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Of Hater Blockers & Coal Mines

Hater blocker sunglasses

I’ve noticed a lot lately that exhaustion & the threat of rejection seems to go hand-in-hand. Not just in my own life, but in the lives of friends who are really good at what they do. If you’re tired, you’re distracted and you’ve got this nagging feeling that you’re just not good enough, this message is for you:

Put those hater blockers on!

If you’re not familiar with the ancient tool known as “hater blockers,” it’s the sunglasses you wear to shield the essence of your soul from your enemies. If you don’t look good in sunglasses, don’t fret. Hater blocking is more of a way of life than just equipment.

If you’re tired, I get it. I am, too. In your exhaustion, your depleted body chemistry gets imbalanced and you simply don’t have the neuron activity to perform. Make time for rest. That’s the first step in hater blocking. Arianna Huffington will tell you more about that.

Got rest? Let’s continue…

Rested shades

Now that you’re refreshed, try to approach your perceived enemies from an objective place. Despite these very normal feelings that you sense from the words or actions of those around you, I’d imagine very few of you have actual enemies who are trying to consciously stop you. Of course, it feels that way at times. Some of you may even know people who are in direct opposition to everything you hold dear. But even then, guess what? Your opposition only wields the power over you that you allow them to wield. In reality, you might not even have competitors trying what you do on their own terms. How rare! Celebrate the opportunities that mildly-opposed goal-seeking provides!

So, unless you’re a tyrant ruling over an oppressed populace, chances are you have no real enemies. Just a few obstacles that may not actually relate to the goals you’re chasing anyway. Chances are, the battle you’ve got to fight is against what I call “convenient apathy.”

Convenient Apathy

Convenient apathy, you see, is when your perceived fans like something you do, but they just happen to be distracted by the millions of other things going on in their lives at that particular instant. It abounds today, thanks to the glut of great content & endeavors out there. It’s a necessary survival mechanism in a global community that’s increasingly bombarded with endless information. I’ve found myself being conveniently apathetic toward endeavors I personally really believe in, but they just hit me when I’m busy, & I forget about my interest once the busyness ends.

As business professionals, you and I will never be able to read minds. What we can do–and do well–is to communicate the mission of our respective businesses and provide constant opportunities for others to get involved. Those constant reminders, sometimes to the line of annoyance, are the only effective weapons against convenient apathy.

Finding my shades

When I decided to take the final push to work for myself, it took me one full year of reaching out to people I knew who believed in me and/or my work ethic. During that year, I reached out daily to people I knew who had businesses in need of a social media makeover. Most of those people completely ignored me. Close friends, family members–a vast majority of them, every day of the week–just pretended I didn’t exist. As someone whose brain was raised on the idea that you should always do the right thing, I was shamefully devastated by the rejection. I felt as if the silent masses were saying, “You’re not doing the right thing. Your efforts aren’t good enough for me.”

Thankfully, I had gotten to the point of no return with my self-employment efforts. I could either let it crumble & focus exclusively on the day job that wasn’t meeting my family’s needs, or I could push forward on fumes, securing just one more full-service client to pay the bills before that window closed. That all-or-nothing scenario gave me the last ounce of energy to push past the rejections when it mattered.

Pushing past rejections

Y’know what happens when you push past rejections? Someone eventually doesn’t reject you, and everything changes. You get what you need to sustain your limping dream. It’s that way in life, and it’s that way in the best works of fiction.

And that’s why you need to rest up.

You can’t shake off exhaustion forever. It’s hard to leave the coal mine without the residual soot sticking to you. Recharge your energy as much as you can. When you’re ready to tackle the convenient apathy that smolders within some otherwise wonderful potential collaborators, you’ll need to be alert enough to recognize the chance.

Just be sure to pack an extra pair of rockstar shades for the journey.

About the Author Mark Ezra Stokes

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