When someone important in your life, someone you respect, or someone in authority states their lack of belief in you and your ability, it either crushes or empowers you. But the point here is not trying to prove people wrong but to recognize how daunting and limiting this can be.
I play a four-minute clip from Zig Ziglar on the power of setting goals and he tells the story of legendary Notre Dame coach, Lou Holtz. In Lou’s first coaching job, a new head coach came in and kindly told Lou, “You’re not cut out to be a coach, I encourage you to get into some other field.” And I wondered how many people out there have been told by someone important in their life, someone they respect, like a parent, a teacher, a coach, a spouse, a boss, that they should not or could not do something, that they really desired to do? Again, in my experience when this happens the recipient so often believes and agrees and does not pursue the desire or dream. It’s profound how many top world leaders were told they could not or should not pursue the directions they ultimately did. We have to realize that anyone who ever speaks any counsel to us is merely human. I don’t mean to just readily discount counsel from others, I think we should always consider it. But we must also weigh it against the reality that counsel comes from a human who is not perfect and all-knowing and could very likely be absolutely wrong. I’ve been blessed with a lot of support and encouragement in my life but I absolutely have some examples of desires and pursuits where people very close to me advised against it. Who said it wasn’t wise or they didn’t see me as being adequately equipped. And I went forward and succeeded. It doesn’t mean they weren’t wise and there wasn’t validity in their perspective. But in this case, they were merely wrong. Likewise, I’ve had times of not feeling someone was well equipped to do something and they proved I was wrong! Not bad or ill-meaning, but I was wrong. So I asked the Ziglar audience, “Who has succeeded at something, that someone told you, you could not do or should not attempt?” As you can imagine, some incredible stories that Tom Ziglar and I talked through.