4 Reasons to Relish the Opinions of Naysayers

Naysayers are inevitable.

When are you going to get a real job?

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How are you going to make money doing that?

Are you completely mad?!

Hearing these kinds of comments when we already feel challenged can be particularly confronting and force us to question: Exactly what am I doing?!

Things that others say are all too easy to believe when they resonate with what we secretly think might be true.

I mean, how exactly am I going to make a living doing this?!

But don’t despair.

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There are a couple of reasons why the naysayers in our life are an important driving force:

1. They give us an opportunity to re-affirm and re-commit to our purpose. Regularly.

It’s all too easy to fall into habit and routine, even when we’ve found our thing.

The drudgery of starting up (admin, operations, endless email) can plunge us into default mode where we’re just chasing our tail. These questions prompt fresh thought about what we’re doing and how to create the business part.

It might even empower us to jump out of business maintenance mode and into business development mode. (That’s the mode where momentum and expansion occur).

Next time someone questions the sustainability and profitability of your idea, use it as an opportunity to focus on the sustainability and profitability of your idea. Sit down and study/ meditate – it might stimulate some fresh thinking around an existing challenge.

2. They give us an opportunity to re-assess our community, decide who we want in it, and how we communicate with them.

A supportive and open-minded community is essential when starting something new. We all need people in our lives who are relatable, and if everyone in our community is still in the same job they’ve had for the last 5 years and think we’re insane for giving up the accoutrements of salaried life while we launch our idea, it’s going to be pretty tough going.

Friends and family love us. But if they are not 110% supportive of our choices and direction, they might not be the best people to share our experience with. Tell them the good stuff so they can focus on the progress you’re making, and save the challenges and request for advice/ feedback with a like-minded community of peers.

To start with, create a list of the 10 people you spend the most time with and tick them if they are 110% supportive of your choices and direction. If not, you can either spend less time with them {at least for the time being}, share only the good stuff or lovingly communicate your greatest WHY and ask for their support in lieu of a gagging order.

You can also spend more time with people who inspire you through their books, podcasts, blogs, webinars and live events. My go-to is an hour with John Demartini on my iPod. It never fails to lift me back up to where I should be.

You might also consider a coach or mentor who can keep you on track and accountable to the goals you set. These are the people who can help you turn your challenges into opportunities (not a reason to give up and go back to what you were doing before).

There are also a couple of reasons why they naysayers in your life can be a creative force:

3. It’s an encouraging prompt to throw ourself into the things that we love that fill us with a vision of the future.

When we do what we love we are happier, healthier, and free-er. And in this state we are more easily able to live in our vision of the future.

Anything to do with personal and professional development are life affirming and invigorating. I always have a professional course on the go (business or marketing stuff), as well as some more esoteric/ holistic stuff and some books that stimulate new ideas. Immersing yourself in study and progress in your passions will advance you in the direction you want to go and quiet the lizard brain that defaults to fear and sabotage.

When the naysayers chime in I fire up the laptop, watch the latest videos in the module I’m up to and very soon again feel passionate and excited about what I’m doing. Because it fills me up with a vision of the future.

This kind stuff gets us back on our path.

4. It’s also a chance to fully immerse ourself in our art; that thing we do.

That thing that you want to share with the world right now? Spend time immersed in the thinking, action or behaviours required to master it, evolve it, take it to the next level. It’s the core of a sustainable, profitable and impactful business.

Whether a product or service, the offer we create around your art is more game-changing and more revolutionary the more time we’ve spent honing, sculpting, and shaping it.

So get stuck in and spend time with that.

Naysayers are a blessing. The curse comes only if we let them side track us.

Featured Photo Credit: Vermin Inc via Compfight cc

Stephanie Holland - Leaders in Heels Guest writerStephanie Holland is a business strategist at StepanieHolland.co, delivering pre-business strategy for more ease, more vision and more likelihood of success. She’s on a mission to empower aspiring entrepreneurs with perspective shifts and strategic frameworks that slice through the bullshit, smash upper limits, and minimise guesswork. Grab a free copy of Plan F to get started generating ideas, impact and profit on your own terms.

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