At what point is it "okay" to start on your path?
Your “path” could be a professional speaker, an author, a teacher, a coach, or just about anything you want to do.
Have you ever been told that you “need” to do X, Y, and Z before you can start something? Usually these rules and regulations are promoted by gatekeepers. A gatekeeper could be an individual or even an organization.
I’m not saying you can become a heart surgeon tomorrow without proper training, because work is absolutely necessary. But what I do know is that you don’t have to do everything in the traditional way. Things change. Set rules can be altered and some scrapped entirely.
Most of his fellow fighters despise him because he’s loud and he gets all the attention. Not until very recently has he been getting respect, but he was being questioned at every single turn by gatekeepers and haters.
“Oh just wait until he faces a wrestler!” Then he beats a great wrestler and suddenly a new question arises. “Well, if that guy had a full training camp it would have been way different!” Then most recently he was supposed to face his stiffest competition yet. Finally, we were going to have the answers to whether or not he was just a giant fraud with an even bigger mouth. Then, earlier this month Conor passed the test with ease.
Sadly, what should have been the end of it turned into even more questions...
The point is there are going to be people who feel like you're stepping on their toes. You can listen to them and at the same time ignore your call for greatness, or you can risk being criticized and ridiculed by others for your chance at greatness.
The Book Example...
One hardcore tenet being perpetuated by book snobs is that your book must be published by a traditional publishing house. If not, you're just a phony with a bunch of words scribbled on a stack of paper. The status quo has a tough time letting go.
It’s like when you watch a celebrity evolve as age starts to grip them. They cling to youth with surgery, with contemporary style, with whatever they can get their hands on. Some make it work, others get demolished. It’s a lesson, sure, be open and ready to adapt when changes come, but NEVER listen to someone say what “must” be done to achieve "X." It’s BS.
I’m not saying you should purposely pump out junk into the world; however, by no means do you need to be regulated by some external authority. With Amazon and the amount of helpful resources out there, the resistance holding you back from writing a book is paper-thin.
If you want to write a book, decide and do it for your own reasons, and then start writing.
Why Do People Want To Hold Down Others?
They don’t want to be surpassed. There is a lot of ego involved.
There's also a more understandable fear: that someone is going to come and take away one's business or fame, or whatever they seek to preserve.
I’ve seen this in a lot of industries and especially industries involving technology. For instance, as technology improves and becomes more affordable, it allows more people to get into the game.
Take photography for example. Veteran photographers like to joke that EVERYONE with a camera thinks they are a “photographer.” Meaning that just because people can afford a quality camera, they consider themselves professionals—perhaps there is some truth to their complaint.
But does that mean they have a monopoly on the profession? I think not. My take is that if someone isn’t good enough to stand apart from someone who has no experience, so be it. I’m sure they’d favor some sort of law requiring individuals to pass some exams and meet certain qualifications before being allowed to enter the profession, like the American Bar Association for lawyers. That's gatekeeper syndrome at work.
Besides, competition is good. It forces us to grow in order to stay relevant.
What Happens If You Allow Gatekeepers And Haters To Dictate Your Life?
The worst case scenario is that NOTHING happens. In other words, YOU don’t happen. You stay put, tread slowly and thus avoid criticism.
That outcome means your life is being directed by an outside force (mainly due to the fear of others). But ironically, if you permit this to happen it is also based on your own fear. Imagine that, your life would be entirely guided by fear—your own fears and the fears of others. Pretty wild. If that’s not prison, I don’t know what is.
So What Now?
No one knows how hard you work. No one knows what you do behind closed doors to get better at your craft. And no one can tell you that you’re not good enough. Well, technically they can, but it doesn’t mean you have to let it hold you back.
You get out and show the world what you got. You are what you claim to be, act it. Haters are going to hate. Don't let the lobsters pull you back down into the tank.
Be yourself and carve out your own path. The key is to start carving, don’t wait for the gatekeeper to tell you when it’s OKAY to start sharpening your blade. Just move.
About this guy...
Howdy! My name is Matt Kramer and I used to suffer excruciating death when speaking in front of a group, now I LOVE it. Overcoming this fear has changed my life and it can change yours, too. My focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the confidence to go after what you want in life.