No matter what you do with your life — whether you go to college or fine tune your craft; build a business or climb the corporate ladder; get married or sail through the world solo — some people will support you, while others will criticise your choices and doubt your ability to succeed.
“You can choose to listen to the sceptics, or hit the ignore button,” says career coach Michael Peggs. “Walking around with a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign may seem like the answer, but it’s a Band-Aid solution. People will continue to judge, criticise, and discourage you. Let them.”
Here are six tips for dealing with sceptics:
1. Talk to the “man in the mirror.”
You are your own worst critic, Peggs says. “Too often we look in the mirror, skip what’s right, and focus on what’s wrong.” Believe in yourself first, and others will follow suit.
2. Remain positive and confident.
“We all studied Isaac Newton’s third law of motion in school: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” Peggs says. “Do good and good will come to you.”
He says attitude is everything — but positivity alone will never produce progress. “In fact, your slips and falls may strengthen your sceptics,” he says. “But keep in mind that a diamond cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.”
3. Hear your haters, but pay them no mind.
“Hate is a by-product of fear, and it will call your name at the most vulnerable of moments,” Peggs explains. “Take a message. It’s not what you’re called, it’s what you answer to that matters.”
Pay less attention to what people say, and focus on why they’re saying it. “What is their motivation? Is it to lift you up or put you down? Inspire or deflate?” Actions speak louder than words, and people will always show you who they are.
4. Get back up after every fall.
When you’re attempting to accomplish something, you’ll make mistakes — and mistakes might look like failure in the eyes of your sceptics. “Never mind that,” Peggs says. “Keep going. Success is a journey, not a destination, and you will grow along the way.”
5. Give them a reason to believe in you.
Show your sceptics you can succeed; don’t just tell them. “Too often we talk a big game,” Peggs says. “But you need to give people a real reason to believe you can succeed.”
Success takes time, and the path is always longer than it looks. “So be persistent.”
6. Don’t surround yourself with too many sceptics.
Some criticism and scepticism is healthy — but too much can be detrimental to your success. You need to be surrounded by fewer doubters than supporters.
“And just remember that by overcoming obstacles and facing sceptics, we’re able to rise above and be better than we were before,” Peggs concludes.
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