Embrace Your Voice: Ignore the Naysayers and Fuel Your Journey

Embrace Your Voice: Ignore the Naysayers and Fuel Your Journey

I tell you what, these digital assistants nowadays are pretty incredible. Whether you're an Alexa person, a Google person, Siri, or Microsoft's new one, Copilot, they all have their pros and cons. My brother sent me a video recently where my niece and nephew, who use Google at home, asked Google Assistant, "Who is Baylor Barbee?" The answer Google gave was so profound you would have thought I paid Google to write it. I was like, "Wow, that's incredible. I wonder where they pulled that information from."

So, I ran home and asked Alexa, "Who is Baylor Barbee?" Alexa was like, "I have no idea who he is." I was so offended that I used Microsoft's new Copilot, which had a great answer. And I was thinking about it: All these great big companies with all these great AI digital assistants know me, and all I could think about was the one that didn't. Then I had to ask myself, "Why is it, Baylor, that you care that a robot does not know who you are? Why are you spending your energy thinking about that one thing that does not support you when you have so many others that do?"

Focus on Who You Are

Why don't you just take pride in the fact that you know who you are? So many of us are in that same position. We're doing great at our job, doing great in life. A lot of people support us, believe in us, and see our value. But all we think about is that one person or robot that doesn't either know us, believe in us, or has something negative to say, and we let that determine our worth.

Why was I spending time thinking about what I need to do to impress Alexa? Why are you spending time trying to figure out who you need to impress? Certain people will never support you simply because if they did and you were to win, you would be above where they're at. If they have a mindset like that, you're already above them. But we have to get out of that mindset, right? If we want to really excel, we have to be sure that the voice we're listening to is our voice.

Be True to Your Own Voice

I'm not saying don't get advice. I'm not saying don't have mentors. I am saying, be sure that the people you listen to are people who are trying to help you get to your destination, people who are trying to steer you in the right manner, not people who are trying to sink your boat.

Are you a product of what you say you are? Or are you a product of what they say you are? Are you going through life based on what you know in your heart to be true, who you know in your heart to be true? Or are you going through life taking career paths or going after opportunities that other people say, "Hey, this is what you need to be doing. This is who you should be. This is how you should be it"?

So many of us in the areas where we're struggling are listening to the wrong voices. Since we're confused ourselves, we listen to other people, but we don't vet those people. Think about this: Do you think LeBron James or whoever your favorite NBA basketball player is gets shooting tips from someone who rides horses? Probably not. Why? Because they're not in the same realm. Similarly, we need to quit getting advice from people who haven't even been in our shoes, couldn't even be in our shoes, and couldn't tell us how to get to where we want to go. Be sure the voice you're listening to is your own voice.

Excel in Your Strengths

My friends and I are Xbox people, and we play NBA 2K. When creating your character, you get a set number of points to build your character up. You can allocate them to different attributes like dunks, vertical speed, ball handling, passing, defense, rebounds, blocks, etc. But here's the thing: You can't just max out all of them. You have a finite number of points to build your character to be the best at whatever you want to excel in.

As a team, we talk about it to ensure we're not stacking all our points in the same categories. We want a balanced team. In life, you have limited energy and time, so you have a finite amount of those little blocks. The problem is, so many of us don't take inventory of what we're good at. We try to be balanced people, but I hate that. In NBA 2K, if you're balanced on everything, your character doesn't stand out in anything. In life, if you're worried about being a little bit good at a lot of things, you'll never excel at anything.

Be Great at Something

Spend time being great at something. Don't worry about being great at everything. The things you're not good at are what your naysayers and haters will focus on anyway. But people want to be around those who excel. Excel in one thing, excel in something. I'm not impressed by people who tell me all the different things they can do. I want to know, what are you known for? You can only be known for something if you put your energy into it.

If you are known for something and you're great at it, you don't have to worry about what others say because you know you're great at that one thing. If you can learn to stop listening to the voices of others, especially those who don't have your best interest at heart, and focus your limited time and resources on being the best at something, you'll find focus in your life.

Be Both the Anchor and the Sail

At the end of the day, it's still a journey. If I had to ask you, would you rather be the anchor or the sail on this ship of life? The answer should be both. You need to be an anchor, steadfast in your values, and a sail, driving yourself forward.

You have the capacity inside you. Quit listening to what everybody else says about what you can't do. Those people weren't with you when you were figuring it out, when you were stressed, and when you were working on your skills. If they weren't with you when you were building it, how could they tell you how to build it?

Have a great day. Let's continue to make it happen and make them feel you.

Shark Theory

For inspired apparel, check out Shark Theory Apparel. Dive deeper into my insights with my books. Tune into more episodes of the Shark Theory podcast. Want to book me for a speaking engagement? Book Baylor Barbee for your next event.

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