Do you want to know a guaranteed way to make your life a misery?
Being a sensitive snowflake to the opinions of others.
This makes your life challenging in all kinds of ways because I’ve never met a successful person who doesn’t take their “business” very personally indeed.
Whatever walk of life you’re in, if you’ve got a big goal that you want to achieve, you need to exact the highest possible standards and aggressively protect your good name and “territory”.
But on the other hand, you also have to accept that you’re going to suffer swings of fortune. As sure as the sun rises, you’re going to have people screw you over.
If what you’re doing has meaning to you, which it absolutely must have in order for you to give it the necessary commitment, then you are going to feel every problem far more acutely than if you were disengaged and merely coasting. The rise of omnipresent social media has made this a greater challenge than ever before in human history.
What can you do about it to serve as a coping mechanism?
First of all, you must learn to distinguish between the opinions of those who matter and those who don’t. In reality, we should only ever care about the opinions of those whose thoughts have an influence on our future. That’s a limited list for most people (family, friends and work colleagues) but it does get more problematic if you’re in business because isn’t everyone a potential customer?
What my observations on success have taught me is that no truly successful person can make it long-term without developing a thick skin. They take the ups and downs of fortune in their stride and shrug off insults, attacks and personal slights as part of the game.
I know from my own experience that what used to send me into month long paroxysms of rage a decade ago are now water off a duck’s back. I’ve been let down and screwed over so many times that I had only two choices – go insane and disappear down a dark hole of bitterness and vengeance, or treat it like a game.
It’s got to be a game that I take uber seriously and my actions in both defence and offence haven’t actually changed, but instead of laying awake at night twisting myself up in knots I get a good night’s sleep and fight the good fight refreshed and in harmony with myself.
Of course, the ultimate example of thin-skinned success, Donald J Trump, makes all my words ring a bit hollow. But isn’t there always at least one exception who proves the rule?