I recently got asked a question about how to deal with it when people have wrong perceptions about you. How do you move past that? And how do you move forward professionally with a joyful heart? Well, aren’t those darn good questions? I am not going to pretend I have all the answers, however, what I can always do is share from my perspective and experience. So here are two points, I hope they are helpful.
1. People have a lot to say these days- but you don’t have to listen.
Between the growing ‘gossip’ entertainment industry, social media obsession and the over-utilized sense of free speech, everyone seems to have something to say. Every pryer has access to information that they can use to create their personal opinion of who a person is- every coward has a voice behind a username. (Yes. Cowards. All of you that feel too confident to share your negativity online but would never have the courage to say any of it face to face. Bullies. Grow up and grow a pair. I’m over it.)
What do we do then? How do we keep that from hurting us and, most importantly, from confusing our minds about who we REALLY are? Well, personal attacks can temporarily hurt our feelings sometimes- I get it- but they don’t have to permanently hurt our life and long-term purpose if we STAY SECURE IN WHO WE ARE, STAY FOCUSED ON WHERE WE WANT TO BE, AND KEEP CONSCIOUS OF WHERE OUR VALUES LIE.
These days I almost have to deal with my personal life in a similar way to how I deal with my business. What is my ‘business plan’ for my life? What am I about? Who do I want to become? Who am I? What do I believe in? Where do I see myself in 10 years?
Because of the immense flood of opinion, comparison and judgement that we have to deal with on a daily basis, we need to have a clear personal plan. A mission statement. Just like you would do for a business, but instead, it has to deal with who you are, your goals, values, calling and purpose.
Let’s come up with a mission statement for our lives. Apply what you’ve learned in the business world into your home, soul and spirit. The whole purpose of a business plan and a mission statement is so that you can set yourself clear guidelines and a clear description of what you’re about. Every time you start to steer away from that and get overwhelmed- look at your mission statement. In a couple of sentences, there you have it- laid out in front of you- what you’re about, who you are.
I’d like to challenge you to do that in your personal life. Be so clear in what your purpose is that no crisis and no backlash can steer you away for long enough, no negative opinion can shatter your confidence, no struggle can take your eyes off the prize. We are talking about character, beliefs and goals. Things that shape your life. Things that define you. Pay the attention that it deserves. This is YOU: the successful YOU, the parent YOU, the child YOU, the student YOU, the leader YOU, the world changer YOU. Dive in. Reach for the stars. Make a difference. Stay the path. Stay secure… And do it with a JOYFUL heart.
2. People can try and steal your joy- but you don’t have to allow it.
The second part of the question was about how to do it all with a joyful heart. How do we live life and deal with troubles with a joyful heart?! Life is too much, too stressful, too overwhelming, too uneventful, too plain, and too ordinary… How do we manage all this opposition, competition and imposition? Breach of confidence, breakage of trust, endless disappointments, unbearable competition. You manage it with gratitude. You do it with thankfulness, appreciation… You do it with a humble spirit; you do it by aiming to serve rather than to be served, you do it for others rather than for yourself. You cut off ALL FEELINGS OF ENTITLEMENT.
ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE BY FEELING LIKE YOUR POSITION IS UNDESERVED.
ACHIEVE FULFILLMENT BY AIMING TO SERVE.
ACHIEVE JOY BY LIVING IN A CONSTANT STATE OF GRATITUDE.
ACHIEVE GREATNESS BY PUTTING OTHERS IN FRONT OF YOU.
My dear friends, I am not an exceptionally wise person, but I can tell you this- fulfillment doesn’t come through accomplishments. Fulfillment comes through genuine gratitude and service.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good…”
“His mercies are new every morning…”
Regardless of what people think of you.