THE POWER OF THEY: Who Are 'They' and What Are They Doing in My Head Anyway?
Sometimes when you're making a decision, do you hear a little voice in your head that says, “But what will people think?”
Or maybe you hear, "But what would the neighbors say?"
Most of us have at one time or another. It’s almost as if we have a group of invisible chaperones standing on the sidelines, waiting to nix any ideas we might have that don’t meet their exact expectations for us. For lack of a better expression, I’ll call that group of nay-sayers ‘They.’
What we want to look at, as you start on your exploration of retirement actions and options, is The Power of They. That is, how these make-believe people have held you back, off and on through your life, when it comes to your thoughts, dreams, decisions and actions.
Who Are 'They'?
So who are 'They' and who gave them the right to preempt what we each know instinctively is best for us? Well, starting when we were little, our parents often used that invisible group I call ‘They’ to get us to behave. Who knows, maybe we wore them out by asking that never-ending question: “But why?”
When “Because I said so …” didn’t work anymore, our parents called on ‘They’ to keep us in line.
Do you remember hearing “You can’t go out with that boy, what would your grandfather think?” Or “You can’t go to the movies on a weeknight, what would the neighbors say?”
Our parents knew we couldn’t run next door and plead our case with the neighbors. And we were too young or too respectful to say, “Who cares what the neighbors think!” [Besides, in a lot of ways, our parents did actually care …] Usually the argument ended then and there. We complied … and then we pouted.
Whatever the reason, silly as it sounds, today those patterns are often indelibly marked on our brains and we've continued to listen to the voices without asking why. Without even realizing we’re doing it.
If you think back, have you made decisions that led to missed opportunities because you didn’t follow your instinct, but instead followed the crowd? ... the ‘They’ crowd?
Sometime this even leads to the pattern of giving up responsibility for major decisions: critical life decisions. Or of backing away from acting upon decisions because 'They’ wouldn’t approve.
The Power of ‘They’ is the power of no action … the hidden influencer that has kept too many of us from fulfilling our dreams.
Taking a Realistic Look
If you do a reality check, you'll have to admit that 'They' don't make your mortgage payments, or stay awake at night wondering how you're going to retire. So it's high time you let go of that worn-out old influencer called 'They'.
The adventure we hope you'll take with Plan B Retirement will lead you to examine lots of different parts of your present life, future dreams and flights of fancy in all sorts of new ways. And after you look at everything, with our guidance … after you reassess where you stand now and where you want to be … you might be tempted to take some unconventional actions to get there.
And you can get there. Many people already have, and so can you.
What you don’t want is to let ‘They’ get in the way of your future happiness.
By the way, it’s not hard to strip away all the power from ‘They’. In fact, just knowing the phenomenon exists is nine-tenths of the effort.
The other tenth is a matter of creating reminders for yourself … whenever you start hearing that little voice, that judgmental voice: just put it back in its place.
What This Means to You
As you explore every option that's open to you, you sure don’t need to be shackled by a worn-out trick your parents used to keep you in line when you were three!
As a mature adult, you're perfectly capable of making your own decisions. You don’t need left-over chaperones. And as soon as you start acting on your decisions, and taking responsibility for them, you become empowered, focused, driven. In short, master of your own destiny.
Remember, you’re talking about the rest of your life here …
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