Don’t Be Afraid to Go Against the Grain

Ready to hear the cold, harsh truth about achieving your dreams? 

Not everyone is going to support you.

That’s not even the most shocking part. 

When I was building Crisp, the people I was closest with would say to me, “You’ve got to relax, Michael.” 

Or they would encourage me to “take it easy.” 

Or my personal favorite: “We’re worried about you.

I couldn’t believe how many people were worried about me — and then it got me wondering if it truly was that they were worried about me, or that they simply didn’t want me to succeed.

While I’m sure that there were some family and friends who were genuinely concerned about me, I believe that most of them began to see the growth and development I was  experiencing…and resented it. 

The more I transformed, the less in common I had with people who weren’t also transforming themselves.

Society tends to want to hold back the people who are different from the crowd, because we’re all so used to gravitating toward homeostasis. Change is scary to those who aren’t ready for it, and people will try to change you back to “normal” — or being like them.

Many people don’t have the willpower to give up a night (or several nights) on the town with their friends in order to better themselves and get one step closer to reaching their goals. It makes them uncomfortable when others do give up those times because they realize they aren’t putting in the effort like those who are really trying to create something spectacular.

In most cases, if you build something of value and people want to leave their organizations to be a part of it, that’s going to apply competitive pressure — and pressure makes people uncomfortable. 

But the way I see it, you’ve got two options:

  1. You can shut it all down. No more pressure and no more awkward conversations. Blend in with the rest of the world.
  2. You can do it your way and whatever the hell you want. Apply all the pressure, don’t be afraid to make others uncomfortable, and stand out from the crowd.

Don’t forget that this new journey you’re on will bring new people who are aligned with your life’s dreams and visions. Those people are going to remind you of where you want to go instead of where you’ve been. Allow your network to grow and expand so you can find people who think and feel like you do.

If you truly want to commit to growing, understand that it’s going to make people feel uncomfortable. They’re not going to be able to relate to you in the same way, but you’re going to meet new people who will. Prepare for criticism.

The decision is yours.

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