Peer pressure is a bitch. These days our lives are inundated with peer pressure. It comes from our friends, our family, TV, magazines, websites, social media and the list goes on and on. With all this pressure to do this, and do that – it’s difficult to say “No”. This difficulty to say the word “No” to peer pressure often has a lot to do with the lifestyle choices that we end up making. And an inability to say “No” will completely screw up any ability to focus your life. I listen to a fantastic podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire, in which the host, John Lee Dumas, often says “you are the average of the five people you hang out with most.” This means that your surroundings, your community, your friends, and the media that you interact with, all shape who you are and the actions you take. And being as we hang out with these people and interact with this community so much, it’s incredibly hard to say “no” when they suggest that we do, say, wear or act a certain way. But saying “no” is detrimental to making change in our life. If you can’t say “no” to something as ordinary as “hey want to go get some beers tonight?”, or “you should be driving a nicer car because you make more money” then how can you expect to build your own life? You will be too busy building a life for other people.
If you can’t say “no” to ordinary things, how can you expect to build an extraordinary life?
Saying “no” takes a lot of guts. You have to be self-confident in order to tell somebody “no”. You have to have a goal in order to tell somebody “no”. If you’re not self confident that you can achieve great things, and you don’t have a goal of what those great things are, it’s much easier to just “go with the flow.” So here are a few steps that I’ve taken to be able to tell people “no” more often:
Tip #1: write a list of your life goals, with sub bullets of milestones to get you there.
Tip #2: write out a personal SWOT analysis. This includes your strengths, your weaknesses, your opportunities and your threats to reaching your goals.
Tip #3: write out a list of all the personal, and peer – related roadblocks that might come up. This way you’re ready when somebody says “You don’t have the time, the energy, or resources to start your own business – you’ll never make it work.” You are in control of your own destiny. It all starts starts with your mindframe. And a large portion of that is being able to tell your friends, your family and your community “no” when it doesn’t align with your personal goals.