I had a nice little chat with two different friends yesterday. I was detailing the horrors of the end of the school year, and lamenting that I wasn’t as far along with my real estate classes as I would like. I was, of course, expecting the sympathy to start rolling in–HA. I should have known better.
They both, in so many words, said “Sounds like a bunch of excuses.”
This, obviously, was the exact opposite of what I was wanting to hear. Aw man, that sucks! Yeah, you definitely have your plate full, I wouldn’t be that far along either. That is completely understandable. THAT’S what I wanted to rain down upon my ears.
But instead, I got “quit slacking”. “It all comes down to you.” “Sounds like you aren’t working hard enough.” So that was cool. *insert sarcasm*
But the most annoying part…the part that sucks….the part that I hated to admit was:
They were right.
I DIDN’T actually have any excuses. I legitimately was kind of being a slacker. And as much as I like to think of myself as a driven person who won’t quit until success is reached, I kinda sorta have to admit that lately, that hasn’t been the case.
“You are right”. Those three words can cause even the most seasoned life veteran to cough and stutter before spitting them out.
No one likes to hear that they are wrong. They especially don’t like to learn that they’re wrong in a direct, straight-to-the-point matter. With witnesses. And it SUCKS to have to swallow your pride and admit your downfalls to yourself, much less to the person casually pointing them out.
I know that if I were to have talked to any of my other friends, I would have gotten what I wanted-soothing words of affirmation that would assure me that there was nothing wrong with what I was doing, and I should just keep on keeping on.
And yet, I feel that this would have been a disservice to me. We don’t need people to encourage us to keep curling the 5 lb weights that obviously are a better fit for the tiny 80 year old woman in Silver Sneakers class. We need people who are going to yell in our face as we struggle to put up the 20 lb shoulder press, and encourage you to go for that last rep before our arms fall, exhausted, but our pride swells, elated.
Of course, this last metaphor would be a lot more effective if you’re being yelled at by a 220 lb jacked trainer rather than your 115 lb friend who loves Zumba and Yoga. Likewise, we need to have those friends in our lives who are living what they push us to do.
The two friends who called me on my shit? Both male. Both extremely hard-working. Both putting in long hours towards their differing goals, so much so that most people would think them slightly nutty. Both headstrong, very smart, and driven from within to succeed.
So yes, it was extremely annoying to have to admit that they were right. But I would rather have friends who push me to my breaking point and help me reach beyond rather than ‘friends’ who are content floating down the Lazy River.
“You are right” are the three most annoying words in the English language. But they are also the most necessary words to hear in order to move forward with your life and your goals. If you never feel the need to admit that you were wrong about something, then you have never felt the impact of growth.
Growing. Changing. Evolving. These are all symptoms of realizing that we do not know everything, and we are better than our excuses and previous mindsets. If the people that you surround yourself with have never ever made you say those annoying words, than you need to find yourself some other friends and mentors.
Flourishing as a person is not easy. But it is infinitely better to go through the pain of mental reorganization and realization of temporary failure than it is to skip blithely along with the mindset of your youth unchallenged.
“You are right” is annoying only because of our pride. Set aside your ego, and those words become words of discovery, words of new beginnings, and words of positive change.
In today’s society, we have become so accustomed to others patting us on the back with a ‘there there’ and moving on that we instantly become offended when people try to point out how we could improve. Straight-shooters are seen as assholes. Individuals who keep it real are snubbed.
But stop and think about it. Who really cares about you? The person who nods their head and agrees externally while rolling their eyes and shaking their head on the inside? Or the person who stops you in your tracks and says ‘wait a minute dude, you’re selling yourself short’. I know who I’d want on my team.
So challenge yourself to truly see what you are. Call yourself on your own shit. If you actually care about the people around you, be (wo)man enough to call them out when they aren’t serving themselves well. The quick slice of a knife always heals faster and less ugly than the slow degradation of flesh. And the sting of reality is substantially better than the suffocating cloud of self-deception.
Embrace the annoyance. Relish the feeling of those words on your tongue. Love the effect of pushing yourself to constantly be more. At the end of the day, the moment of irritation and ego deflation will fade away in the bright light of fulfillment, and you will thank god that someone took the time to call you out.