How To Slay the Naysayers
(and Bust a Move)

by Craig McBreen · 31 comments · Breaking out, Creativity

How do you feel about being typecast?

You know, clichéd assumptions leading to a boilerplate, colorless you?

Maybe some jerkwad pigeonholes you, immediately.

Or you’re chalked up as one of “those” people.

And remember those all-to-familiar adjectives friends, family, and acquaintances have used to describe you?

I do. And guess what?

For years, I played the game. I either played the part to a tee or went too far against the grain to prove them wrong.

Both are recipes for a train wreck.

1. If you play a part. You’re a marionette. A patsy. A servant never true to yourself.

2. And trying to prove someone wrong is never, ever, not in any way, under any condition, a good reason to make a bold move. Trust me on this.

You? You’re as complex as they come, and don’t let them tell you otherwise. You can ignore or kindly tell them to piss off.

Just remember the immortal words of Tony Montana.

You are not here to simply please those in your space. They can’t define you, ever.

In life. In business. Wherever and whenever.


If you’re …

1. Engaged in the role-playing game, or;

2. Going against the grain, only to prove them wrong …

… you’re living an inauthentic life.

This was me. For most of my life, in fact.

You? You possess strange and wonderful skills.

And I imagine there’s even a little intensity and fire inside.

Yep. You know it.

People have made assumptions about you all along. So what? They always have and they always will, but they can never define you. Not in a bazillion years.

Thing is, you’ve done the same to yourself.

Am I correct?

I sure as hell have.

NOW I have two tasks for you to try:

1. The next time you interact with others, take a moment to play observer of your own actions.

I do this often. Why?

Well, the more you observe, the easier it is to step out of that role-playing game, and your true abilities start to become clearer. It also teaches you the power of silence.

There is true power in this exercise.

2. Think about the impetus for your next move. Every time.

Will you base your next steps on how you’ve operated in the past? How people define you? On how others have “it?”

Or, will you throw something against the almightily wall and see if it sticks? Your way?

You have my permission to go wild and be disruptive.

The two above? They’re more like habits you develop and tweak, daily.

The result?

You’ll stop following some old guidebook that is full of bullshit clichés and false assumptions.

And most importantly, you’ll choose your own way. Seize it!

Do me a few favors.

1. Stop defining yourself based on how you think others perceive you.

2. Refuse to be a servant to the past. Simply appreciate the lessons you’ve learned and move on.

3. Ignore the status quo and disrupt daily.

After all, you only have one life and it is YOUR life.

Oh, now I see that fire burning within.

I guess it truly is time to bust a move.

What say you?

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Ralph November 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Craig, between you and Adam Toporek my motivational Monday’s are tied up in a neat bow (sorry for the holiday reference).

You bring up some important points. Being self-aware without ego is an admirable trait and leaving the safety of the herd is the catalyst for expressive individuality.

Loved this post. I have so much more but I have to jet. Cheers!
Ralph recently posted..How does technology affect how you use, experience or interact with a place?My Profile


Craig McBreen November 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Hi Ralph,

Will have to head over to Adam’s now.

Don’t you love Motivational Monday’s? :) Glad you enjoyed and cheers to a great week!


Ralph November 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

“Refuse to be a servant to the past. Simply appreciate the lessons you’ve learned and move on.”

I friggin’ LOVE that line.

I had to come back today just to say that and give you props on writing those words. Move on. For heavens sake that is SO HARD sometimes.
Ralph recently posted..November 2012 Read This Stuff! : Are there are monsters under your bed?My Profile


Craig McBreen November 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Well, thanks! Appreciate you coming back to let me know. Move on!


Kaarina Dillabough November 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I’ve got a freakin’ bonfire inside of me, am happy to colour outside the lines and disrupt (in a constructive way, of course;), I seize every day (even the crappy ones) and am defined by my thoughts and beliefs, not others. To quote a good friend of ours:, and just sayin’ Cheers! Kaarina
Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..What is a CoachMentor and What’s the Benefit of Working with one?My Profile


Craig McBreen November 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Hi Kaarina,

Glad to hear that! And I salute people who like to colour outside the lines and disrupt constructively. I’m seizing today, and it is a Monday after our long Thanksgiving weekend. Time to roll!

Cheers to seizing the day and not letting others define us! Have a good one.


Rob Skidmore November 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Love it Craig!

I always feel empowered after I read your stuff. I feel like I want to tackle something or break something – like the status quo. :-)
Rob Skidmore recently posted..What HGTV Taught Me About Blog PostsMy Profile


Craig McBreen November 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Hi Rob,

Glad you love it.

I love your comment! As long as we’re talking figuratively, I’m on board … smash away ;)


Mark November 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Some inspiring words for this Monday morning, Craig… : )

I’m with Rob, I think I’m going to tackle or break something – haha!

Happy holiday’s, sir!


Craig McBreen November 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Hi Mark,

Happy Holidays to you! Get busy, but let’s not get too destructive ;)

Hope you have a great week, Mark. Thanks!


Peter Sterlacci November 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Hey Craig. Awesome post. I agree with you completely about not living your life based on how you think other’s perceive you as this is based on assumption. Yet knowing how other’s perceive us is a very powerful source and foundation of how we are actually communicating and demonstrating our personal brand; our promise of value. Likewise if we see ourselves as one way, in other words, we define our authentic value as “x” but other’s do not see this “x” value it simply means we are not actually living and breathing this “x” value to the degree it is noticed by those around us. So I tell people to get feedback on how you are seen and look for the gaps and alignment in how you see yourself.
Thanks as always for your words to live by!


Craig McBreen November 27, 2012 at 2:35 am

Hey Peter,

Thanks! Great points.

Your point is a good one. I would equate it to some type of barrier and learning to soften the wall between you and the world often translates to amazing progress for people. Kind of like letting that authentic you shine, eh? Part of the entire process might be shedding that skin you’ve built up for years.

I also think many are stuck playing roles, although they might not even know it. Acquaintances, family, etc. sometimes love to categorize and I don’t think people fit into nice, little boxes.

Also regarding your points, it must be fascinating comparing and contrasting the differences in American and Japanese culture, and how certain cultural pressures complicate all this!


Mary Stephenson November 27, 2012 at 12:45 am

Hi Craig

I have constantly fought against not being like my parents. But the cruel joke is I am very much like they were in certain ways. Some of the way they were was a good thing, but some was not so wonderful a thing to copy. Not saying they were a bad influence but you know just hate being a clone of someone! So I kind of lived up to my father’s phrase of “bite the hand that feeds you”. Where as my sister, who talked far too much was the good loving daughter.

The rebel in me has always not conformed to what I should do and with this you would think I was really brave and fearless. Actually, quite the opposite. I would rather avoid people than deal with confrontation. Believing in myself has always been a struggle, but I am getting a whole lot better at it.

Moved away from family when I was 18 and after I got married we moved away from husband’s family when I was 24. We didn’t look back and glad we made the move. Talk about upsetting family at the time. We miss them and visit occasionally but have no desire to return. When you are around family that expect you to be a certain way it can be challenging when you just don’t want to do or be what they want.

As I told my sister in-law after I got off the phone with her the last time…there is a lot you don’t know. It upset her, she no longer had control.

Great post.

Mary Stephenson recently posted..Reflections of Imperfection?My Profile


Craig McBreen November 27, 2012 at 2:45 am

Hi Mary,

Oh, Man. Me too ;) I think we all do that to some extent. Very interesting, isn’t it? I guess it is about not wanting to be a clone of someone.

Well, I was a master at avoiding confrontation for years. One of the ways I learned how to deal with this effectively was being a business owner. Now, client confrontations are another issue entirely, but there were many lessons about being up front and confronting things early on, that’s for sure.

But, glad you’re getting a whole lot better at dealing with it. We are all works in progress.

Sounds like moving away might have been one of the best things you could have done. Family can be a mighty struggle and parents and siblings can certainly be set in their ways ;) Sometimes it’s best to just get away.

Thanks for the comments.


Carolyn @ Wonder of Tech November 27, 2012 at 2:08 am

Hi Craig, Excellent points. You’re right, so many people just go along in life fitting the mold and not breaking out of it. Maybe because I’m left-handed or maybe because I keep getting into male-dominated fields, but I never have felt comfortable inside a mold.

Isn’t that one of the great things about blogging? We can be ourselves and not worry about fitting within anyone’s pre-conceived notions of what our blogs should look like!
Carolyn @ Wonder of Tech recently posted..Which Tablet is Right for You?My Profile


Craig McBreen November 27, 2012 at 2:52 am

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks, I did it for years and I know many are stuck in this kind of rut.

You lefties … ;) I guess trying to fit into a right-handed world is not an option anyway. You just have to make it, your way. Good for ya, opening up those male dominated fields too, some fields need a little shaking up, and some need some common sense ;)

Yes, indeed! You’re blog should shout “you!” Thanks for that. Makes me realize why I do this.

Thanks for stopping in.


Sheila Bergquist November 27, 2012 at 10:19 am

Great advice. I’ve realized that one of the things I like about being older is that I don’t care what other people think anymore…or not as much as I once did. I am who I am and if you like me, great. If not, well, that’s great too. That’s not to say I don’t still treat people with respect and mind my manners, but if they still don’t like me, for whatever reason, that’s their problem. I can shrug it off and move on…it’s very freeing.
We all have to be ourselves. Loved this post!
Sheila Bergquist recently posted..Stress Relief: Your Kitty Has the AnswerMy Profile


Craig McBreen November 27, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Hi Sheila,

Thanks! I think you’re right. The older you get the less you care. So true.

“I am who I am and if you like me, great. If not, well, that’s great too. ”
–Ha ha, yes! ;)

And yes, it’s about letting it go and moving on. Amen! Thanks for stopping in!


Jacque Raine November 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

Too Good to be True! I love your thoughts! Realistic, Cool and Reflective. These are some of the traits that we sometimes don’t bother much as we just take it lightly. When I read this, I can’t helped but nod.
Jacque Raine recently posted..Famous Gettysburg College AlumniMy Profile


Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 12:59 am


Thank you. Thank you!

I’m so glad you liked it, and nodded alone. Appreciate the visit!


Josh November 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Hi Craig,

My paternal grandfather wasn’t much for small talk. He would do it when necessary, but I have many memories of just sitting with him and my father.

Heck, some of my favorite memories involve the three of us doing nothing but being quiet together. What it taught me was to learn how to be comfortable with myself and how to listen to what was going on around me.

Silence is really powerful and when you look inward it is a great tool for figuring out what you want to do with yourself.

I really like the message here. Change can be such a good thing if we focus and let it happen.
Josh recently posted..What I Learned From Richard Nixon’s SpeechwriterMy Profile


Craig McBreen November 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Hi Josh,

I think our Grandfathers were similar. Mine was quiet until someone brought up politics, then it was all over.

Silence is indeed powerful and I love what you wrote on that topic over at your place.

Thanks and so glad you enjoyed!


Joe November 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm

“Refuse to be a servant to the past”? Oooh I don’t know if I can do that, you know how much I love living in the past… :)

No scratch that, I don’t want to live there, just chalk up the occasional visit. I spent a long time living according to the perceptions of others, but I’m mostly over that now. That’s what climbing near 50 and the wisdom that comes with it does for you.

Nicely done, sir!
Joe recently posted..Tougher Than The RestMy Profile


Craig McBreen November 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Hey Joe,

Ha ha, yes ;) I like chalking up the occasional visit too, as long as I don’t stay too long.

Yes, if nothing else, edging towards 50 means you’re a wiser man.



Jill Tooley November 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Yeah! I refuse to be a slave to cliches and a servant to the past!

Your posts have a tendency to pump me up for anything that comes my way. Thanks for that. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go bust a move.
Jill Tooley recently posted..The Pitfalls of Relying on Brand Fandom: Part 1My Profile


Craig McBreen November 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Hi Jill,

Bravo! Glad I’ve amped-up a few souls.

So glad you’re busting a move too! Keep on a movin’ and thanks for stopping in!


Rudee February 6, 2013 at 7:28 am

Great article and I agree with you. With have a tendency to go along with the main stream as we were taught at an early age to be seen and not heard. Because I am older is that I don’t care what other people think anymore. I try not to hurt anyone, but if you think like me oh well, your lost. When I started my business it was unheard of to sell over the internet. I was told I was nuts and it wouldn’t work. So I think I like the idea of being nuts, as I guess now there are a lot of nuts out their selling on the internet the same things I do. What a concept.


Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Hey Rudee,

Thank you! I’m caring less and less about what others think of me. That’s good, eh?

Hey, I like nuts. In fact I’ve been friends with many ;) Funny how the nutty peeps are the ones that usually make things happen. I think you’ve heard this before: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. :)


Rudee February 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Hey, I love it. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. That is soooooooo true.


Craig McBreen February 7, 2013 at 7:31 am

No only if I had come up with that … ;)


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