How to be so good they can`t ignore you

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

You think you aren’t good enough, but YOU ARE. You think you can’t do it, but YOU CAN. You think it’s too late, but IT’S NOT.

Here’s 3 ways you can be so good they look stupid doubting you.

1. Be unstoppable
2. Be your own standard
3. Be a lifelong learner

Let’s unpack these one by one.

You are more capable than you realize — much more in fact.

For example, I hardly spoke Japanese in my early 20s. Yet, my ambition was to move to Japan, learn the language, and work as a designer.

What on earth is Lucy thinking? She’s too old to learn a second language! How can she find a job without Japanese skills? She doesn’t have a CV much less a Design Portfolio!

Did I let anyone dampen my aspirations?
No, I did not. As soon as I graduated, I jetted off on a crazy, big adventure to the land of the rising sun.

Did I learn Japanese as fast as I expected.
No, I did not. I imagined I would soak up the language like a human sponge. Did it happen? Nope.

Did I find work as a designer right away?
No, I did not. I worked as an English teacher and in sales before I found my niche with Japan’s Dot-com crowd.

Did I allow these setbacks to derail me?
No, I definitely did not. You see I have something the “Haters” and “Naysayers” do not realize.

I have GRIT in spades.

Grit is an ability to “stay the course” over long periods despite setbacks.

In life, there are no shortcuts to any place worth going. You need to put in the hours. You need to focus on the process more than the end result.

The road to success is paved with opportunities cleverly disguised as potholes.

Here’s how I extracted myself from a series of “potholes” and set about achieving my goals.

First, I woke up from “La La Land” and smelt the coffee.

Japanese is a complex language. After a year, I recognized the futility of self-study. I enrolled at a university in Tokyo where I studied for two more years. To fund my studies, I continued to teach English on the side.

Upon graduation, a Japanese manufacturer hired me. I was the only native English-speaker at the firm. It was a case of sink or swim — as it turned out, I didn’t drown 🙂

By my mid 20s, I was halfway toward my goal. I was competent in written and spoken Japanese and on track for a dynamic career, albeit in sales.

My next step was to transition into a creative role.

This involved several “power moves” over 18 months as follows.

  • I taught myself HTML and revamped my company’s website.
  • I designed a logo for a colleague’s fledgling Startup.
  • I connected up with Japan’s Dot-com crowd (via introductions and networking events).
  • I worked pro bono to create a portfolio of client work.
  • I landed a paid gig developing logos and UX design for blue-chip corporates including Rakuten Ichiba, the largest e-Commerce site in Japan.

Thanks to grit I became a fluent speaker of Japanese.

Thanks to a healthy dose of gumption, I have worked in a series of dynamic and creative roles based in Tokyo.

The take-away?

Be unstoppable. Just because someone else can’t do it doesn’t mean you can’t. Other people’s limits are not yours. You have NO LIMITS except those in your own mind.

There are a handful of rules I have followed throughout my life. One of them is the 1% rule.

The 1% rule

I aim to improve by an incremental 1% every time. The classic scenario is running. Eight years ago, I took up running. I went from running 1km to a full marathon over a 2-year period.

Were there naysayers?
Yes, of course.

Did I listen to them?
No I did not. Training for 2013 Tokyo Marathon was a life changing experience for me.

In 2016, I ran Tokyo Marathon again. I blitzed my previous time by over 10 minutes.

Were there naysayers the second time round?
Yes. I have taken them off my Christmas card list.

As a young designer, learning to code taught me how to think. It enabled me to use my creative skills in an exciting and meaningful way that also paid my rent. It was a win-win outcome!

One thing I am sure of the world is changing.

Technology is transforming the way we live and work. People with an aptitude for “deep work” that cannot be automated will be in high demand in the new economy.

The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. — Alvin Toffler

In the new economy, your ability to come up with FRESH and ORIGINAL IDEAS is what gives you a competitive edge. Why? Because it is the one-thing robots may NEVER be able to do.

The take-away?

Be a lifelong learner. Don’t lower your standards to fit into this world. The world would be a dreary, old place without creative people!

To become the person you KNOW you can be.

Never stop learning
Never stop growing
Never stop striving
Never stop pushing

You are your only limit.

When I look back over my life, I could never predict where I am now. I am excited that 6 months from now I will be doing something I never imagined today. This motivates me to try new things.

Once you see results it becomes an addition!

Career Services at the GW School of Public Health

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

Much of the career advice in today’s media encourages us to follow our dreams and pursue our passions.That’s all good and fine if you’ve already identified your interests (especially if they are interests that are marketable), but what about those whose plans for the future are still a bit blurry? Read on to learn an alternative to the “follow your passions” line of thinking.

In his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for the Work you Love, Cal Newport takes issue with popular advice to follow your dreams and passions. Instead, he focuses on the idea that “you need to be good at something before you can expect a good job” (xix). Developing valuable skills, he argues, can lead to just as much, if not more job fulfillment and satisfaction than chasing after your dreams. Personally I don’t see anything wrong with the passion hypothesis if it works for you, but if you haven’t identified one overarching passion, Newport’s perspective might come as a relief. You can build your skills and determine your path step by step. Once you’ve mastered a valuable set of skills, you’ll have the confidence and freedom to choose a job and a career that work for you. Here are Newport’s four rules to becoming “so good they can’t ignore you.”

1. Don’t Follow Your Passion – Newport asserts that it takes time to develop passions and that passion is often a side-effect of mastery. Young adults may not have the experience and expertise to make an educated decision about what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

What does this mean for you? Instead of trying to identify a passion to which you should devote your life, don’t be afraid to try things out and make mistakes. Through a series of trials and errors, you will find skills that you enjoy using and identify which skills are particularly valuable in the marketplace.

2. Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Once you’ve identified some valuable skills that you enjoy using, you should focus on them with what Newport calls “the craftsman mindset.” A craftsman is intensely focused on the quality of his or her work. You want to become the best at using the valuable skills you have identified. Doing so requires deliberate practice: push yourself so that you stretch your abilities and receive feedback so that you can continue to improve. Once you have gained mastery in one or more marketable skills, you’ll have career capital that will allow you a degree of freedom in making decisions about your future

What does this mean for you? Identify rare and valuable skills in an area of interest, then work hard to master those skills.

3. Turn Down a Promotion – Weird advice, right? Well, according to a significant body of research, control is one of the most important traits in a happy life. To reach an optimal level of fulfillment and satisfaction in your career, you’re going to need a certain level of autonomy. However, in order to command autonomy, you will need career capital, which is why the skill building described in Newport’s second rule is so important. Once you become valuable to the organization and to the market, you’ll have more power get jobs and ask for the things that comprise your definition of success. How does turning down a promotion fit into all of this? As you rise through the ranks and gain more responsibility, you may find that you actually have less control over your day to day activities. If you find yourself rising “higher” but increasingly unhappy, remember the importance of control to career and life satisfaction.

What does this mean for you? First, you need to acquire career capital so that you merit a degree of autonomy. Once you’ve become something of an expert and are in the process of building your career, remember that control is a major factor of happiness in the workplace.

4. Think Small, Act Big – Although Newport asserts that chasing after a passion can be problematic, he agrees that having passion for your work is definitely a good thing. Once you’ve mastered a set of skills, how do you continue to find satisfaction in your job? You develop a mission, a unifying focus for your career. To do this, zero in on what Newport calls the adjacent possible. New discoveries and innovations are often found just beyond the limits of the current cutting edge, just beside or adjacent to what is currently possible. Once you’ve developed expertise in a certain niche, you’ll have the career capital (the knowledge and expertise) to take small steps that will test the boundaries, and hopefully, lead you to do something remarkable.

What does this mean for you? Instead of trying to come up with an earth-shattering innovation or idea, explore the cutting edge of current boundaries, knowledge, and practice. What can be expanded or improved upon? Doing this will allow you to focus in and develop a driving mission for your work.

What do you think, do you see value in Newport’s rules? Does the idea of following a passion motivate you or cause you stress? Can you identify some skills that will provide you with an added degree of career capital?

One thought on “ How to Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You ”

I just earned my Masters in Career Counseling and I have to say that the insights and program laid out in this book is better than most of the career advice or counseling you are likely to receive from professionals.

This post may contain referral links, which means I may receive a small credit, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions remain my own.

Is Being So Good They Can’t Ignore You Even Possible?

When you want something, a job, success, validation – you need to stand out from everyone else, from the crowd in order to receive the attention to get what you want. So it really possible to make yourself so good they can’t ignore you? Who do I mean when I say “they”? They is whoever you need to help you get to the next level of success.

A company, your boss, colleagues, an agent, a producer, publisher – those are the “they” I speak of.

Sounds complicated? Let me break it down for you.

The first time I heard “be so good they can’t ignore you” I thought, well, that’s easy coming from Steve Martin. A well-known comedian with a great career. Easy for him to say!

Having Passion

Turns out it’s not that simple. Passion is great but it won’t get you noticed by the right people. If you offer value and are remembered – only then will you be considered to be so good they can’t ignore you.

I began my blog a year ago. I knew nothing about blogging, SEO, sharing on numerous social media sites, heck – I didn’t even know that Pinterest existed. What I knew was that I loved to write and I loved to help people. Passion.

The more I shared posts and got to know other bloggers, the more I realised that no one would read (or even care) about my work unless I stood out. I had to be different, unique. I had to offer value to my readers.

I thought about rebuilding my website, changing my content to write about the “more popular and ‘in’ stuff”. Day and night I pondered about what I could do to improve my blog and my writing. I suddenly remembered the quote…..”be so good they can’t ignore you”

Experiencing The Lightbulb Moment!

That was it! I could still do what I loved to do, write what I chose to write about. I could do whatever I wanted to do – it didn’t matter what it was. I had to stop learning and start doing.

What was important here was quality. Value. Oh, that word again. Yes, the one thing I had to do was to make it less about me and more about YOU, my readers.

How could I share my life, thoughts, experiences, successes and failures while helping you in the process?

Success wouldn’t be success without the trials we have to go through. No matter what job you are doing you will face obstacles and tests, trials and tribulations, haters, selfish people, competitors, even people waiting to see you fail.

Instead of allowing these things to get you down, let them be motivators. An inspiration for you to be better and stronger. Let it push you further.

For anyone who ever doubted you? Told you that you could never achieve this or that? Respond with success. Let your work make you so good they can’t ignore you.

Daily Affirmations and Self Worth

One fact I discovered since I started writing and building my self-worth and self-confidence is that I need to be myself. I cannot be anyone else in the world nor should I long to be.

Have you ever felt like everyone else in the world has amazing and positive things happening to them? Do you sit at home wondering why nothing appears to be working in your favour?

That’s because you engage in constant negative self-talk.

No matter what you are facing or going through, I am sure you can find ten good things in every single day to be happy, grateful, or proud of.

I love to read motivational quotes on self-improvement websites and highly recommend you read these 10 quotes that will make you believe in yourself again.

Whenever you are feeling down or need a boost of positivity, speak these words out loud. You are responsible for your own happiness. It is a habit, so cultivate it.

3 Things You Can Do To Make Yourself So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Celebrate Your Uniqueness

The sooner you celebrate your uniqueness the better. There is no other person on the entire planet – yes no one single person on our planet that is exactly like you. Isn’t that to be celebrated? It’s not some stroke of luck, you were meant to be unique, to stand out from all others. It always amazes me when people talk about twins and say things like “those two are nothing alike!” or “they are like two different people” ahem – reality check. They are two different people! Due to the nature of the way they way conceived, they happen to look extremely similar; but if you look a little closer it is so easy to tell them apart.

Start Thinking Strategically

This will help move your career forward and help you to build and leverage not only focus but connections and relationships you make along the way. It’s easy to get distracted and lost. If you get externally focused and look at what everyone else is doing you may lose focus. Strategic thinking will help you keep an intentional focus making you so good they can’t ignore you when it is your time to shine.Your strategic plan should include how you network, who you network with and what message you communicate.

Build Your Skill Or Skills

No matter what it is you do, you need to build on it. Build your skill. This is not something you will be able to do in a day, week or even month. It’s going to take some significant time.

Depending on what your skill is, for example acting, you may need to invest some money into it and taking acting classes. Or if you are a writer, writing classes. No matter what it is, you have to work at it. You will need to not only invest money, but time and commitment. Research, reading, practicing. Immerse yourself into perfecting your skill.

Set your goals in easily achievable steps:

Write down your goals

Break a large goal into smaller achievable parts

Track your progress daily

Create routines that support your goals

I have a goal setting guide with templates and checklists to help you achieve success in anything you do.

Remember, the world is filled with opportunities. Some people will say they are successful because they were at the right place at the right time.

I say, self-determination and perfecting your skill will get you where you want to be.

Of course, there are many elements that go along with that.

Speak things into existence and watch how your outlook on success changes.

Remember to keep the focus on your goal. Doing what you’re good at will bring you lots of joy and fulfillment ( and hopefully money). LOL.

When you become so good they can’t ignore you, you will learn to be better and do better.

How do you stand out among the crowd? Share your success stories with me in the comments section below.

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

Men are complex. Sometimes they just can’t do without us but will still pretend like they don’t need us. Act like you don’t care and you see them going crazy. This is one of the smartest tricks to leave him crazy for you. Ignore! When men get a lot of attention from you they pretend like they can have just about anyone and they don’t need to make efforts. Does ignoring a guy make him want you more? Yes! Therefore, the best way to have the craving for your attention is to practice ignorance. How to ignore your boyfriend to teach him a lesson and make him chase you? Here’s how:

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

f you give a guy too much of your attention, they take that for granted. They just like the adventure that goes into wooing a girl. They like to seek happiness in the fact that they won over someone who was too hard a catch. If you make yourself readily available they don’t consider you a prize. To be honest, men like having someone who is desired by all but ultimately he is the one who wins her over. If you are not difficult to have, you are not worth having. As hard as this sounds, this is how they think.

How to ignore a guy?

Ignite that madness

This is something that is true for all regardless of gender. When we have something easily we don’t really bother about that much. Don’t you get too determined to have something that you are passionate about and haven’t received it yet? This is the same psychology that works in love too. So, make him feel like he can’t have you. Make him feel like you are way beyond his league and see how he leaves everything to get you. This way you will always be a distant catch that he is ever ready to have in his life.

Crush their ego

Men have a huge ego. They like to feel at the top of the world. Stay in control is something the love. They like to exert their prowess in every field of life. That is also the same in the case of attracting a mate. He will do everything in his might to pursue you. The satisfaction he would get is unparalleled to him. When you act like no matter what he does for you, you just don’t feel that is enough, he will shower you with his attention more. He will seek for answers. If you think that he won’t really be interested if you act this way, you are wrong. Make him go through the pain of having you. Trust me he will value you more.

Reinstate your worthiness

What most of us do wrong is acting as men own us right at the first instance of showing interest. We would do everything possible to have their attention and sweet talk like nobody ever could. We just wish to have him get bowled over how hooked we are onto them. If the man you like is quite the one whom every girl desires, be sure that is has a ballooning ego. He is used to having eyeballs turn at his every move. Such men will definitely need some ignorance. You have to make him feel like he can’t have you like everyone else he did previously. You have to show those skills which no one else did previously.

Show him how it feels to be ignored

If you are in a relationship where your man seems the least bothered about you, then you need to make him feel the pain too. Sometimes, communication doesn’t work well with men who are stubborn. Just ignore him completely for a few days, avoid his texts and calls and see how he wants to be around you again. This is how you teach him a lesson. This gives him an even greater signal. Don’t worry about what he thinks when you ignore him. It shows him that you have enough worth to get what you want and that he needs to be grateful for what he has and give you what you deserve. Or else, you have no problem in walking away.

Consider showing off and having fun without him

Exchange a few glances with other men when he is with you. Dress well. Look fabulous and garner the attention of other men. Make him feel like he is lucky he has you. Skip plans with him and go out with your friends. Show him that you have a life of your own if you have been the clingy one in the relationship. When he suddenly realizes that he has lost control over you, he will want that back. Start flirting, show him that there are other men who are craving to have you in their lives. Once he realizes what he is about to lose if he doesn’t mend his ways, he will be pretty scared to lose you and will work on ways to make you feel important.

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

Jason, an entrepreneur I’ve known for over a decade, came out to the ranch today. He was celebrating selling his company and just beginning to think through his next moves. Since he wasn’t from Silicon Valley, he decided to use his time up here networking with other meetings with VC’s and company executives.

I get several hundred emails a day, and a good number of them are “I want to have coffee with you to bounce an idea off.” Or, “I just want to pick your brain.” I now have a filter for which emails get my attention, so I was curious in hearing what Jason, who I think of as pretty good at networking, was asking for when he was trying to set up meetings.

“Oh, I ask them if I can have coffee to bounce an idea off of them.”…Sigh.

I realized most entrepreneurs don’t know how to get meetings with people too busy to see you.

Perfect World

Silicon Valley has a “pay-it-forward” culture where we try to help each other without asking for anything in return. It’s a culture that emerged in the 60’s semiconductor business when competitors would help each other solve bugs in their chip fabrication process. It continued in the 1970’s with the emergence of the Homebrew Computer Club, and it continues today. Since I teach, I tend to prioritize my list of meetings with first my current students, then ex-students, then referrals from VC firms I’ve invested in, and then others. But still with that list, and now with a thousand plus ex-students, I have more meeting requests than I possibly can handle. (One of the filters I thought would keep down the meetings is have meetings at the ranch; an hour from Stanford on the coast, but that hasn’t helped.)

So I’ve come up with is a method to sort out who I take meetings with.

What are you offering?

I’m not an investor, and I’m really not looking for meetings with entrepreneurs for deal flow. I’m having these meetings because someone is asking for something from me – my time – and they think I can offer them advice.

If I’d had infinite time I’d take every one of these “can I have coffee” meetings. But I don’t. So I now prioritize meetings with a new filter: Who is offering me something in return.

No, not offering me money. Not for stock. But who is offering to teach me something I don’t know.

The meeting requests that now jump to the top of my list are the few, very smart entrepreneurs who say, “I’d like to have coffee to bounce an idea off of you and in exchange I’ll tell you all about what we learned about xx.”

This offer of teaching me something changes the agenda of the meeting from a one-way, you’re learning from me, to a two-way, we’re learning from each other.

It has another interesting consequence for those who are asking for the meeting – it forces them to think about what is it they know and what is it they have learned – and whether they can explain it to others in a way that’s both coherent and compelling.

Irony – it’s Customer Discovery

While this might sound like a, “how to get a meeting with Steve” post, the irony is that this “ask for a two-way meeting” is how we teach entrepreneurs to get their first customer discovery meetings; don’t just ask for a potential customers time, instead offer to share what you’ve learned about a technology, market or industry.

It will increase your odds in any situation you’re asking for time from very busy people – whether they are VC’s, company executives or retired entrepreneurs.

  • Wanting to have coffee is an ask for a favor
  • Offering to share knowledge is a different game
  • Try it, your odds of getting a meeting will increase
  • And the meetings will be more productive

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

Men are complex. Sometimes they just can’t do without us but will still pretend like they don’t need us. Act like you don’t care and you see them going crazy. This is one of the smartest tricks to leave him crazy for you. Ignore! When men get a lot of attention from you they pretend like they can have just about anyone and they don’t need to make efforts. Does ignoring a guy make him want you more? Yes! Therefore, the best way to have the craving for your attention is to practice ignorance. How to ignore your boyfriend to teach him a lesson and make him chase you? Here’s how:

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

f you give a guy too much of your attention, they take that for granted. They just like the adventure that goes into wooing a girl. They like to seek happiness in the fact that they won over someone who was too hard a catch. If you make yourself readily available they don’t consider you a prize. To be honest, men like having someone who is desired by all but ultimately he is the one who wins her over. If you are not difficult to have, you are not worth having. As hard as this sounds, this is how they think.

How to ignore a guy?

Ignite that madness

This is something that is true for all regardless of gender. When we have something easily we don’t really bother about that much. Don’t you get too determined to have something that you are passionate about and haven’t received it yet? This is the same psychology that works in love too. So, make him feel like he can’t have you. Make him feel like you are way beyond his league and see how he leaves everything to get you. This way you will always be a distant catch that he is ever ready to have in his life.

Crush their ego

Men have a huge ego. They like to feel at the top of the world. Stay in control is something the love. They like to exert their prowess in every field of life. That is also the same in the case of attracting a mate. He will do everything in his might to pursue you. The satisfaction he would get is unparalleled to him. When you act like no matter what he does for you, you just don’t feel that is enough, he will shower you with his attention more. He will seek for answers. If you think that he won’t really be interested if you act this way, you are wrong. Make him go through the pain of having you. Trust me he will value you more.

Reinstate your worthiness

What most of us do wrong is acting as men own us right at the first instance of showing interest. We would do everything possible to have their attention and sweet talk like nobody ever could. We just wish to have him get bowled over how hooked we are onto them. If the man you like is quite the one whom every girl desires, be sure that is has a ballooning ego. He is used to having eyeballs turn at his every move. Such men will definitely need some ignorance. You have to make him feel like he can’t have you like everyone else he did previously. You have to show those skills which no one else did previously.

Show him how it feels to be ignored

If you are in a relationship where your man seems the least bothered about you, then you need to make him feel the pain too. Sometimes, communication doesn’t work well with men who are stubborn. Just ignore him completely for a few days, avoid his texts and calls and see how he wants to be around you again. This is how you teach him a lesson. This gives him an even greater signal. Don’t worry about what he thinks when you ignore him. It shows him that you have enough worth to get what you want and that he needs to be grateful for what he has and give you what you deserve. Or else, you have no problem in walking away.

Consider showing off and having fun without him

Exchange a few glances with other men when he is with you. Dress well. Look fabulous and garner the attention of other men. Make him feel like he is lucky he has you. Skip plans with him and go out with your friends. Show him that you have a life of your own if you have been the clingy one in the relationship. When he suddenly realizes that he has lost control over you, he will want that back. Start flirting, show him that there are other men who are craving to have you in their lives. Once he realizes what he is about to lose if he doesn’t mend his ways, he will be pretty scared to lose you and will work on ways to make you feel important.

M odern life is full of emotional challenges. The pressure to succeed, need to “keep up,” fear of missing out and desire for good relationships and work satisfaction can all evoke volatile combinations of emotions.

However, what we learn in our society is not how to work with our emotions, but how to block and avoid them. We do it quite well: Between alcohol use, prescription drug use and screen time, there are a multitude of ways to avoid our feelings. When we do acknowledge them, we swat them away with mantras learned since childhood. (“Mind over matter,” “get a grip” and “suck it up” are familiar ones.) Thwarting emotions is not good for mental or physical health. It’s like pressing on the gas and brakes of your car at the same time, creating an internal pressure cooker.

Get our Health Newsletter. Sign up to receive the latest health and science news, plus answers to wellness questions and expert tips.

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

Thank you!

Emotions have energy that pushes up for expression, and to tamp them down, our minds and bodies use creative tactics—including muscular constriction and holding our breath. Symptoms like anxiety and depression, which are on the rise in the U.S., can stem from the way we deal with these underlying, automatic, hard-wired survival emotions, which are biological forces that should not be ignored. When the mind thwarts the flow of emotions because they are too overwhelming or too conflicting, it puts stress on the mind and the body, creating psychological distress and symptoms. Emotional stress, like that from blocked emotions, has not only been linked to mental ills, but also to physical problems like heart disease, intestinal problems, headaches, insomnia and autoimmune disorders.

Most people are ruled by their emotions without any awareness that this is happening. But once you realize the power of emotions, simply acknowledging your own can help greatly.

Consider Frank, a patient of mine who was greatly bothered that he could not afford the kind of car he really wanted. Something as simple as Frank’s thwarted car desire triggered a mixture of sadness, anger, humiliation and anxiety. He also had physical symptoms, and although Frank had some inkling that his stomach troubles had to do with stress, he was unaware that emotions in particular were causing his intense stomach pains. Because he hadn’t paid attention to his emotions, he had no tools for what to do to feel better.

Current neuroscience suggests that the more emotions and conflicts a person experiences, the more anxiety they feel. That’s due, in part, to the vagus nerve, one of the main emotional centers of the body. It responds to emotions triggered in the mid-brain by sending signals to the heart, lungs and intestines. These signals ready the body to take appropriate and immediate action in the service of survival. The body is ready to react to perceived danger before the person is aware that an emotion has been triggered. It’s the reason why emotions aren’t under our conscious control. With Frank, for example, his eyes saw the car, and all of a sudden he felt sadness, humiliation and anger. His stomach went into an instant state of upset.

Frank’s stomach continued to hurt until, through therapy, he learned to tune into his body to recognize and separate out each emotion, name them and tend to them one at a time.

The role that emotions play in creating both physical suffering and healing is becoming a more popular focus in psychotherapy. Yet the growing field is still not part of mainstream standards of care. An education in emotions is still not mandatory in social work programs, doctoral programs in psychology and in medical schools.

Yet simply teaching people that emotions are not under conscious control would help them tremendously. Basic biology and anatomy explain that we cannot stop our emotions from being triggered, as they originate from the middle section of our brain that is not under conscious control.

However, when people are given education on emotions and skills for how to work with them, they can begin to feel better. Frank healed his stomach by allowing himself to feel sad. He mourned the loss about not getting his fancy car. He validated his angry feelings after learning they were natural. And he learned specific skills to release his anger in ways that were healthy and not destructive to himself or others. He practiced self-compassion in response to his humiliation, and that decreased, too. Once he experienced all of his feelings, they passed, as core emotions do when they are deeply felt in the body. By working with his emotions, he changed the firing pattern of his vagus nerve and healed his stomach pain.

My clients tend to avoid painful or conflicting emotions in their lives—just as most of us do, because that’s what we were taught. But to heal the mind, we need to experience the emotions that go with our stories, and those are located in the body. When we are taught about the automatic nature of emotions and learn to identify and work with the core emotions beneath our anxiety, we feel and function better.

Hilary Jacobs Hendel is the author of It’s Not Always Depression.

How do you build a career you truly love? One where you’re not only paid well, but you’re doing work that matters?

Top Performer will show you how. Building on Cal Newport’s best-selling book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, the course guides you through an 8-week process of deeply understanding your career path and identifying the specific changes you can make that will bring big results. The course has served over 5000 students from all career stages and professions, helping them become top performers.

Normally, sessions for Top Performer are only held once per year. However, those on the waiting list get more frequent opportunities to join. Add your name to the list, and we’ll also send you a free lesson series you can start using right away to build a better career.

Thanks,
-Cal and Scott

Join the waiting list now:

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

Logan: “Fundamentally changed how I think about building a meaningful career.”

“If you’re considering this course, you get that our economy demands challenging, often hard-to-identify skills that enable valuable new contributions. Not only did the course give me tools for seeing and building those types of skills, it fundamentally changed how I think about building a meaningful career.”

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

Kittie: “This is the stuff they never teach you in school, but could seriously be the backbone to your success in career and life!”

“I managed to successfully implement a writing schedule that required 3-4 hours of undistracted deep work. It helped me finish a short story that I probably would’ve abandoned half way, if not for the rule of forcing myself to finish a project despite the imperfections.

This is the stuff they never teach you in school, but could seriously be the backbone to your success (in career, life, etc)! I wish I had a course like this to structure my work and career-searching processes at earlier points in my life, like in high school, college, and the post-graduation years. If you’re someone who has frequently abandoned incomplete projects or chased dead end internships (or job opportunities), the principles taught in this course could turn that around and add structure to career floundering that many people go through.”

How to be so good they can`t ignore you

Mark: “Top performer gave me a template that I can lay at any stage of my career and be confident that I am applying myself at my best.”

Applying the expert interview method, Mark interviewed past successful applicants of the Irish Research Council scholarship program. After taking Top Performer, he has now received a funding for his PhD program.

It happens to the best of us. We find ourselves completely undone by someone else’s behavior. It could be anything from someone cutting you off in traffic to your spouse cheating on you. Mild to severe, other people’s actions can turn our world upside down.

I recently let myself get all caught up in someone else’s drama. My boyfriend’s daughter was behaving in some ways I found unacceptable. He was trying to rein her in; she was acting out more and more; we all went to counseling (I can’t tell you how many arguments, sleepless nights, and general fury on my part all this caused). Suddenly, she decided to move in with her mother. As soon as she moved, poof – there was peace on earth. No more drama, angst, or fury. Is she still doing all the stuff we had problems with? I’m sure. But now it’s not my issue. And you know what? It never was.

Most of the things that you get upset about aren’t your issues. The driver who cut you off? Their driving is not your issue. All you need to worry about is getting safely to your destination. That lazy co-worker who isn’t doing their share of the work? Not your issue. All you need to do is focus on your own good work. Your cheating spouse? Not your issue. Your issue is why you would stay with someone who is cheating on you.

Some tips to help with this:

1. Realize you cannot control other people. They are going to do the crazy, stupid, incorrect things they are going to do. You can’t force them to do anything else. You can’t force someone to stop being lazy or lying to you or cheating on you. The only person you can control is you. You get to decide how much you’re going to let this person’s behavior impact you. Your worrying, obsessing, venting, etc. has zero impact on them – and only hurts you.

2. You have three choices – change your thinking, change your behavior, or do nothing. My boyfriend is not a planner – it’s just not his way. This used to drive me completely insane. I would constantly argue the importance of planning – that if you failed to plan, you planned to fail. I was quick to point out occasions where his lack of planning cost him (I’m such a charmer!). He finally told me that if I liked planning so much, I could just plan everything and he would gladly go along. I finally accepted that I was never going to change him. I can either live with no plan (changing how I think about planning), make the plan myself (changing my behavior), find a new boyfriend (also changing my behavior) or just keep complaining about it. But I’ll never make him a planner.

3. Examine your role in the behavior. Did the driver ahead of you cut you off because you just started talking on your cell and slowed 20 MPH? Did your teenager lie to you because the last time he told you the truth he was grounded? Is your spouse cheating because you are on the road 358 days a year? I’m not condoning any of the behaviors – I’m just asking you to look at the only person you can control – you. Maybe you are playing a role and not even realizing it.

4. But realize it may have absolutely nothing to do with you. I hate to say it, but this is more often the case. We are all the center of our own universes. Many times we think people are doing things because of us or to us and they aren’t. The driver may not have even seen you. Your teenager may lie just because he doesn’t want to be embarrassed. Your spouse may be cheating for the thrill of it and still loves you (although they have a crummy way of showing it).

5. Don’t inadvertently enable the behavior. Some people engage in their crazy behavior because the people around them encourage it. If your spouse cheats on you, and you take them back and treat them better than before, can you blame them if they cheat again? If your friend “borrows” money from you, and never repays it and you lend them more, can you blame them if they never repay that loan either? I love Maya Angelou’s advice, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” I know you don’t think you’re enabling, you think you’re helping. You think they will behave differently this time, that perhaps your love or kindness will change them. I say to you – why are you trying to control them still? Trying to change someone is trying to control them.

6. Let it go. Think of whoever drives you crazy right now. Get worked up – think of how they lie to you or how they don’t do their share or how selfish they are – whatever it is they are doing that drives you crazy. Assume they will never change. Ever. Can you just let it go? Is it really a minor thing you’ve been focusing on, making it major? In the big scheme of things, my boyfriend’s nonplanning is just not that big a deal. It’s offset by his kindness, patience, and wonderful good humor. Can you focus on the good more than the bad?

7. Let them go. Some behavior you just can’t let go of. Sometimes there’s not enough good to offset the bad. The best thing to do may be to let go of the relationship. Why are you staying with someone who causes you so much upset and pain? If you can’t let go of the relationship (say it’s a co-worker), can you let go of thinking so much about them? I bet they aren’t spending so much time thinking about you.

8. Get help. Can’t let it go or them? Talk with a professional counselor – life is too short for all this drama.

9. What about kids? Obviously when kids are little, you have to control them. They might think running into traffic is a good idea and you should probably put a stop to that. But as they get older, you’ll find that you need to alter your behavior to impact theirs. Maybe they start to dress inappropriately. You have several options – you can check out current fashion before you freak; you can yell and tell them they’re not going out like that (giving credibility to their attempt at rebellion); you can cut off the clothing allowance (controlling your behavior not theirs); or you can ignore it, knowing that sooner or later they will be embarrassed just like the rest of us and will fall in line. And if you are sharing clothing with your children, know that the rest of us are trying to let it go.

The bottom line is that you can’t let the behavior of others steal your joy. But if you do, it’s your choice. Focus on being the best and happiest that you can be – that’s where your energy should go. Set the best example you can and spend time and energy on people who lift you higher. And remember, somewhere there’s someone out there who thinks YOU need to change! Ha!