Words - don't let them stop you achieving your dreams

On this journey of life whether it be in business or making your mark in the world you will come across people that mean well but whose words can sometimes affect how you think and react.

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On this journey  of life whether it be in business or making your mark on the world you will come across people that mean well but whose words can sometimes affect how you think and react.   We have all met those types of people and perhaps we have been that type of person to others too.  Have people said things to you that have stopped you in your tracks or worse have your ever said something that has made someone feel demotivated and insignificant?

In my last blog I spoke about a teacher that told me I was "not clever enough" to be a Physiotherapist when I was just 15 years old. Those words were, I hope, meant in support rather than any malice but for years, I believed those three little words. Those three words that were, lets face it, just one persons opinion but they cut me to the quick,  I lived out those three words for almost another 15 years in total belief and thought that was "me".  But what made me change that thinking and move on to qualify as an Osteopath and own my own large multi-healthcare centre?  

Words are powerful and when you run your own business and in other walks of your life you will have people that on occasion say things to you that can cause hurt and rock your beliefs.  In reality that person may not have had the intention of making you doubt yourself and your decisions but never the less that reaction is what you feel.  Perception is individual and often words are not said with the intent that we react to but we feel them deeply. 

Doing anything in life that makes a change, whether it is business, a career change, weight loss, fitness, lifestyle as examples will start to get you comments. Some will be supportive while others can be very negative, even when wrapped up in a “meant well excuse” bubble.  Your mind will play games with you and loves to listen to the negatives.  You could get 5 people tell you how brilliantly you are doing and the 1 person that questions your brilliance is likely to be the only comment you remember.  Our brains seem to be wired like an over zealous health and safety officer that always leads us back to the worst case scenario.  Don't get me wrong this is useful if you are about to scale a 60 ft cliff and your internal health and safety officer tells you not to do it as you will probably fall.  You are probably at this point best to listen to that advice. 

So how do we avoid the words that will throw us off track, make us question the life we lead and generally make us feel worthless?  Even worse those words that make us give up our hopes and dreams?

I am a businesses owner, in fact I own two (greedy I know) and this is how I manage "words" and their effect. First I surround myself with like-minded people. Others that run their own business that “get” the journey of an entrepreneur.  I have a large group of business owners that I share the ups and downs of my business journey.  People that cheer so loudly when I achieve my goals and those that show up for the hard times with real words of support and even ways to make change.  It could be people in a similar type of business or just another business owner, it really doesn’t matter.

You need to understand that family and friends may genuinely worry about what you are doing and actually love you so much that they would hate to see you fail.  Their words may not be made with the same intent that you hear and perceive.  Often family and friends are not able to see the bigger picture of your journey and how it can be hard at times.  In my world people that have always been employed often don't understand the life of a self-employed entrepreneur and really why should they? (We are all slightly bonkers!!)  But you need to be understanding of them too.  Understand that to watch a loved one taking the plunge with their goals and dreams can be hard for family and friends.  They love you and will naturally worry even if it is a little over reactive.

Some words come from envy and dislike of change or your position within a group.  Examples could be losing weight…were you always the “safe” one who was slightly larger than others, have you changed someone else’s feelings within your social circle?  Could that be why they have just told you that you have become obsessed with your training or eating plan?   Was your position in another’s eyes to always be just “little old you” who trudged along in life?  You suddenly start to get success and for some this can be too uncomfortable for them as their perceptions of you have changed? Or is it someone who secretly envies what you have, your freedom to be your own boss, your new found fitness, your sense of happiness and your freedom to be YOU. 

When I think words come from envy or dislike of things I have become, I try to think positively.  By achieving my goals I have forced others to change as well as me and although they are initially uncomfortable we all need change, it is what makes human beings so amazing.  We have evolved and changed over the years and this has led to new technology, better health and generally loads of really good outcomes.  So embrace their fear and know that you have made a difference.

One thing I learnt was to distance myself from the nay sayers and non supporters and instead  surrounded myself with positive role models and peers. Surround yourself with positive people as truly it really does rub off.  For anyone that does not understand me or what I do, I say very little about it.  I don't try to force anyone to understand what I do and I don't share my hopes and ambitions.  Understand those that care for you, have only the best intentions for you in their “words”. Appreciate their support and that words they say are only used to protect you.   Keep focused on your own journey and don’t let words hold you back.  It has taken me years to get self- belief that I can be a success and I think finally today, I may just be starting to believe it!

Helen x

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Helen Bullen

Director , Helen Bullen (Therapist Business Coaching) and Fine Fettle Multi-healthcare


Go to the profile of Catherine  Brannan
almost 4 years ago

hi Helen, it’s so true that harsh words sometimes stem from love but I agree with you that family and friends are not always the best to comment on ideas.  I’m experiencing this at the mo.  I’m hoping to start a residential mindfulness and nature business from Home this year and my family seem set in pointing out all the reasons it won’t work.  I’m trying to remind myself they mean well!  

Go to the profile of Helen Bullen
almost 4 years ago

Hi Cath.  Yes often family can say things that can be quite cutting but it does help to see why they may say such things.  Reassure them that you have planned everything out and listen to some of their comments.  They may raise things that you do need to look at.  If you want some support I have a FREE group Clinic Essentials on Facebook.  It is full of loads of like minded therapist all building their business. www.facebook.com/groups/clinicessentials/

Go to the profile of Catherine  Brannan
almost 4 years ago

many thanks Helen for your very kind offer to join your group.  I certainly will join and take all the advice I can get.  All the best for 2018 and I wish you every success n happiness   Cath ❤️

Go to the profile of Carol Powell
almost 4 years ago

Hi Helen, your words really resonated with me, about the teacher who said you are not clever enough. I have been doing a lot of work with my 'inner child' over the last few years, and so many of my core beliefs and anxieties come from school. It's amazing how these thoughts and behaviours can shape you as an adult. Starting up my own business has really challenged these beliefs and put me out of my comfort zone, but like you, I think positively and am now really beginning to release the beliefs of my inner child. Happy new year and hopefully we will all get to meet this year. xxx

Go to the profile of Sarah Thornton
almost 4 years ago

Not bonkers at all Helen, fabulous! Sarah x