by Yann Girard — Get free updates of new posts hereTweet
These days a lot of people talk about agents of change. A lot of people call themselves agents of change. Agents of change are great. They help us to rethink the now, see the world from a different perspective and they tear down existing barriers.
Unfortunately there are not enough agents of change. This world needs more of these kinds of people. The world is still ruled by another category of agents. A category that barely anyone ever talks about. But they are everywhere.
They are the majority of the people you meet on the streets. They make up the majority of the people you interact with in your daily life. Most of your colleagues belong to this group. Most of the people in higher management positions belong to this group.
They belong to a group that I’d like to call “agents of the status quo”.
These are people that just love the things how they are. They don’t like change. They don’t really like new things. They are afraid of them. They are very skeptical if you tell them about that new idea. They try to find flaws and drawbacks in everything new you tell them about.
But even more importantly they are afraid of becoming obsolete, of being replaced by new things. And they tend to hold on to the things they already have. They are afraid of losing things.
I could go on with this forever but I guess you know what I’m talking about.
To put it in a nutshell: they’re human beings. And that’s why they are everywhere and you constantly have to deal with them if you want to shake things up and initiate change.
Because I've done it wrong so many times and have seen so many people doing it wrong over and over again, here are three ways of dealing with these so called agents of the status quo that try to reject everything new:
1) You completely ignore them and continue as if nothing ever happened.
2) You start to believe that you suck, you stop trying and then you give up.
3) You listen to them, try to find out what you can do differently, learn from the rejection and try to improve your game.
Obviously the first two ones never really work.
Neglecting any sort of feedback from gatekeepers and pushing things forward as if nothing ever happened is not such a good idea. These so called agents of the status quo have usually already seen and successfully rejected thousands of people just like you and me.
So they really know what they are talking about. And they have this position as gatekeepers because of a single reason. They are good at rejecting people like you and me. That’s their job. They know how to kill your idea, your vibe or your motivation within seconds.
They will find every single drawback or loophole in your idea. They will find things you would never ever have thought of in a hundred years. Gosh I hate them! But completely rejecting and ignoring their "experienced rejections" is just plain stupid and won’t get you anywhere.
So most of the times their feedback looks like and sounds like you're completely stupid and suck big time. You usually feel exhausted, upset and feel like giving up after having talked to an agent of the status quo.
You know what I'm talking about, don't you? You might even have that one picture or this one discussion with this one guy or girl in your head and you're like I hate that guy/girl. They always kill my vibe!
But believing that you suck and quitting just because someone told you that you suck is never a good solution. Even though people telling you that you are wrong might be true, it's never the case that you are 100% wrong.
You might be only 10% wrong but that's what they are focusing on and that's what makes you feel like you're a complete dumb ass and get everything wrong. You forget about the 90% you got right. But you shouldn't quit anything you got 90% right!
So what you should do instead of ignoring their feedback or giving up is to listen to their feedback, take their points into consideration, try to learn from their feedback and improve whatever you are working on. Try to get the remaining 10% right.
Try to improve that product you were trying to sell, that book you just wrote, that CV you currently have, that bad thing people told you about you're constantly doing or whatever.
And then pitch it again to a new agent of status quo. See what new objections they come up with. Do the same thing over and over again. But don’t see the agents of the status quo as your enemies. Their main task is not to get you down (even though you might feel like it).
They are here to help you improve the things you're working on. You should see them as your allies and not as your enemies.
They'll help you in the fight for convincing as many people as possible to buy your products, hire you, fall in love with you or whatever. They are the ones that will truly and deeply help you to improve whatever you’re currently working on.
They are your true agents of change.
The people that say yes to you and your offerings all the time won’t help you at all. They won't help you to get the remaining 10% right. So instead try to find the people that say no all the time, start listening to them and get better every single day…