The voice seemed to grow more insistent: “Take exit on right.” “Make a U-turn.” Did I imagine the “Recalculating” sounded irritated? Derisive? I could clearly see that I was on the right road no matter what the ‘voice’ next to me said. Undeterred, I was certain the GPS was going on old information. Sometimes people in our lives are just doing their jobs, trying to provide helpful information and guidance but do so without the same information you have. While it’s easy to dismiss the guidance of a GPS when you can see there are no off-ramps, it can be more difficult to stay true to your chosen path when someone you know, respect, perhaps even love keeps insisting that you are making an error or should take a different route. So how do you stay the course?
- Realize the person is trying to help and is coming from a place of caring and concern.
- Ask them how they came to the conclusion that you should change course. Really listen. It may help you identify their incorrect assumptions or could provide valuable insight.
- You don’t have to agree but genuinely thank the person for their concern.
- Validate for yourself that your assumptions are sound, aligned with your values and that you are, in fact, headed in the right direction.
- Set key milestones and celebrate achieving them.
- Ditch persistent detractors. There is a difference between helpful insights and negative influencers. Spend your time with people who understand and appreciate the direction you have set for yourself.
Has this ever happened to you? How did you stay on course?