“If I ___________________(launch this product/ ship this offering/ start my business/ say no), EVERYONE will think I’m _________________(too big for my britches/ out of my league/ an idiot/ a loser/ a geek/ a failure).” So, best to not ______________(launch/ ship/ start/ say no). Right?

Hmm. I wonder.

Who is this EVERYONE of which we speak?

Let’s try this exercise* in clarity: A) Name 5 people who might actually think you launching/ shipping/ starting/ saying no is indeed the most idiotic/ lamest/ geekiest/ thing to do.

B) Now, name 5 people who fully support your desire to launch/ ship/ start/ say no so you can say yes.

Got them named? Great. Now. Looking at the names in groups A and B: who do you really like? Who do you really admire? Who’s got your back? Who do you trust? Who would you invite to a dinner party with your loved ones?

Noticing something? Noticing that you’re starting to care a little less what group A thinks? Noticing that they’re feeling a little less “real”…like somehow the work of your own saboteurs?

If you’re not there yet, and still jonesing for the elusive approval of group A, let me tell you some good and bad news about them.

The bad news: they don’t care. They’ve got their own navels to admire.

The good news: they don’t care. They’ve got their own navels to admire.

So now…what are you going to do? Heed your heart's call by getting out of your own way so you can launch/ ship/ say no so you can say yes? Yes, I thought as much. We’ll be here…cheering you from the sidelines with your supportive group B peeps.

Go on then…everyone’s waiting.

________________________________________ * Devotional props to Pam Slim for shedding light on this piece of brilliance from Martha Beck. Simple and powerful, as all bits of genius are.

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