I remember the first time I was allowed to go out trick-or-treating on Halloween night with just my friends. I’m pretty sure my Dad was following at a safe distance but he’ll neither confirm nor deny that accusation!
Our trick-or-treat mission had a singular, laser-like focus – get as much candy as possible in the shortest amount of time. The goal? A big plastic orange pumpkin overflowing with goodies.
We ran from house to house, scouring the neighborhood intent upon our goal. On occasion, we approached a house, rang the bell, and nothing happened. The lights were on but no one answered the door.
Put in that situation, what do most kids do?
They move on to the next house. “Come on, let’s go” and they’re headed down the block.
They don’t stop for a second to wonder why the owners didn’t answer the door.
They don’t take it personally.
They don’t think that they’re wearing the wrong costume.
They don’t walk around the house peering in the window trying to see why the owners didn’t answer the doorbell.
They don’t sit down on the front step and pout.
And they certainly don’t decide to quit and go home.
As we grow up, our self-esteem takes a few hits and we start to think that everything that happens to us is about us. It’s not. Nine times out of ten, when you hear something that feels like rejection, it’s not about you, it’s about the other person.
If you can separate yourself from any negative response you receive from others, you’re half way home to getting to your goal.
Whatever goals you have set for yourself – eating healthy, doubling your income, communicating better with your kids, – know that they are valid and worth the effort. When someone comes along to throw you off track, sabatoge your efforts, or deny your ability to get it done, recognize their comments for what they are – a house with no candy.
Remember your mission. Refocus on your goal. Then run to the next house.
That’s where the candy is.
Your goal is a full plastic pumpkin, and you don’t care which houses or how many houses it takes to make that happen.