You’ve got big goals. You’ve got your work cut-out. A project to complete. A business to build. A book to write. Maybe even a relationship to work on.

You put your mind to it. You have a plan to be successful. You put in the work.

And then it happens: they come and pull you down.

The Naysayers.

People who don’t believe in your work, don’t believe in your goal, don’t believe in your success. People who think you’re full of crap, wasting your time and energy. Bottom-line: People who don’t believe in you.

What are you going to do about it?

Let’s be clear. You can’t please everybody. It’s an awful waste of time and energy if you even try to please everybody, more so try to please strangers. We’ve all seen them on social media. They’re just out to disparage others.

For Naysayer strangers aka “Trolls” — ignore them. They’re up to no good. Do not engage. Walk away.

But when Naysayers are people we know, words get to us. 

“Whoever has the most energy wins.”
Mark Victor Hansen

Here’s the truth: If you are affected (riled-up, pissed-off) by naysayers, their belief must be greater than your belief. Perhaps there is some truth to what they say. 

Let me explain.

Imagine you’re walking down a park and you meet two different people.

The first person tells you: “Hey! Your hair is green!”

How would you feel? What would you do? Most people would just brush it off and think: “I know what my hair color is. If you think my hair is green, you’re crazy and that’s your problem.” And then you walk away. No worries.

The second person tells you: “Hey! You’re a liar!”

How would you feel? What would you do? Most people would be shocked. Maybe you’ll start to question: “What?! What do you think I lied about? Who are you to judge me?” And then you’re affected for many hours or days.

What’s the difference? In the first case, you know for a fact what your hair color is. It doesn’t matter that the other person said: “your hair is green”.

In the second case, if you knew with all your heart that you are NOT a liar, would it even matter if someone said: “you’re a liar”? If you think about why you’re getting affected, you just opened up yourself to the possibility that “maybe there’s a plausible reason he thinks I’m a liar.”

When the words of naysayers affect you, that’s your opportunity to look within. An opportunity to learn more about yourself and your beliefs.

When the naysayer is someone close to us. 

It’s one thing if the naysayer is someone we could ignore. But what if the naysayer is someone in your life? Maybe a parent, a sibling, a spouse or a good friend. That’s a whole different story. And there’s a whole different approach to responding to a naysayer loved one.

Bring to mind the naysayers in your life — whether at your office, in your business, at school, or in your relationships — take a step back from the situation, see things objectively and let’s learn from this.

Here are three practical tips for handling naysayer loved ones.

1.) Yearn for truth. Which of the naysayers’ words affect you the most? Even if not in its entirety, which statements contain *some* truth? Why are you resisting this truth? What can you do to make things better?

Once I was called out by a loved one that I was being inauthentic. That crushed me. But being totally honest to myself, I humbly admitted to myself that indeed I was projecting an image on social media, and hiding a dark side of my real life. When I acknowledged my dark side, I empowered myself to improve that aspect of my life.

2.) Learn from an Adviser. There are some difficult messages that we hate to hear from naysayers. But when we hear from someone we admire and look up to, we listen.

Who acts as an adviser to you, a person who you respect and look up to? If you confided in your adviser about your naysayer, what would your adviser tell you?

When you listen to someone you respect, they will give you messages that you are more ready to receive … even if their message is essentially the same as the naysayer.

And, if your adviser gives you encouraging words, then you’ve increased your energy, you’ve increased your belief in yourself. Which brings us to the last practical tip…

3.) Earn some energy. Naysayers can sap the energy out of us. We need to power-up and restore our energy. Look back and make a success inventory.

List down every winning moment you can remember. Acknowledge and celebrate the good that you have done in your life. Remember how other people have complimented you, have been blessed by you, have expressed their appreciation for you. Write these down and celebrate.

Remind yourself that there’s more to give, more to serve.

Yearn for Truth.
Lean from an Adviser.
Earn some Energy.

Want to earn more good energy? Here’s a bonus activity that you could do right now.

Jack Canfield, co-author of “Chicken soup for the Soul”, shares a story about changing the way he interacts with the people close to him. The activity is described below.

1.) List down names of people you interact with on a regular basis.

2.) Across each name, you’re going to write a symbol.

  • If the person brings up your energy, if you feel empowered around that person, if you feel you have a nurturing relationship with that person, put a PLUS sign “+” across the name.

  • If the person brings DOWN your energy, you feel drained around the person, or you feel you have a toxic relationship with that person, write a MINUS sign “-” across the name.

3.) Change the amount of time and energy you spend with the people on your list:

  • For people with a minus sign across their name: spend less time with them. If the person is totally toxic, cut-off your interaction with that person.

  • For people with a plus sign across their name: Spend more time with them. Allow them to re-energize you!

There are people out there who believe in you more than you believe in yourself. Spend more time with them.

Here’s to spending less time with Naysayers.
Here’s to celebrating more time with “Yay” sayers! 

Image credits: Robert Owen-Wahl via Pixabay