It’s natural to lean on proving people wrong as a motivation to show up and do the work.

They always said you couldn’t do it.

They always said it couldn’t be done.

They always said you were naive.

You’ll show them. You’ll do it.

This mindset makes the world your enemy. This makes everything hard. No matter what you do, there’s another thing you need to do to prove them wrong. They said you were small, after all. You’ll show them.

What about all the people who said you could do it?

The people who always saw more in you than you ever saw in yourself.

The ones who caught you when you fell and steered you straight when you were lost.

The ones who reminded you, to paraphrase Marianne Williamson, that what you were really scared of was how powerful you were. The ones who looked through the illusions, masks, and struggle and saw an inner genius that’d been caged away and stifled by fear and false narratives.

How about you focus less on proving the naysayers wrong and instead prove the yaysayers right?

We all have more yaysayers than we do naysayers, but we spend an inordinate amount of time struggling with the one naysayer in the crowd of thousands of supporters. You’ll never prove the real naysayers wrong — naysaying is their livelihood and identity.

Focus on the people in your corner and the ones who send love back your way. Prove them right.

At a certain point, you’ll find that you don’t need to prove anything at all. And that those people you’ve been proving wrong are demons you’ve conjured and foisted upon the world. When you recognize that you’re the root of your own resistance, it’s much easier to spend less energy on demon-conjuring and more on flourishing.

Are you proving the right people right?

Charlie Gilkey is an author, business advisor, and podcaster who teaches people how to start finishing what matters most. Click here to get more tools that’ll help you be a productive, flourishing co-creator of a better tomorrow.

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  • Charlie Gilkey

    Author, Speaker, Business Strategist, Coach

    Charlie Gilkey helps people start finish the stuff that matters. He's the founder of Productive Flourishing, author of the forthcoming Start Finishing and The Small Business Lifecycle, and host of the Productive Flourishing podcast. Prior to starting Productive Flourishing, Charlie was a Joint Force Military Logistics Coordinator while simultaneously pursuing a PhD in Philosophy. He lives with his wife, Angela, in Portland, Oregon.