Who Cares What Other People Think ?

Or maybe more appropriately titled, “Learn to trust your own instincts.”

Sometimes you know what you’re “supposed” to do. You’ve heard the advice countless times and if you asked 10 really smart people you trust and respect they’ll all tell you the same thing.

Sometimes they’re 100% right.

And sometimes you need to remember that even if those people have your best interests at heart chances are they’re viewing the situation from their perspective, through their lens of the world.

They can’t understand that you don’t sleep at night, and that there’s an inextricable force inside you insisting you follow your instincts. It’s usually not something you can articulate, and it may be completely irrational, but I’m willing to bet that it’s probably what’s right for you.

Watch this video. And start trusting that voice.

What do you think? What do you do when you’re faced with these situations? How much do you let what other people would think or say dictate the approach you take to your own life? (If you say not at all you’re probably a liar.) When you’ve trusted your instincts how has it worked out for you?

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  • I really needed this — and it is so true! I was just talking about this with my husband yesterday. We do rely so much on the input of others. If you ask enough people, you are bound to run into a bunch of naysayers. What we need to realize, however, is that just because someone (or everyone) else wouldn’t do something does not make it a wrong choice for us.

    Again, thanks for the push in the right direction. Seriously. 🙂

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    Ryan Stephens Reply:

    You’re welcome Tara! And thanks so much for dropping by and commenting. I do solicit opinions from people who I respect, but at the end of the day it’s about taking their advice and putting it in a package that works for you — and sometimes that means thanking them for their opinion and ignoring it all together.

    Not a completely contrarian view, but definitely something worth the read is Ben Casnocha’s “The Unreliability of Self-Knowledge.” Ideally you have a good grasp of yourself when making important decisions.

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    Tara Geissinger Reply:

    Thanks Ryan — I am checking it out now!

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  • Amen brother. A lot of folks get caught up on what everyone else is doing/thinking and they forget about what they want most. They get so fixated on their surroundings that they lose track of their own goals and what makes them happy. As long as I’m doing what I want to be doing, and I’m happy doing it, I could care less what the rest of the world thinks.

    Besides, at this stage in the game, we’re all ‘figuring things out’ anyways, no one has peaked, no one has arrived, we’re all hustling to make things happen and no one’s doing it 100% ‘right’.

    Good reminder Ryan, I’ve had this conversation with MANY people over the past couple months. Have a great week!
    .-= Matt Cheuvront´s last blog ..Are You Waiting to do Something Amazing? =-.

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    Ryan Stephens Reply:

    Good point re: getting caught up in what everyone else is doing. A lot of my friends that I finished grad school with went on to high paying jobs in the corporate world. It’s easy to see their salaries and be a bit envious, not because I need it (I’m extremely frugal), but because that’s what they’re getting and they weren’t necessarily any smarter/better students than I was.

    I did what was right for me, but there were certainly trade offs involved. And like we discussed the other day, you’re 100% correct in that we’re all still ‘figuring things out.’ Most people aren’t uber successful until at least 40. I have a LOT of time to mess up trusting my own instincts between now and then.

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  • I’ve mad a TON of decisions around what I should do, either around jobs, location, or even basic expectations for relationships. Finally, after months and months of debating, I made a decision I WANTED to make. I am sure that there were other ones I should have considered, and I did, but it was also as if the universe kept throwing signals in my direction. For the first time, I really made a decision for me. And by no means is it bad, but I might have to work a little harder than if I went another direction.

    Your sister is going to do amazing things. I don’t know if she’ll see this, but please tell her that working with young people is the most rewarding thing I do. I have tutored, advised, mentored, and taught. You make a difference, whether or not you see it in that moment. Smart people know you have to build our future, so bravo to her for sticking with education.
    .-= Emily Jasper´s last blog ..April Goal Meet Up =-.

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    Ryan Stephens Reply:

    @Emily – You’ll have to let me know now it works out. I’m often guilty of making the “logical” play when in fact things usually work out for the best when I’ve just trusted my instincts and “let it fly” so to speak.

    Reading your explanation makes me curious if the reason many MBA’s sometimes have trouble with entrepreneurial ventures is the fact that they trained to be sol calculated and precise. Entrepreneurship seems like a field where you really have to trust your gut and abandon the “path” sometimes.

    Thanks for the kind words about my sister. She typically reads the posts, but I don’t know about the comments. 🙂

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  • As a graduating senior (in a month!), hearing this was great. Often, especially in my circumstance, it’s easy to get caught up in the SHOULD DOs rather than WANT TO DOs. I don’t blame people for wanting to share their perspective and advice; it’s human nature after all. But what I think is really important (and the hard part) is to sift through what others tell us and translate it to what is actually applicable to us.

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    Ryan Stephens Reply:

    But what I think is really important (and the hard part) is to sift through what others tell us and translate it to what is actually applicable to us.

    Very well said Mariam!

    I always used this approach playing baseball. Different coaches will often tell you different things so I would try one and see if it worked. If it worked, I kept it in the arsenal, but if it wasn’t applicable to me I thanked them for their input and maintained the same approach.

    To your point about should dos vs. want to dos, I definitely think there’s a balance, an ebb and flow perhaps, but I will say I’ve found that sometimes those want to dos are should to dos disguised by others (or maybe even your own brain) as something that isn’t necessarily logical. Do them anyway. 🙂

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  • I think your sister is about to change the world and save the world — or at least do her part. Good teachers are something really special in this world…Aside from family, that’s really where it begins.

    That being said, every single person has their own passions and dreams for a reason. It may not align with what others think of us, what others believe we should be doing or who we should be, but that’s what makes it incredible — it’s our path, our passion, our dream. Not theirs.

    Kudos to your sister. And kudos to you, too.

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    Ryan Stephens Reply:

    This is precisely why I’m going to be the head coach of the UT (Texas) baseball team. I just haven’t figured out how to obtain this position without toiling as an assistant for like 15 years first :p

    Thanks for the comment Susan!

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  • I hear you on this. Although I’m one that doesn’t so much care what people think (well to a point), but I am guilty of comparing myself to other people. I’m a competitive freak in everything! So I’m often checking to see if my life is measuring up to so and so, to see if I reached the point where I should be at this stage in my life, how I could be better, do more, etc.

    And in a way, I think that may be worse! Because there will always be someone out there better than you – someone more successful, someone who got their quicker, someone who’s happier, someone who just seems to have everything you don’t. It’s crazy and you’ll drive yourself crazy if you don’t stop worrying about not only what other people think, but comparing yourself to other people as well.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Saying Goodbye To Blogging 1 Post Shy Of 1,000 =-.

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    Ryan Stephens Reply:

    Count me in a guilty party as well David. I took Marcus Buckingham’s strengths test and my #1 was competition. I thrive on it, and it’s what drives me. Harnessed, it’s an awesome thing, but unchecked it can be pretty scary. And like you’ve alluded to, the hard part about it is in a class of 16-20 students you can be at the top, but once you’re playing in the world wide web’s sandbox there will always be someone doing more, doing it better, etc.

    It’s a hard thing to do, but we need to set milestones with ourselves and keep challenging ourselves by those standards. I’ll never run a 4:00 minute mile like Alan Webb, but I just dipped under 6:00 so the next goal is based on where I’m at not an Olympic caliber athlete.

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  • I am not really going to comment on the following your dream part of the video because I would pretty much be reiterating what you and everyone here said.

    On a personal note, I am very proud of your sister for deciding to be a teacher. I don’t think there is a better place for a brilliant mind. Sure, she could be one doctor… OR she could inspire 1000s of kids — which will create 100 passionate doctors, 100 engineers (etc) and most importantly at least one equally brilliant teacher to start the cycle again.

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    Ryan Stephens Reply:

    Dude – What a great way to put it in perspective, and I hadn’t even thought of it that way. In my experience so many teachers were average students (which isn’t to say they can’t be great teachers), but often the smartest, most ambitious students are off trying to conquer the world. I love that my brainiac kid sister wants to teach and influence countless kids. She’s going to set the standard. Thanks for this Bryan!

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