A little over a year ago, I overheard a conversation between my boss and his boss about me. They had left the door slightly open and most of the team was onsite for a project so it was quiet.
The conversation began about the team in general then eventually settled on me because I'd had an argument with someone earlier about client satisfaction vs. making more money. I was in favor of client satisfaction.
They discussed me in negative terms at length and part of the phrases used included "no potential," "short term vision," and "can't be trusted." The character denigration went on for about an hour.
At this point in my career, I had been with the company for almost 5 years, was the most qualified person on the team, had been promoted twice, was the only woman on the department management team, had been awarded a study scholarship by the highest professional body in our industry and regularly worked till 3 a.m. in the morning for no thanks.
I was so mad after I overheard that conversation; I slammed the laptop shut and went home. I fired off a furious message to my sister. She responded, "Sis, what you overheard is irrelevant and doesn't change who you are. We know who you are. Most importantly, you know who you are. It's you. F**** this boys club and go do you."
I was supposed to remain with the company for another year but overhearing that conversation changed everything and called for a rearrangement of my timelines. A few months later, I left the company to go implement my life plan. As of today:
- I run my own business with a portfolio of happy clients.
- I run a self-empowerment program for women.
- I operate a private charity that funds treatment for cancer patients from low-income families.
- I'm a published writer.
- I do not work till 3 am in the morning anymore.
- I am living my best life.
How's that for someone with no potential and short-term vision?
I could have chosen to let what I overheard become my reality and my truth. I could have chosen to let someone else's insecurity affect what I know I'm capable of and I could have stayed there and continued giving a bunch of f****s.
Instead, I let it be part of the driving force to "go confidently in the direction of my dreams" and follow the life plan I had drawn up for myself.
One of the greatest forces on this planet is the power of believing in you. Your unrelenting conviction in the power within you to do everything you ever wanted, to live your best life and fulfill your heart's desires. That belief right there can move mountains and slay dragons for you.
Listening to people and letting what they say about you become what you think of yourself and your reality is dangerous business. Sometimes, it's the people we work with and sometimes, it's the people that are close to us. They are all free to exercise their orifices.
Learn to tune out negativity and stick to what you know about yourself. No one can know you better than you. No one can be an expert in who you are better than you. You get to choose and write your own story.
Go do you!
Learn more about putting together and implementing a life plan with this resource.