Simone Biles bowed out of the Olympic competition and started an important conversation. Some claimed she was lazy and created a culture of quitting. Others learned the truth and understood she made the right decision for her safety.
In the last post, we discussed Lydia Jacoby’s Olympic Gold Medal performance in our “Holy Crap, how’s she do that?” post. Earlier we discussed how to develop your speed performance. This week we examine how we each have choices to do what we ultimately want to do. Sometimes that means stepping away. When that happens, we need a little pivotal apathy. We need to learn how to say, “Thank you but I don’t care what you say.” This post explains how to silence the critic’s voice.
Those that follow me know that I focus on pivotal growth, continually working to think bigger, reach higher and do what others never thought possible. I work with entrepreneurs and other decision-makers through executive coaching, books, online courses, in-person training, and even plays and movies.
We have all heard the story. Simone Biles had already established herself as the most successful female Olympic gymnast. The media hyped her as the best ever and projected several more medals. The pressure mounted but when she made her first attempt at the individual vault, she realized something was wrong. She had the “twisties” that left her disoriented and unable to recognize up from down. Without that sensation, she was at risk of a horrendous landing that could paralyze her. When she chose her safety over competition, some criticized her, calling her a “coward.”
Isn’t that rich. Someone who has never done what she is attempting is calling her names, assuming they know what caused the situation.
That’s what critics do. They shoot from the cheap seats toward those people who are pursuing phenomenal opportunities.
Your Opportunity to Choose
Never before, in the history of the world, has there been more opportunities at your fingertips than right now. The question is, “will you seize the opportunity.
Phenomenal opportunities lie at your fingertips, but no one is going to hand them to you. You must take responsibility for your own success.
You can choose to see the opportunities or be blind to them.
You can choose to welcome the rapid and radical changes or resent what was lost.
You can choose to pursue that opportunity or choose to say where you are.
Beware of The Critics
But with the phenomenal opportunities come the critics. They lie in wait for someone like you to try and do what they have never done.
They love to pounce on any perceived weakness because they have an agenda.
That agenda is to look good at your expense.
For example, notice that critics didn’t wait to hear why Biles dropped out before sounding off. They simply assumed and went on the attack.
Notice they didn’t bother to issue an apology.
Their agenda is to puff themselves up. They will claim their purpose is to stand for truth or hold people to a higher standard. But that is a lie. Theirs is an ego-driven attempt to make themselves look better by tearing someone else down.
Isn’t that pathetic?
The Result of Listening to the Critic
Unfortunately, too often we listen to the critics. Too often we don’t reach for the ultimate because we are afraid to fail. We don’t want to hear the critics so we play it safe.
Too often we fail because we doubt ourselves because we internalized the critic’s voice.
One of the reasons is that the critics don’t forget. Even if they are wrong, they don’t let us forget that we missed the mark and didn’t do as well as they thought we should.
That criticism plays into our choice to feel guilty and ashamed of missing opportunities.
Imagine if they were in the business to celebrate your success. Wouldn’t that make doing great things more attractive? Wouldn’t more people be willing to try something new?
Leaving the Simone Biles example, notice how the critics get in our heads. We listen to the voices before we ever have our chance to succeed. We question our abilities, purpose, and dedication
Notice that is living outside-in, not inside-out.
In the end, life is a choice. It’s not what happens to you as much as how you choose to see it. Living inside-out is the only way to silence the critic’s voice.
We can choose to live outside-in or you inside-out.
Realize that most people live outside-in thinking the world is right-side-up when it is actually upside-down.
But when we learn to live inside-out, we turn our world right-side up and their world upside-down.
Notice our success is our choice.
It’s not what happens to us that matters most. It’s what we do with what we have. It’s all about the choices we make.
It’s not what others say about us. It is what we think about ourselves. What they say says more about them than it does about us.
Yes, it is nice when good things come our way and people say nice things. It is great to be lucky.
But it is far better to purposely maneuver to be in the right place at the right time. That is not luck, that is choosing to create a successful strategy.
Our Strategy is Our Choice
Strategy is a logical, purposeful approach that is designed to bring us what we ultimately want. Notice that it begins with deciding what we want. Our strategy is our choice.
We don’t need to accept what the world gives us. Instead, we can choose what we want and then work to get it. There is no guarantee that we will receive it but we can choose what to pursue, how hard to work, who to work with, and at what level we will operate. We can even choose when to stop.
In the end, our destination, strategy, and plan of action is our choice.
Success is Our Choice
It is our choice to work hard or to goof off.
It is our choice to set aggressive goals or to play it safe.
To succeed is ultimately our choice.
We aren’t guaranteed a win every time, but if we work hard enough, long enough, and smart enough, we will succeed somewhere down the road.
Failure is Our Choice
Our reaction to failure is also our choice. We can choose to blame or learn. We can pout and cry. We can claim life is unfair. Even when it’s clear and life is unfair, we can choose what we want to do about it. Are we going to fight to change it or are we going to play the victim and hold a big pity party?
We can choose to try again or try something else.
We can even choose to quit.
Those are all our choices.
What’s Your Choice?
Choose to pursue the ultimate.
Don’t settle for ordinary.
Don’t wilt from a challenge for fear of the critics.
Own your choice and own your success. Win or lose, accept the results.
Own your next level of success. Remember, if you work hard enough, long enough, and smart enough, sooner or later you will break through. You may need to pivot and change strategies, but determination has opened many doors.
In the end, it comes down to what you choose. Make the choices that are right for you and let the applause drown out the critic’s voice. Ignoring them is one of the best choices you can make.
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
Loren Murfield, PhD
I work with leaders and entrepreneurs in small business, sales, and Real Estate to think bigger and reach higher to find their breakthrough success. Contact me to begin thinking bigger.
Want to hear about more incredible stories? Check out our latest podcast where we discuss how they build the Bell Rock Lighthouse even though it was only above water for a short time each day.