Don’t trust the naysayers!
No one knows your true limits.
We all have that friend or that family member that with some level of certainty tells us what is and what is not possible for us. There will always be someone that is going to tell you what is and is not possible. Some of them have the best intentions, they don’t want you to feel the pain of failure. It cuts like a serrated blade to the gut when someone crushes your dreams. Other people will tell you that what you want is not good enough, you can do better or what you want is not right for you.
So how do you break through the negativity and follow your true passion? How do you take negativity and instead of allowing it to crush you, use it as constructive criticism? How do you stay motivated in the face of naysayers?
Face your fear, ask the naysayer to explain their logic. If the naysayer said you cannot do something, you are not good enough or what you want is not good enough, your passion will never pay the bills or you are not strong enough to succeed. Go ahead and dig deeper. The best way to phrase the question is to ask what would it take for “me” to be good enough? What would it take for my passion to pay the bills? What makes someone strong enough to do it?
Dig deep, keep asking questions until the naysayer becomes frustrated and has no more answers.
Two things can come of digging deeper:
You might find that the naysayer has no great answers, they don’t know why they think you will fail or even why they told you that you are not good enough. They have no clue what it would take to succeed and therefore have no clue why you won’t. This in itself makes their statement unfounded and weak. Would you trust a doctor that knew nothing about your illness but prescribed medicine anyway? Would you trust a lawyer that gave you advice without being able to answer simple questions about the law? Would you accept advice from anyone that could not explain their logic and be able to back it up with solid facts?
On the other end of the spectrum you might find that the naysayer has a lot of constructive criticism for you. I have one of these naysayers in my life. They offer you a list of reasons why they said what they said and some of it rings so true it hurts! Don’t argue, don’t challenge, listen. Write down the constructive criticism either during the conversation or right after. You now have a list of possible actionable points that you might need to work on. Don’t be scared, take the advice and use it to become stronger. Sort through it and evaluate what it really means in terms of your success. If the advice is solid and you really want to succeed you can take the advice as a blessing! There on that sheet of paper you have a list of opportunities for self-improvement and for reaching your goals.
Don’t argue your point with a naysayer
This one comes as a surprise; when someone tells you that you cannot do something, you inevitably want to argue or run away and hide. This is your natural fight or flight response, resist it! This thing (goal) you want to achieve is not up for debate. You will waste energy and it is not an argument you need to win or lose. Asking the right questions is important but making your case is not. You are not on trial, this is your life and you don’t need to justify your choices to anyone. You do not need to explain why you want what you want. You do not need to explain why it is a great idea, you are after all not seeking approval right? We often fall into the trap of seeking approval, however, when it comes to your life – it is yours to live. Remember asking questions that lead to constructive criticism is not the same as arguing for or against your desires. Arguing your point is like asking permission to live your life on your terms. DON’T!
Find inspiration in other’s success.
Naysayers can deal a hefty blow to your motivation; counter balance it by researching and finding out more about people that have achieved that which you desire. Read biographies, seek out people that have already done what you want to do. I find that older people have a lot to offer in terms of inspiration; people love talking about their success and it is comforting to them that someone is willing to listen. If what you want to do has never been done then you must turn to biographies of people that have achieved the impossible. Try the Wright brothers, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Marie Curie the list of people that have done the impossible is actually a very long one, longer still is the list of people that have done things that had never been done before.