What People Think of You: Does it Matter?
Everyone, no matter what religion or background, has a set of belief systems based upon cultural, social, environmental and biological factors. These factors generally influence our perspectives and make up a generous portion of our belief system. Although our culture has become more and more open minded, we all carry around a set of biases based upon our perspective and experiences.
On a professional or personal level, therefore, everyone at some point is concerned about their reputation. And if you are one of the few that aren’t, you’re in the minority. First impressions are crucial to what others think about you, and what I have found that once people perceive you in a negative light, it’s much harder to undo. Maybe you were having a bad day or bad week? It doesn’t matter; people will judge you based on your actions and your attitude.
The saying “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar” is quite true. Someone else’s belief system, however, can be projected on to us. If you are trying to set a risky goal, you will likely be left feeling defeated if you ask advice of a risk-adverse person. The moral of the story: Don’t share your dreams with just anyone.
If you are at the stage in your quest where you’re skin is tough enough to handle constructive criticism without wavering from your goal, then it can be beneficial to hear a low-risk person give you their list of “cons.” Especially if it comes to starting a new business or investment, having someone play devil’s advocate can be extremely helpful. But, be warned that talking to too many naysayers can be detrimental to budding ambitions. If you are barely starting out and you have mustered enough courage to take the first step, discouragement is not what you need at this stage. When asking for advice, it’s best to pick a person who you trust and potentially someone with a lot of experience in the subject matter at hand. If your goal is an interpersonal change, such as a shift in consciousness, attitude and belief system it can equally be a challenge convincing others of your new shift. Those closest to you only know what they’ve experienced in the time frame that they’ve known you. So, they’ll likely be skeptical until your actions or results prove them wrong.
Whether you have goals to change your attitude, start a new business or lose 50 pounds people will have something to say about what you want to achieve. They may have good intentions, but when the stakes are high, good intentions are not enough. Be careful who you share your goals with and who you open up to. As long as you believe in yourself, let nothing or no one get in the way of your vision.