Seeking your Approval
If someone were to ask you the question, “Why don’t you pursue your dreams?”, you might respond with: “I don’t have time, I don’t know where to start, I’m too busy with work, my free time is important to me, it’s not in the budget, I’m not sure I can do it” etc… These could be valid reasons and/or, excuses. And often there is a preconceived notion that if what you are doing, or wanting to accomplish isn’t going to reach millions, then it’s not worth doing. But perhaps, one of the biggest reasons more people don’t step out to purse a dream, is found in the initial question. Because really, how often do people ask you questions like that? How often does someone ask you what your passionate about? For me personally, it doesn’t happen very often. Occasionally someone might say something like, “So tell me about you”; and when that happens, my whole world lights up and I get all excited like, “JoJo the Indian circus boy with a pretty new pet”. Why? Because most people enjoy talking about themselves, sharing their own idea’s and express their opinions. It’s the Dale Carnegie philosophy — that people are naturally interested in themselves.
Ever since we started TUS I’ve seen, and heard of, more and more people stepping out and trying something different. And with each conversation I have, or when someone asks me, “Did you see what who posted on their Facebook?”, I see that everyone who is starting, or wanting to start a new project, are all seeking one common factor — approval. People are constantly seeking validation, confirmation, acceptance, encouragement and approval from their peers.
Let’s pretend for a second that this is about you; and that the preconceived notion about reaching millions, really wasn’t about reaching millions. Instead, it was really about reaching the people in your inner circle.
And that’s where it starts.
Because if the vision isn’t “cool” to those closest to you, then how is it going to reach beyond your circle?
I would bet, that whether it’s leaving a career to go back to school, joining the military, starting a new job, or whatever the case may be, many people are secretly afraid of what friends and family would think. Especially, if all the sudden that person were to do something out of character. And if that were the case, it would be easy for them to answer those questions (that rarely get asked) with: “I don’t have time, I don’t know where to start, I’m too busy with work, my free time is important to me, it’s not in the budget, I don’t think I can do it”.
What if validation was the one thing keeping someone else from pursuing their dreams?
Have you ever heard anyone start a sentence like this, “I’m thinking of starting my own…”, or “I thought about becoming a…, or I thought about trying…”? Those are the hidden passions; those are the dreams and ideas that are important to the individual. So important that they want to protect them, and not share them with everyone; and there is a reason why they are sharing them with you, but we’ll talk about that later. I can remember countless times people have come to me seeking approval or advice, and countless times I failed meet their needs. Instead of being encouraging, I would say something like, “Cool, good luck with that”. But saying “Cool, good luck”, wasn’t what they needed from me. Because, “Cool, good luck with that”, means and says exactly that; and will ultimately end the conversation.
I think part of the reason I don’t always pry or ask questions, is because I fail to consider the value I have with certain individuals or the ability I have to inspire them. I forget that most of my friends, family and those in my circle appreciate and value my opinion and perspectives. Perhaps the same could be said for everyone. And maybe that’s because, if we as people are constantly needing to feel important, then we may not consider ourselves to be important.
Once I realized that everyone, myself included, as the ability to make a positive difference in someone else’s life, my approach to those conversations shifted. Now, when people invite me to listen to their new ideas, my goal is to offer them something of value, something that says: I believe in you, I believe in what you are doing and I’ve got your back. And most would agree, that one of the greatest feelings in the world, is knowing that some else has your back. So when a friend of mine recently told me he wanted to start a Podcast, I didn’t reply with, “Cool , good luck with that”. Instead I was inquisitive and showed interest in what he is attempting to accomplish. By the way, the Podcast will be called “The Cabin”, look for it summer 2017.
I say all this to say,
The next time a friend or family member begins to open up to you, remember, the slightest bit of encouragement could make all the difference. And the next time you want to pry in someone else’s life, PRY. If they don’t want to talk, they will shut it down.
It’s important to remember the power of encouragement.
It’s more important to realize the influence you possess.
And even more important that you apply it. Why?
Because when someone feels comfortable enough to share their heart and express their ideas with you, it means that you are important to them and they value your opinion.
Never underestimate the value of you.