put your ides or plan into action are the very ones who fire barbed torpedoes at your ship before it even leaves the safety of the harbour.
What you hear from these type of people does nothing to help you; they seem to do everything they can to discourage you. Why is this? Could it be that they have no confidence in you? Could it be that they are more concerned about staying within the confines of their own comfort zone where your plan or idea may compromise that comfort? Could it be that they are envious or jealous because their personal circumstances are seen as unchangeable and, therefore, secretly desire that you remain in your current position?
What You Need
Just for a moment, let me attempt to give you a few suggestions before you bring your idea for a new career or business to the people closest to you if you think they will be unsupportive. First of all, what you should consider doing is to put together a detailed plan of what you intend to do. For example, if your plan is to start a new business, your plan should include not only what your overall goal is but, more importantly, all the steps you would need to take in order to put your plan into motion. The plan should also cover what you would need in terms of finances, and how you would get the money needed to start, and how you would pay for your normal daily living expenses while you got your business to the point where it could become profitable enough for you to live on.
Secondly, once you have your plan laid out in detail, do not show it, or talk about it to those you think would shoot it down. Instead, determine who you could speak to that would give you constructive criticism on how to improve it, or how to modify it so that you have a more than reasonable expectation of success. Sometimes, these types of people may be associates outside your normal social circles. Sometimes, these types of people are those who are already running a successful business, or someone who has gone down the same road as you want to go down and are aware of the hurdles or issues that you need to overcome or be prepared to deal with.
Once you have obtained feedback that helps you improve your idea or plan, and have worked out financial details, you can then share your plan with a spouse, partner or family member. The reason you would wait until all your details are worked out is so that you are prepared to meet expected negative reactions with strong details, and citing the support you have received from others who have helped you.
No ship ventures out of port if there is an expectation of the potential of sailing into harm’s way. As such, you shouldn’t venture down a new path until you have a series of supportive people alongside of you. These supportive people will provide on-going motivation when you hit those hurdles. And make no mistake there will be hurdles for you to overcome no matter how detailed and well thought out your plan is. These allies have been down the same path; they know what to expect. And, even more importantly, these are the very people you want by your side so they can help you find the right way around obstacles you will undoubtedly meet.
Successful people are those who have faced both difficulties and failures. The difference, however, is that those who have traversed dangerous waters know that sailing through rough waters takes dedication, perseverance, and a faith that disallows failure. These people succeed when others have quit; these people keep on striving despite the odds; these people, like you, climb over or pass through troubled waters because they are the possibility thinkers and doers, just like you.
What is worth doing is worth fighting for; fighting in both spirit and action. Nothing is ever changed, or anything accomplished without first a thought or a dream. But, a dream dies a death if not married to action where that action is focused, dedicated, and guided. Each person needs a source of inspiration; a large dose of help from a guiding and friendly hand. No matter whom you are, where you reside, or what your family background there is light only if you open your eyes. Don’t be blinded by negative thinkers; refuse to allow negative torpedoes to sink your ship.
In the final analysis, let it be said that you joined the group that moved beyond everyone else’s expectations; that you were known for your enthusiasm not for your defeatist attitude; and that you sailed into dangerous waters but outmanoeuvered those torpedoes that were fired to destroy you before you reached your goal.
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