At least once in your life, you have probably encountered a naysayer. A naysayer is a person who habitually expresses negative or pessimistic views. Naysayers love to speak their opinion whether it is valid or not.
They say things like, ‘Why do you want to start that business when you have a good job. You do not have the right credentials or experience to pursue your dream. Think about what might happen if you fail.” They always come around with a negative commentary.
Who are the naysayers? They may be your spouse, parent, sibling, coworker or a friend. You go to them with your ideas full of excitement seeking their support and before you finish pouring out your heart, they shoot you down. You hope to receive words of encouragement but instead, you hear words of doubt and fear. If you allow them, your naysayers will deplete you and dismiss your vision.
The voice of my naysayer
Several years ago, I encountered a naysayer. He told me what was impossible for me to accomplish from his view point. Some of the things he said were true, but because they were true did not mean I had to let them define me.
I was the General Manager / Director of Sales of a climbing rope manufacturer and distributor. I was challenged with the task of designing and marketing a climbing harness. I had no previous climbing or design experience. I knew nothing about sewing and the products that went into the production of a climbing harness.
The naysayer kept telling me what I could not do. I refused to let him talk me out of at least trying. I did tons of research, talked to expert climbers and store owners. I found out all the information I needed to build a solid climbing harness.
After a few months of learning the intricate details of what it took to build a top notch climbing harness, I put the learning in action. And with the help of our seasoned machine operators and expert climbers, I was able to design a sleek climbing harness and a strong marketing program that introduced my first harness to the climbing market.
And to my surprise and the naysayer’s surprise, the harness took off in sales and received an “A” rating in its category for four years straight.
I did not rub the success of the harness in my naysayer’s face, I let the “A” rating and thousands of sold harnesses do the talking for me. It was not easy to hear the negativity, but I persevered anyway. It was a great experience and I learned three valuable ways to diffuse naysayers.
3 truths to diffuse your naysayers
Whenever you have a burning desire to do something positive in life, it’s very hard to not tell everyone you know. You are excited about your vision and you want to tell others. As I have learned, you cannot tell everyone. Your personal vision is too precious to let other people taint it. Protect your vision.
Every second you spend listening to what naysayers have to say about your vision is just like pouring acid over your dreams. Don’t give naysayers the opportunity to damage your vision because they don’t see it. Don’t let them distract your vision’s pursuit because of past mistakes and failures.
Protect your vision by minimizing the amount of people you share your life with. Share it with only a few people who you know will encourage you and help you protect your vision.
2. Surround yourself with a strong support system.
Think about the people who are supportive or would be supportive of your life’s vision if you told them. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not those who drag you down. If you want to do great things in life you need to surround yourself with a strong support system. You need to connect with people who will support your life’s vision and who will be a listening ear.
There will always be people who tell you what you can and cannot do. They will provide the statistics and data that will discourage you from pursuing your dreams. And then there is that little voice inside of your head that says “what am I doing? I should throw in towel.” Don’t listen to him! Believe in yourself. Visualize your success and persevere through the pressure.
Don’t let anyone keep you from living your authentic life. You know what you want. You know it is within you to create an extraordinary life for yourself and those connected to you. If anyone is currently trying to hold you back from living your best life (intentionally or not), take the necessary steps to disconnect from them so you don’t become trapped in a life of mediocrity.
3. Take immediate action.
Focus on what you can do in the present moment. Don’t worry about what you should have done last week or what you might be able to do tomorrow. The only time you can effect is the present. If you focus too much on your past or your future, you will miss living your today. And today is what counts because you cannot change what happened yesterday and you cannot predict what will happen tomorrow.
It is time to experience your best life. Ignore what the naysayers have to say. Because if you allow them they will keep you locked into yesterday, scared to live today and fearful of what might happen tomorrow. Do not let a naysayer talk you out of going after a goal.
If you desire to start an exercise program, a new business venture, a new career or anything that makes your life better, do not wait take action now. But, you must eliminate the things from your life that distracts you from taking action. That means turning off the television, silencing the phone, closing down social media and refusing to listen to naysayers. The longer you hold on to an idea without acting on it, the weaker it becomes and the more leverage you give the words of your naysayers.
“The greatest prison people live in, is the fear of what others think”
Question: What can you do to diffuse a naysayer in your life? Leave a comment below.
Originally published at medium.com