“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
E.E. Cummings (Playwright and poet, Tulips and Chimneys)
“A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
Ernest Hemingway (Author, The Old Man and the Sea)
Snap, crunch – my knee folded over and I collapsed.
I tried not to scream in front of 10,000 fans.
Two ligaments snapped and a bunch of cartilage was damaged.
Instantly my leg swelled up five sizes.
I was at the Midlands wrestling tournament.
It was the biggest tournament of the year.
Everything I had worked for led to this tournament.
Now, it was gone.
Like my knee.
I redshirted the previous year and took out a second college loan to pay for this year’s tuition.
The loan was for $25,000.
My scholarship only covered 4 years.
Redshirting and taking out a loan was the only way I could use my last year of eligibility.
This is what went through my head as the paramedics carried me off the wrestling mat.
What was I going to do now?
The next day, a specialist examined my knee and said I needed surgery right away.
I asked how long I would be out if I got the surgery.
“At least 6 months” he said.
There was only 3 months left in the season.
If I had surgery, my season would be over.
My entire wrestling career would be over.
I asked my coaches what I should do and they told me to have the surgery.
My parents and friends gave me the same advice.
“You’ll permanently damage your knee if you keep wrestling.”
“Don’t be stupid, there’s no coming back from this.”
“Quit being arrogant—it’s over.”
They were all right.
But I refused to get the surgery anyway.
I got fit for a special knee brace and spent the next 8 weeks in rehab.
I exercised my leg for 2 hours every morning and 2 hours every evening, stretching and icing in between.
I lived, breathed, and did my homework in the training room.
During this time, I cut everyone who didn’t support my decision out of my life.
Finally, my leg muscles were strong enough to try wrestling again.
After much convincing, my coaches let me compete.
I lost my first match back.
Then, I lost my second match.
Then, during my third match, my brace gave in and my knee snapped, again.
The paramedics carried me off the mat, again.
I was finished, again.
My season and career were definitely over.
But for some reason, I was okay with it this time. Why?
Why You Need To Ignore Other People’s Opinions
You can’t solve a personal problem with someone else’s answer.
You can’t figure out what your limits are by testing other people’s limits.
You need to find these answers yourself.
Most people, when faced with adversity, run to their friends and families to ask for help.
What should I do?
What do I really want?
Who am I?
These questions can’t be answered by other people.
They must be answered by you and you alone.
The problem is you’ve been conditioned to value other people’s opinions more than your own.
You’ve been trained to want to be like other people.
You’ve been trained to want to think like other people.
The first step to having a breakthrough in life is to start ignoring other people’s opinions.
This is especially true for other people’s negative opinions.
Studies reported by Stanford University News show that exposure to negative opinions lasting 30 minutes or more peels away neurons in your hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for problem-solving.
Negative opinions literally rot your brain.
As counter-intuitive as it seems, most people make better decisions when they don’t ask for other people’s opinions.
This is because what you want in life is strongly affected by what other people want in life.
Just seeing or hearing about what someone else wants, makes you want it too.
Studies reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology show that people who watch someone else pursue a goal are more likely to pursue the same goal.
In fact, the same studies showed that people who simply read about someone else pursuing a goal are more likely to pursue the same goal.
Likewise, when you hear advice about what other people want for you, you’re more likely to want the same thing.
Their advice influences what you want.
It influences your motivation, often for the worse.
3 Reasons To Go On A Relationship Fast
Start seeing other people’s opinions as a kind of infection.
The only way to achieve your goals in life is to avoid this infection.
You know what’s best for your life more than other people do.
Sure, there’s value in learning from other people and you should never be afraid to solicit advice from wise individuals.
But there’s absolutely no value in unsolicited opinions, especially when they’re negative.
There’s a difference between being informed and being weighed down by information.
There’s also a difference between someone pointing out a problem and a possible solution to the problem, and someone just pointing out the problem.
Start spending some time alone with yourself figuring out what YOU truly want.
Who do YOU really want to be?
Do you even know what your limits are?
Do you truly know what you’re capable of?
If not, it’s time to find out.
Here are 3 reasons why you should ignore the opinions of others and spend more time alone…
1. You don’t know who you are or what you want.
Most people have no idea who they are.
Instead of being an individual, these people have become an amalgamation of the half dozen people they hang out with the most.
If you’re the kind of person who always needs to be around others, this amalgamation is unavoidable.
The more time you spend with others, the more like them you will become.
You can’t override the mirror neurons in your brain driving you to copy the motivations and behaviors of others.
The only way to truly figure out who you are is to spend some time alone with yourself.
Stop being so dependent on external relationships for comfort.
Yes, relationships are important, but so is a personal understanding of yourself.
Any halfwit can hang out with other people all day long and get lost in a soft blanket of other people’s opinions and feelings.
It takes a real man or woman to set aside time to be alone and then use that alone time productively.
Going on a relationship fast is the only way to figure out who you really are and what you really want.
When you do get time alone, start asking yourself the tough questions that most people avoid.
What are your real priorities in life?
If money was no object, what would your Perfect Day look like?
What do you want to achieve before you die?
What makes you genuinely happy?
Until you know the answers to these questions, you’re not an individual.
Instead, you’re just a composite of other people’s hopes and dreams.
2. You don’t know how much you can withstand.
You are stronger than you realize.
You are more mentally tough than you know.
Or, maybe not.
Maybe you’re weak and will crumble like a funnel cake when the going gets tough.
There’s only one way to find out.
Most people, especially today, are soft.
They spend the majority of their time clutching lattes, playing Angry Birds, and gossiping with other suburban-dwelling socialites.
How can someone who lives like this ever truly know what they’re capable of?
How can they ever know what they can withstand?
Most importantly, how can they be okay dying without ever testing their limits?
The only way to find out the limits of what you can take and what you can dish out is to stop relying on other people for advice and comfort.
Learn to heed your own counsel.
Learn to comfort yourself.
Put yourself in a challenging situation, one where you have to either win on your own or go down fighting.
Start a personal project, one that depends entirely on you for its success.
Cut away whatever safety nets you’ve been relying on and take a risk.
Step away from the cozy herd and put yourself in unfamiliar territory.
Create a time-sensitive goal that you must achieve quickly or fail at embarrassingly.
Until you do this, you’ll never really know how much you’re capable of.
3. You don’t know how to rely on yourself.
You are responsible for your own problems.
Mommy and Daddy are not responsible.
Your negative friends are not responsible.
You are responsible.
Your entire life is your fault.
The problem is that you’ve let society convince you that your problems are other people’s problems.
You’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that everyone shares problems.
The human race is not some giant garbage disposal for you to throw your trash into.
You need to dispose of your own trash.
As harsh as it sounds, everything bad that’s ever happened to you is your responsibility.
Bad things happen for no reason.
Bad people do bad things.
These things are not your fault.
But how you handle them is.
Life is not what happens to you, it’s how you handle what happens to you.
Don’t agree me?
It doesn’t matter.
Life will be our final arbiter.
Sooner or later you’ll be faced with a situation where no one can help you but yourself.
You’ll face a health issue or some other severe loss and finally realize that all the time you spent chatting it up with your friends and gossiping with your coworkers should have been spent disciplining your mind.
You’ll realize that you should have spent at least a little time training yourself to be more self-reliant.
You have the power to determine your own quality of life.
This is because every individual has the ability to control their internal state regardless of the external events they face.
No matter what happens, you can control your attention and your attitude.
You, not others, are in control of your life. Start acting like it. Start setting aside time to figure out who you really are and what you really want. Realize that other people’s opinions of you and your life are not as valuable as your own opinions. Make a commitment to challenge yourself and to test your limits. Commit to determining what you can withstand and what you’re capable of. Do this and you will live a more confident and focused life.
To learn more strategies for ignoring other people’s opinions and becoming more self-reliant, and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.