In the second grade, they asked us what we wanted to be.
I said I wanted to be a ball player and they laughed.
In the eighth grade, they asked the same question, and I said a ball player and they laughed a little more.
By the eleventh grade, no one was laughing.
These are the words of former baseball great Johnny Bench.
This could have very well been said by someone you know…even you.
Obviously, you’re most likely not a baseball player…but you do have goals…dreams of what you would love to do…a vision of how you want your life to be.
And if you’ve ever told someone what those are…at some point…you most likely had someone who laughed at you…said you were crazy…told you to “get real”…and in all likelihood said “get a job.”
In other words…
These people did not take you seriously…at first.
Who were these people?
Where were you at?
And when this happened what did you do?
This brings up the question…
What do you do when people don’t take you seriously?
1. Giggles and kids
It typically begins when you start elementary school. At some point you’ll be doing something…or saying something…or declaring in some way what you’d love to do.
And what happens?
You get the other kids…and sometimes even the teachers…laughing at you and thinking it’s some kind of joke.
It may not be obvious as outright laughing. It can also be the giggles that kids give.
Then over time those giggles and laughter from the kids turns into being “ignored” as an adult.
In either case it still has to do with others not taking you seriously.
So what can you do about this?
Whether you’re a kid still in school…or an adult…it begins with being aware and making it a point to consistently pay attention to this…
One…no matter what you do in life you’ll always get both sides equally.
That is, the supports and challenges, the praise and criticism, people liking and disliking you, and people paying attention and not paying attention to you. There’s no escaping this.
Two…whatever it is that you’d love to do…no matter how outrageous it may seem now…if it’s something you truly want, you’ll do whatever it takes, travel any distance, and pay whatever price to achieve it.
And you’ll embrace both sides equally along the way.
When people do ignore you and not take you seriously, you’ll know that as one person ignores and isn’t taking you seriously…another person is paying attention to you and taking you seriously.
2. Cocky or Rocky
Here’s what else Johnny Bench said in his quote:
“There are too many false things in the world, and I don’t want to be a part of them. If you say what you think, you’re called cocky or conceited.
But if you have an objective in life, you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up and say it.”
This is one of the more common reasons why people don’t speak up and say what it is they truly want.
As a result they’ll either stay quiet or just say, “I have no idea what I want to do with my life.”
Then you have the flip side of this…the people who are cocky, “puffed up”, and are bragging about themselves.
So how do you strike the healthy balance?
Because…believe it or not…it is vital that you do have a “healthy ego” along with a “non ego.”
It’s called being humble…in a confident way.
This reminds me of being “cocky” vs. Rocky.
“Cocky” being the typical ego centric mindset of “I’ve arrived”, “look at me.”
When I say Rocky, I’m referring to the Rocky character in the movie Rocky. The humble, yet confident person that knows he’s a good boxer…but was never given the chance…while having most people laugh at him thinking he’s a joke.
And it’s being confident in who you are…in what you’re doing…while being humble…and embracing both sides equally is what skyrockets you from being ignored to being someone that people start paying attention to and taking seriously.
As far as being confident is concerned…
Again, when you embrace both sides equally…and not worry about the so called “negative” people and situations you encounter…you’ll remain confident because you won’t let either side…the so called “positive” or “negative” get to you.
You’ll be poised and focus.
At this point is when you’ll get people taking you seriously.
There’s still another incredibly important part involved…
3. Heartfelt craziness
Earlier you saw this other quote from Johnny Bench…
“But if you have an objective in life, you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up and say it.”
This leads to one of my own favorite quotes…
“The next time someone says that you’re crazy and out of your mind, tell them thank you and say, “when I’m out of my mind I’m in my heart which is the most powerful and authentic place to be.”
I call this heartfelt craziness.
And it’s certainly one of the “tipping points” you’ll experience when people don’t take you seriously.
Because it allows you to stand up for yourself…what you believe in…and it’s your driving force to stay persistent without giving up.
As a result…
People will start taking you seriously and listen to what you have to offer.
Now granted you’ll still get some people who will ignore you no matter what you do.
You’ll have new people coming into your life that do take you seriously…
And you’ll have more of those people as well.
If you want 1000 people liking and support you…expect 1000 people disliking and challenging you.
The same thing is true when it comes to people taking you seriously…
If you want 5000 people taking you seriously…be prepared and expect 5000 people to not take you seriously.
Yes, it sounds strange and goes against the so called “conventional wisdom” you’ll hear from most people…
Yet, this is one of the true secrets that’s involved in having the levels of success you want…to of course include wanting people to take you seriously.
And just know this…
It all begins by taking yourself seriously…in a healthy and fun way…
And this includes acknowledging the magnificence and brilliance of who you are.
Because when you do…
You’ll value yourself more…
People will value you…
And you’ll be taken seriously for the special person you are and all that you contribute to the world.