Before you get defensive, here me out.
A big part of our perceived reality is based on how we grew up, who we were surrounded with, and what they said to us. And since we’re all fairly crazy of course we hold onto the negative stuff they said.
So here you are, an adult, and you still refuse to wear a dress because of that one time your uncle who lived with you while he was between jobs (because he was evicted from his apartment after getting into a fist fight with his neighbor) told you that you had chunky ankles. “If I wear a dress everyone will be looking at my fat, ugly ankles.”
Or the sister who had a scholarship yet dropped out of school and laughed at you when you told her about your dream of becoming a veterinarian. In addition, she would remind you about the time when that dog chased you when you were five and you peed your pants. So you ditched your dream and went into statistics instead. “My sister is right; Everyone would laugh at me if they ever found out that I want to be a veterinarian and I can be scared of dogs.”
Everyone. Turns out that word is pretty fascinating and skewed.
I’m reading Finding Your Own North Star – Claiming the life you were meant to live, by Martha Beck. She has a whole chapter about ‘Everyone’ and it’s pretty wacky.
Martha says, and proves with her exercises, that when we throw that word around we’re only referring to 2-3 people in the entire world on average. And clearly, 2-3 people does not equal everyone and I’m not even that good with math ☺
So we choose to stay stuck or to not follow our dreams because we’re choosing to listen to 2-3 people when, even being conservative, there are at least 8-10 people out of several billion who think our ankles are sexy, or that we would make great veterinarians.
And it gets even better! One exercise jogs our memory to list some people who either love our ankles or are at least neutral about them and has us compare the list; people on the left (ankle haters) with the ones on the right (ankle lovers) and asks:
If you had a baby and were forced to leave your child to be raised by other people would you choose those on the left or right column?
Which people have the happier, more fulfilling lives?
Whom do you like more?
Which individuals most deserve to have their opinions ignored or discounted?
And then she really gets passionate…
Why in the name of all that’s holy would you give any credence to the people on the left?
Here’s my takeaway and I hope it’s yours too:
Listening to and believing a few Everybody’s that don’t even have their own lives together is crazy!
Instead start surrounding yourself with 2-3 upgraded Everybody’s that relate to you, have their lives together, are doing what you aspire to do, and who lift you up. Find your tribe and trust they are out there because they are. The more we surround ourselves with those kinds of Everybody’s the more we will believe them and have a much more amazing and happy life!