Do You Always Take NO For An Answer? ...by Bill Knell
I get many requests for advice. Most of them are from people that have spent their entire lives taking 'NO' for an answer. They will tell me that no matter how hard they try or how much effort they put into something, someone is always there to put the kibosh on their plans. Nothing they do is good enough and they never seem to make the right decisions according to others.
At some point we must have an awakening. It can occur while we're still children, adolescents, teens or even during adulthood. It's a moment of clarity during which we suddenly realize that not everyone around us is smarter than we are and that they may not always have the right answers for our lives. What I'm referring to is a kind of sudden self-awareness that brings home the concepts of personal responsibility and self preservation.
Most people that feel they are failing, always take 'NO' for an answer and allow themselves to be someone else's emotional punching bag have not had that awakening. They merely trudge on through an endless series of mistakes and moves based on the advice or acceptance of others. They use excuses as their shield and refuse to acknowledge the power within them to summon enough emotional strength to resist change.
We are all obligated to live and work with others in a manner that is socially acceptable. We are not obligated to agree with everyone, accept all their criticism without challenge or do what they think is best for us. People almost always have ulterior motives for offering advice or criticism. These include family members. I cannot tell you have many people have told me that they were utterly betrayed by a family member or close friend without ever seeing it coming. The same is true in the workplace.
It's hard for most people to believe that coworkers they have known and trusted for years can suddenly turn on them Well, in most cases the turn wasn't really so sudden. Today's workplace is a very complex, competitive and ruthless environment that's been made all the more so by the occasionally poor economic conditions that afflict us all. When push comes to shove and they feel like you're in their way, coworkers will be out for blood.
People that are extremely successful make an art form out of keeping others under their control. The same may be said of those who may not be successful, but love pulling the strings in the lives of others. Whatever their motivation, there are many people out there that have you targeted as their lap dog. If you don't like that, you need to start thinking about what is best for you. Here are some simple suggestions to help you break out from under the control of others:
1. Don't be an advice junkie.
Stop listening to people that constantly criticize, correct or ostracize you. Never take advice from people whose own lives are in a state of flux or from coworkers that might have something to gain by your failure.
2. Make good choices.
Think things out before you say or do anything. Take a step back and consider the repercussions of your words and actions. When important decisions come along, make a list of pros and cons. Base your decisions on what's best for you.
3. Never feel obligated to follow bad advice.
Ignore suggestions and advice that you know will somehow damage your reputation, finances, employment opportunities or lifestyle even if it comes from a best friend or close relative.
4. Consider Mentoring and Third Party Intervention
People that find themselves surrounded by manipulative peers sometimes have to take them to task. If you are in a situation where you are all but forced to accept bad advice, you need to have a mentor or third party intervene. If you don't, the Problem People you have to deal with will find a way to bring you around to their way of thinking. A mentor or third party can be a mental heath practitioner, religious counselor or professional financial, employment or lifestyle adviser.
5. Never allow the acceptance or rejection of others to rule your life.
People are fickle and will routinely accept or reject you based on a momentary mood. You cannot afford to live your life based on the mood, expectation or approval of others.
6. Put yourself in the driver's seat.
If you feel as though your life is being orchestrated by others, you need to take over control immediately. No one is going to care as much about YOU as YOU!
We all occasionally make bad decisions or wish we had done things different when it comes to choices in our lives. However, that is no reason to allow others to constantly tell us what to do. We need to stand up to the Naysayers in our lives and stop allowing them to place physical, emotional, financial or spiritual roadblocks in our way. The best way to experience personal happiness is by taking personal responsibility for your life and making decisions that are good for you.