By Scott Ginsberg
In my most recent article about interviewing, “10 good ways to 'Tell me about yourself,” I offered a free list at the end about stupid things to stop doing before it’s too late.
Since that article premiered, I’ve received hundreds of emails from people requesting the list. And so, I wanted to share five of my favorite tips from that list, along with a link so readers can access the full compilation at their convenience.
Stop exposing yourself to harsh, unsolicited feedback.
Decide whom to ignore. Feedback is enormously profitable, but only when it comes from people who matter. Otherwise, it’s nothing but procrastination in disguise. Just another confusing, unnecessarily discouraging, undue stress causing waste of energy and tears. My suggestion: Don’t torture yourself over feedback from someone whose opinion doesn’t count. Execution is the byproduct of listening to the right people while ignoring the wrong people. It’s about trust and healthy impatience. Stop exposing yourself to harsh, unsolicited feedback and start trusting your voice. Demanding excessive reassurance is a one-way ticket to entrepreneurial purgatory. Whose advice have you outgrown?
Stop feeding the ego monster.
Your mental bandwidth is worth more.Being prolific is more than what we do; it’s what we avoid. It’s an ongoing effort to remove the barriers that stand in the way of production. There are physical ones, like watching television and going to meetings and attending seminars and getting sucked into the ego vortex of social media, each of which adds unnecessary demands on our time and attention.There are philosophical constructs, like permission and expectation and procrastination and anxiety, all of which add profound pressure and complication to our mental experience. And there are personal constructs, like saboteurs and drama queens and unsupportive friends and constitutionally incompatible partners, all of whom become obstacles that keep us from bringing new life to what might be. And so, the goal is to clean out as much of that plaque as we can, thus freeing up our expressive faculties to focus.
Stop living someone else’s mechanical thoughts.
Visions are worth fighting for.If you want a make a name for yourself, you have to make your own music. Besides, why sacrifice your life being everybody else’s dream machine? Why acquiesce to the short-sighted pencil pushers who don’t get the joke anyway? Just be wildly selfish. Do it for you. The purpose of creation, after all, is liberation. To make something to call your own. To have a body of work you can point to. To build something nobody can take away from you. Selfishness isn’t just your right; it’s your responsibility. Like my mentor used to tell me, if you’re making art for anybody other than yourself, you’re in for a world of disappointment. Do you have the courage to bet on your vision?
Stop playing small.
In the first ten years of my career, I achieved great success as a writer and speaker. The only problem was, I still wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I still hadn’t found a place that drew out my full ingenuity. Too many assets were going unharvested, and it was eating away at me. And I remember thinking to myself, if it’s true that there are skills and talents that I have not yet tapped into to create value, then there must be useful strategies for influencing the environment that I have not yet taken advantage of. And that’s exactly why I started writing, producing, directing and scoring a documentary. Because it broke the pattern. It allowed me to imagine a different world. To create an alternate reality. To gain a new understanding of the universe. To give my hidden talents a more prominent place in my work. To create a new context from which to relate to the world, one that afforded me the freedom to try other approaches to success.
Stop wasting your brilliant mental effort on negativity.
I come from a long line of positivity beacons. Fundamentally affirmative personalities who respond to others with of constant chorus of yesses. Relentless encouragers whose immediate optimism makes the people around them think to themselves, I believe in this, I can do this, I’m ready to try this. That’s why it’s so hard for me to wrap my head around negativity. It doesn’t compute with my biology. When I encounter people whose native wiring is to sour conversations, they might as well be speaking another language. I guess I understand the allure. Negativity is easy to find, easy to dispense and even easier to rally people around. And resisting the pull of that force is no easy task. But ninety percent of life is doing things that aren’t easy. And our attitudes shouldn’t be any different.
For the full list called, “61 Stupid Things to Stop Doing Before It’s Too Late,” head over to www.hellomynameisscott.com, login with your email and click on the “articles” section. Enjoy the list!
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Scott Ginsberg is the author of 27 books, an award winning blogger, TEDx speaker and the creator of the concert documentary, “Tunnel of Love.” He's delivered over 600 presentations and corporate training programs worldwide, and he still wears a nametag 24-7. Even to bed. See why his work sticks at www.nametagscott.com.