Last week, I discussed “new normals,” which are different ways of thinking that eventually evolve into habit. This week, my blog explores the fear and negative thinking that may come from others when you start living your new normal. Once you change your own thinking, people might allow their own self-limiting thoughts to impact your new approach. These are the naysayers…and you should be aware of them!
A specific example of this was when I quit drinking. I like to say that when it came to drinking, I turned pro in the 1980s and retired in the early 2000s. I was really good, as in bad, at drinking. There was not a single event that precipitated my quitting, but rather a bunch of little ones and the overall negative impact to my health. As a result, I chose to stop drinking.
It was an unexpected and sometimes awkward transition. In hindsight, this resoundingly came from the insecurities of others. Once I had made my choice, I had no issue not drinking anymore. I had no problem meeting buddies at the bar or sitting with folks sharing a bottle of wine at dinner. The challenge came from the pressure I felt from others when they tried to give their insecurities to me.
I would hear things like:
Naysayer: That must be so hard, how can you sit in a bar and not drink?
Me (my internal dialogue): It really isn’t hard. Should it be? Maybe I’m kidding myself? Why am I here? Okay, go back to it isn’t hard, shake it off, and let it go.
I started to let their thinking impact me. I had to return to my way of thinking.
Me (my vocal response): Actually, I don’t really think about it.
I believe the naysayer feels it would be hard to sit in a bar with friends. That is their head trash, not mine!
To illustrate my point, here is another version:
Naysayer: Dude, come on. Just have one.
Me (my internal dialogue): Maybe I could just have one. You’re kind of being anti-social by not even having one to help him celebrate.
I would then catch myself.
Me (my internal dialogue): Stop! Stop what you’re thinking – you’re not good at moderation. You know that if you have even one, you’ll be back to hanging out with your old buddy Jim Beam every night. Let it go. You’re here celebrating and you don’t need a drink for that. You got this! Stay on course.
Me (my vocal response): No, I’m good. Thanks. I’ll take a club soda and a lime.
I believe the person in this scenario has an issue with their own drinking and they are frustrated that my personal growth is shining a bright light on their own negative thinking. They, likely subconsciously, feel that if they can get me drinking again, it will dim that light a bit.
Hopefully, these silly examples can help to put others’ negative thinking on your radar. When people fear change, they can behave negatively. In the office environment, this may take the form of resistance because it is perceived that there will be more work. In other cases, it may be as simple as starting to hold people accountable. Regardless of the setting or details, as a leader, it is your job to address this negative thinking.
Next week, we will talk about specific ways to address the naysayers and how to stay on track.
Do you need to learn to tune out the naysayers? Are you interested in tuning in more to yourself? We can help with that! Reach out to us today to find out how.