I had a boss tell me, “You can’t do that!” When I gave my notice to leave for another job. She didn’t mean I couldn’t leave the job, she meant I didn’t know how to do the job I was taking. She actually laughed and told me I would be a miserable failure. I thanked her for my time with that company and wished her well. I walked out and help my head high, never looking back. I did well in that next job and leveraged it to make another move several years later.
These words from John Wooden reminded me of that time in my life. Several people told me what I couldn’t do, as if them telling me would define my path. And I think in their mind it did mean that, they couldn’t believe it so how could it happen? It happened through hard work and my dumb, naive thoughts that what I didn’t know how to do I could learn.
There will ALWAYS be people who do not believe you can do something, and they will take great pride in being the one to tell you just that. They feel it is their job, their right, their power to tell you how inexperienced, how junior, or how uneducated you are in that field to even think of being good at it. And that will sting, maybe more than you care to mention. So take a deep breath and let it go slowly. Breathe in again, take in the good air, and let out the bad stuff with a big, heavy sigh. Stand up, get moving, and tackle that thing one bite at a time. Never let the things you cannot do – don’t know how to do, haven’t done, or can’t even imagine – interfere with what you can do. Which is work hard, learn and keep going.
Some of the best things in this world were conceived and delivered by people who refused to understand that they could not do something. They were just positive enough keep going, keep working until they reached their goal.