Copyright 2006 John Halderman
Wait don’t answer that! I don’t want to hear all those negative replies that make the chicken look stupid, those reasons that make it seem like the chicken should not even be doing it.
Think about it, what if the chicken crossed the road to grow, to seek opportunity, to discover a better life. Let’s not bash its self-confidence, maybe it has a big dream.
Why is the chicken never given credit for stepping over that road to seek greener pastures? Maybe the chicken wants a better life? A new arena to express itself fully!
How about you? Do you want people criticizing you when you step out of what everyone is accustomed to seeing you doing? Or judging your pursuit of happiness.
Absolutely not — but it happens all the time — right!
When you finally get the nerve and energy mustered up to make a change, many of the people around you will have a not very supportive opinion about it. These opinions can cause many people to retreat back into what ‘everybody’ is comfortable with.
You need to remember that your changing could be uncomfortable for them.
You may have come up with the motivation and enough compelling reasons to make yourself step into something new even if it is uncomfortable, but those around you don’t have that same inner drive. To them it feels uncomfortable, so it’s an odd thing to do.
What can you do?
Be the chicken –do it anyway! Cross the road.
Let them comment and criticize about what you do, just choose to not allow it to affect you negatively.
You can save yourself some negative feedback if you don’t tell anymore people than you have to. Try to just tell those that WILL support you. This will help some, but there are always those that will or must know who are not supportive.
The best thing you can do is to change your perception of what others think about you and what you do. Just because someone thinks and says something doesn’t make it true for you. You decide. What they say and do does not come with a required perception or reaction attached, you can decide that.
And no, a specific reaction is not required in any circumstance — you choose. You actually chose or at least allowed the habitual reactions you now have, to be as they are. And, you have allowed them to pop up automatically on cue.
Take command of your thinking and choose how you will react to others in a less emotional manner. You don’t have to allow what they say to hurt you, or anger you — you don’t. You can choose to take what they say as having no more emotion than if you were reading a street sign!
Why does it bother me what they think?
Why do I feel and react as I do when they criticize my actions?
Do I have to continue to see their comments as I do?
What else can I feel and do when they comment?
Think about it, as you get ready to ‘cross the road’, prepare yourself for the people around you. Adjust your thinking, be ready for the comments and criticism, and decide to not let it rile you up.
When someone comments you can just say, thanks for your opinion. Or, OK great. If you really want to appease them, tell them you will consider what they have said. Then do what you want.
Don’t let your pursuit of happiness and self improvement be derailed by others who don’t understand you nor feel the same as you do, get command of your reactive thinking. You will be arming yourself against being subject to the opinions of others. Stand strong, it doesn’t have to matter to you what they all say.
What they say is just their take on what you are doing, it’s not right, wrong, truth or law — it just IS.
Don’t let the fear of criticism or the criticism itself stop the pursuit of your dreams.