How to Deal With the Naysayers - Think Deep

How to Deal With the Naysayers

It’s bound to happen sooner or later in our lives. It’s something that we will ALL encounter when we have an idea, a vision, a path we want to take in our lives and that is the introduction of the naysayer – the skeptic, the critic, the person full of negativity who manages somehow to suck out all the new fresh hope and energy from our dreams.

What prompts them to do so?

There are many reasons. Some are out of genuine concern from those around you who care about you, who don’t want to see you go through all the trials and tribulations, some out of fear that you might actually fulfill your dreams and in the process, make them question their own choices in life, and some just because they are negative minded by nature. So how to you deal with all this when it inevitably arises?

First off, it’s just to prevent it from the very beginning by being VERY selective who you tell your plans to. Be warned that the majority of people out there will go into naysayer mode automatically. It’s far easier to criticize, to be negative, to step on that budding flower of something that will take a lot of work, something that might require you to go down an unbeaten path, a path that’s full of uncertainty and deemed as not “safe” by the consensus of the majority in general.

It might involve starting a new business, choosing an unorthodox career, deciding to go on a new adventure when you should be doing x, y, and z at your age as determined by the timeline construed by society. It’s because of the mass influence of the naysayers that few people ever do manage to go down the unbeaten path and to do anything with their lives other than the ordinary. It’s better to not put yourself in a position where you become overwhelmed by the inevitable negativity by telling others of your plans. In fact, I would recommend that you don’t tell anyone – that is at first.

If you have an idea, just an idea, keep it to yourself for now. You don’t have to announce it to the world yet. Let it stew and simmer in your mind. Lose yourself in your imagination and dream what could be. Then, get realistic about it by doing your own personal research to see if it’s something you can really do. When you get more “hard” evidence that this is something that you can actually do, that’s when you start to build “roots” and it becomes something that can’t be easily snuffed out by those around you.

When people immediately tell others about their new and exciting plans for their life, “energy” seems to get lost in the process – that is, the energy of actually implementing the plans. The cat is out of the bag and the energy that was bottled up is let loose and the plans once viewed as exciting tend to become “flat” in a sense to the person telling them. Better to put that stored energy to good use through research and early implementation of the plans to get a better “solid” sense of the whole picture. Only then will it be easier to weather any negativity that arises from the naysayers when the plans come out into the open.

And when the plans do come out into the open, the second best thing to do when it comes to dealing with the naysayers is just to expect it. It WILL happen. There is no avoiding it. History is made up of naysayers and of those proving them wrong. The more negativity, criticism, and skepticism you encounter from those around you, the more you begin to realize you’re onto something. Nothing great was ever achieved without having many people scoffing at the idea at first. When you expect it, when you know its coming, it won’t shock you as much into believing they’re right in that you can’t do it.

Third, when the naysayers come out, realize that nobody can truly give an “objective” view of your plans as they are all influenced by their own personal history, knowledge, culture, values, etc. You are not them. They are not you. You are you. Therefore, take all their viewpoints and opinions with a grain of salt. Look at all the info that’s presented to you, take what you need and act on it and toss away what you don’t.

Fourth, believe strongly in the cause and plans you are pushing for. Have “roots” so you won’t be easily swayed by those around you. That’s why I suggest you don’t tell anyone your newfound plans at first simply because you haven’t had any time to develop any roots through research, planning, and early implementation to convince yourself that you do believe in the cause and that you think you can make it all work. And don’t just stop there. Keep on reinforcing your belief by drafting a list of reasons as to why you believe in your cause and plans and update that as you make progress. This will help strengthen your internal foundation and lessen the negative effects of the naysayers.

Lastly, you can use the naysayers to your advantage as leverage in giving you some added motivation in terms of wanting to prove them wrong. Many coaches use this all the time when columnists start criticizing their teams. They post up the written piece on the bulletin for all the team to see and it ignites them to practice and prepare that much more.

But there is an element of danger to this in that your sole motivation for pursuing your chosen path lies in proving others wrong. It’s shallow motivation. It’s hollow. Superficial. And futile in the end.

Believe FIRST in your own vision and you can then, if you choose to, use the naysayers words as fuel to fire up your motivation as it’s always a great secondary feeling to be able to wipe the smug looks off their faces.

Continue to believe in yourself and your plans, continue to take action and see progress and results and you’ll find the voice of the naysayers grow weaker and weaker when in actuality, they will grow stronger and stronger. It’s just that you become more adept at tuning them all out.

Chances are you will stumble at times in your life so look at it all in the big picture, as part of the learning curve in the University of Real Life. Don’t feel so down when the naysayers are “right” as it’s far easier to stand on the sidelines and criticize than to be actually playing in the game.

It’s not a matter of right or wrong but of having the courage to believe in yourself to walk your chosen route and to not succumb to the influence of the naysayers who will always be in doubt.

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