I bet you think this post is about you

November 5, 2008          Comments (3)

Pardon the interruption. Our original programming will not be airing today. Instead we’re going to focus on dealing with criticism. We’re also going to focus on the pathetic individuals who feel the need to constantly criticize and bash other people.

I wasn’t going to write this but I feel it’s very important and very timely for many reasons. One of my friends just sent me a terrible write up about his (very successful) restaurant across the country and he’s pretty upset about it. It almost seemed like a personal attack. Another one of my friends is getting slammed for his new advertising software that is changing the local advertising game. And of course, Barack Obama has faced intense criticism.

So, I told them I’d write a post about me and one that they can hopefully refer to when they feel down and out. I’ve gotten slammed a few times on my blog and if I can help my friends I’m all for it. (Oddly, by people who don’t even really know me. But that’s the way it works.) I also hope this post helps anyone who is (or is thinking about) really putting themselves out there.

In fact, on my post “The Number one quality we should look for in our President” there was a comment waiting for me. I deleted it because it’s not even worth sharing. If it was, I’d share it with you. But it’s not even that juicy.

After reading the comment though it made me smile. Because it means I’m on the right track! But it also made me sad. Let me explain why.

The difference between a person like you (someone who feels the need to constantly criticize other successful people) and a person like me is that you desperately wish you had the guts and the courage to go after your dreams. But you’re scared. You’re timid. You’re afraid of ridicule. You’re afraid of failure. You would keel over if someone said something bad about you.

I’ll tell you a little secret between you and me. I used to be like that too! But the huge difference between a person like you and a person like me is that I never knocked down people who were successful. I learned everything I possibly could from them. I studied them. I emulated them. I admired them! Heck, I even became friends with them!

But yet it absolutely kills you to see other people going after their dreams and making them come true. It kills you to see other people succeed. It destroys you. You are so scared of being disliked that you rather knock other people down then build yourself up. I know. I know. It must hurt.

It really saddens me that you rather spend your precious time (your precious time I said!) writing pathetic comments on my blog then going after your own dreams.

See, I want to (no, I must!) live the life of my dreams. Or at least try! Here’s the thing though. I’m going to die. And one day you will too.

How can you sit back and be timid? How can you not, at least try to, go after your dreams? So what if you fail? It’s the journey where all of the fun is anyway. It’s inexcusable. It’s unforgivable. We get one shot on this Earth buddy.

What are you waiting for? Oh that’s right. You don’t have the guts. You lack self-confidence. You don’t even trust yourself!

I love quotes. And I have a quote framed on my wall that says, “If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise – ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.”

Every single successful person I have ever met in my entire life that is mega-successful from billionaires to young entrepreneurs who are running multi-million dollar businesses to my favorite authors to my favorite bloggers have one thing in common:

They are remarkable.

And even you would be amazed at some of the people I’ve met. I pinch myself sometimes. It’s freaking unbelievable.

These guys and companies and blogs have thousands and thousands of loyal fans. They are loved and respected and admired by so many people. But guess what!?

They are ridiculed and criticized by people too. Every SINGLE successful person I have met in my entire life and studied has (and had) people who try (tried) to knock them down…constantly.

And you know what all of these friends and mentors tell me? Don’t pay attention to them for even a second. They tell me to pay attention to the people who love and respect and admire my work.

And here I am spending my time writing a blog post dedicated to you! That’s how much I care. That’s how much my mom had an impact on me!

It’s taken me a long time to get to where I’m at. I wrote a post a while back entitled “Being Absolutely Fearless.” That was when I started my quest to have really thick skin. Because without it (at least according to these very successful people I know) you have no shot at living a remarkable life.

Jealousy my friend is a very powerful emotion. Being jealous tells you something. But it’s also a very wasteful emotion. Don’t be jealous. Instead, admire!

Being jealous says, “I wish I had or could do or be what this person does or has!” in my opinion.

But the difference between a person like you and a person like me is that you’ll keep hoping and wishing. I’ll keep trying and learning.

You’re so full of yourself that you can’t stand to ask someone for help. You can’t stand to be seen as someone who doesn’t know something. Instead you’ll stay stuck trying to knock people down instead of building yourself up.

You know why I love my clients to death? (Well, there are many reasons actually!) Because they aren’t too proud to ask for help. They don’t want to make excuses anymore. They don’t want to rationalize anymore. They don’t want to be stuck anymore.

Raise your hand in the air. Now raise it one inch higher. See – we can always be pushed a little harder.

But instead you’ll spend your entire life rationalizing excuse after excuse to yourself. The difference between successful people like my clients and you is that they seek help when they need it. You just try to tear people down. Newsflash: It’s much easier to talk than do!

I also get the comment that I’m full of myself on my blog once in a while. I’d like to address that here once and for all.

There’s a huge difference between being full of oneself (some might call that being an egomaniac) and full of confidence.

I think that blogging requires you to have a healthy respect for your opinions, as well as the generous desire to share them with others. That’s not a negative social trait… If you don’t respect your opinions, who will?

And if you don’t want to share the ideas you admire or believe in or even think about, you’re being selfish, aren’t you?

In any case, did you read the words on the top left hand corner? ‘Adam Gilbert’s Entertaining Ideas on Business, Fitness and Life…’ They are just that. Ideas! It doesn’t say ‘Adam Gilbert’s Entertaining ANSWERS on Business, Fitness and Life…’ does it?

And I love hearing other points of view! That’s why I have comments on my blog. That’s why I write some of the posts I do. I’m genuinely curious to hear what other people have to say. I love to make people think. Even if I’m going to get bashed for it. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’m willing to put myself out there.

Besides, if you don’t like my blog STOP READING IT! Use that back button or X out of it.

So what are you going to do my friend? Continue to write pointless comments on my blog? And continue to spend your Friday nights trying to knock people down?

I’m going to say it’s a safe bet I’ll refer back to this post many times in my career. In fact, I hope to. That means I’m succeeding!

Are you going to keep sitting there and keep hoping and wishing you were someone that you aren’t? You going to keep rationalizing? Or you going to get some advice and help and make your dreams come true so one day you, too, can be successful? (By the way, I define successful as being extremely happy.)

And you know how I know you’re not successful? I don’t know one successful person who stays in on a Friday night trying to bring down other people.

Instead they’d be working their asses off on their own dreams and their own happiness.

[Nice comment over at BrazenCareerist.com.]

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  1. Awesome post, Adam! The most pivotal experience in my life was very small and the most unlikely of earth-shaking events. I used to be afraid of admitting that I didn’t know how to do things, even little things. I didn’t know how to ask the drive-thru teller for a roll of quarters, so I would go into the bank for them every week. One day, I swallowed the huge lump in my throat (READ: PRIDE) and told the drive-thru teller that I needed quarters and didn’t know what I needed to send through the canister. Boom. I haven’t been able to stop admitting what I don’t know ever since!

    What I discovered is that nearly everyone I admit that to is willing to teach me how! And I know more! And I become better! So much better than that bitter person who felt the need to take people done a peg to bring them to my level.

    Btw, the worst hate comment I’ve ever gotten on my blog was when someone attacked my sobriety. It was so ludicrous that I could never take it seriously. I laughed and showed it to my friends, who also laughed. How sad though. The deeper they try to cut, the further down the scale they seem to be.

    Comment by Holly Hoffman — November 5, 2008 @ 12:05 pm

  2. Holly – Thanks so much! I was the same way. But learning to let go a little bit and asking for help and being able to…is one of the most liberating things I have ever done.

    Sadly, some people have nothing better to do then knock other people down. Or try to.

    Thanks for sharing!


    Comment by Adam Gilbert — November 5, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

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