You decide to change your life and go after your dreams. Almost immediately after you tell your family, friends, and the UPS guy, suddenly you are bombarded with an avalanche of unwanted advice from every man, woman, child and the occasional window washer that you don’t know what to do with.
- Don’t despair. We all go through it. I’m going through it right now.
- I will give you some survival skills to help you wade through the muck of unsolicited advice and how to hear your own voice above the noise.
- Most of us are incredibly good at telling other people how to live their lives…or at least we think we are.
- When you decide to change your life you will soon experience what I like to call, “the 2 cents dilemma”. This is a where everyone you know sees you are having a problem and decides to give you their 2 cents on what you should do regardless of whether you want their opinion or not.
- Those of us who face a challenge in life or reach a crossroads where we need to make a decision about our careers, hopes and dreams and which way to proceed often end up feeling confused about which way to go.
- This confusion and sense of uncertainty is normal so don’t beat yourself up. The problem is this moment of confusion does leave you open and vulnerable for everyone else to swoop in and try to fix things.
- They mean well, but sometimes 200 different opinions coming at you from every direction can be too much for even the strongest person to handle.
So what do you do?
Let people say what they want and then do whatever is right for you. This is your life, not theirs. You know you better than they know you. You have the best answers. Listen to that little voice inside of you and never let anyone talk you out of your dreams. When you are 80 years old and look back on your life you don’t want to say, “I wish I took that chance.”
- When I reached that point in my life where my life had to change and my career path with it, it opened me up to a lot of people I cared about with unsolicited advice that always started with, “I think you should do” or “If I was you I would…” What came next always made me cringe. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like others telling me how to live my life.
- Everyone has a different opinion. If you listen to everyone, soon you will be too exhausted and confused to move forward.
These are just a few of the phrases you will hear when you tell others that you want to change your, so-called “responsible” and “stable” life and chase after your “crazy” dreams:
1) “But you spent so much money on school! It’s going to go to waste!!”
( a good answer would be that it’s better than ruining the next 50 years of your life by doing something you don’t love)
2) “Maybe you are just tired. Take a vacation”
(Fine. Go on your vacation. Your hopes and dreams will still be there when you get back. You can run but you can’t hide)
3) “Maybe you just need to get married. If you were married you wouldn’t feel this way”
(Yes, because married people have no hopes and dreams and are dead inside? I hope not! Marriage is great, but it doesn’t fix your life)
4) “You are going to ruin your life. How will you pay for food?”
( I’m not even dignifying this one)
5) “No one is happy, everyone is unhappy with their lives so just let it go.”
(Wow. Sad that some people have deluded themselves into believing this lie)
- An uncomfortable fact: Many people are too afraid to change their own lives for the better and are uncomfortable with you changing yours.
What to do?
Listen to advice from others because they will talk whether you want them to or not and in the end, do what you want to do. Go with your gut. You know that quiet little voice inside of you trying to be heard? Yeah. That’s the one you should listen to. (even if that little voice disagrees with your parent’s advice. They made their choices. Now you make yours.
Hey, it’s your life. Not theirs.