11/14/2014 01:23 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Does Everybody Think You're Crazy?


One typically frantic yet tedious day, I found myself running around, exhausted and unhappy when suddenly I realized I had been waiting for someone to get me out of this mess.

I was hoping that some kind of permission slip would magically arrive with fancy, embossed lettering that read, "I give you permission to stop doing what you hate right now, and go for what you want."

Do you ever feel like you're gritting your teeth and subconsciously waiting for the "okay" so you can finally do what you want with your precious life?

To walk out of the door and slam it behind you?
To say, "No, thanks! Not me!"
To hand in your resignation?
To leave it all behind?
To say, "Yes please, more delicious freedom, quiet, time, peace, passion, love, excitement or fun!"
To create that business, go back to school, change careers, or leave that mean-spirited partner?

And what is holding you back?

Are you worried everybody will think you are crazy?

When I read about Martha Beck's concept of the "Everybody," I was stunned.
We all have an "Everybody" and my "Everybody" is different then yours.

It's the "Everybody" that stops us dead in our tracks from going for what we want and we often give it power by thinking: "If I do this, Everybody will think I am_______. Fill in the blank with "stupid, cray cray, irresponsible, selfish" or whatever else you are worrying about at 3 a.m.

The "Everybody" in our heads is often comprised of people we know well. Our passive-aggressive sister, our dismissive boss, our millionaire friend, and sometimes people we don't know or people who are currently dead.

These five or six people form our very own finger-wagging, eye-rolling shame committee ready to knock us down from our pretty little pedestals. It's our Everybody.

When we are able to identify who these dream stealers are, the voice of the Everybody becomes a mere curiosity.

The truth is, Everybody is too busy worrying about what Everybody thinks to even pay any attention to Everybody else.

Martha suggests replacing the Everybody in our overwrought minds with a group of people who love and support us, no matter what happens.

After all, if there are going to be invented voices in our heads they may as well be a smiling, cheerful crowd of supporters.

Funny enough in my own life, all the people who I thought would disapprove of me and my big dream came to me unprompted and said, "I think that's a good idea, why don't you do it?"

Then I realized it was just me holding up the wall. I was keeping myself from moving forward and I had no one to blame or shame me, and I never really did. My Everybody was a mirage.

When they removed my brain tumor a couple of years ago I seemed to have acquired a shiny set of cojones with it, which makes it much easier now for me to write my own permission slips and to help my clients do the same.

But I urge you not to wait for something terrifying and life threatening to remind you that this life is yours to do with what you will.

Because once you start living in a way that you love, you will be a much happier, more pleasant person to be around and I can pretty much guarantee Everybody will love you for it!

Mary Ann Johnstone is Martha Beck Certified Life Coach who loves helping clients break their own rules and create a life they love. You can find her at: