The saying goes: “When they say you can’t do it, prove them wrong.”*Do you have someone in your life that is always saying you can’t do it? We all have one of those, and we feel we need to prove to them all that we are capable of. Every time we come and share with them our ideas and plans for the great projects we have, they slowly but surely make us feel like they won’t work: Have you thought about this? I have a friend that tried that once and the totally failed. Oh! wow, that is ambitious! With all these little comments they start planting seeds of doubt and fear that, by the time we get home, they are already sprouting in our brains.
There can be two types, someone closer to you or just and aquaintance. When they are closer to you, it’s a little more tricky because we love them and we trust their opinion. That’s when I say: be careful because you will still love your aunt even though you don’t follow her advice, or listen to her criticism, right? Even if it’s a sister, a father, you can still love them deeply and not listen to their doubting voices. I loved a quote someone once told me: You decide who you give a mic to in your life. No one else! Not your friend, or your mentor, or you mom. Not everyone should be allowed to have a say and you owe it to yourself to protect your dreams and stand guard by your precious mind to keep it in the best state possible to carry out your plans.
When it’s someone you just know and it’s not that close to you, it seems easier but it’s not necessarily. You know that friend of a friend, that is crushing it in her business? And then you meet her for drinks and when you talk about your project, she has a ton of opinions and advice that you just didn’t ask for and make you doubt every little decision you were going to make. Ugh!
In all my years I have dealt with this negativity in different ways, but lately I decide that instead of dreading talking to them, I will use them as motivators. Because, you see, I like talking about what I’m doing and I think that anybody that is working towards their dream should be able to express their passion for it and be themselves. As I often say, the spoken word has an incredible power. You know we learn by reading and a lot more by listening. So hearing the words come out of your mouth also is incredibly powerful. And even if you will have some people doubt you, there will be many carried away by you and your passion and those are the ones you want to have close to you. Of course, as we know, freedom comes with consequences, one of them being that anybody you are telling about your dream will have an opinion and you can’t shut them up after. So, for example , to that friend of a friend that so freely offers advice, you can politely say: oh, thanks for that, but when I need your advice, I’ll ask for it. I’m not really at that stage yet. Cue smile and sip of your drink. And in you mind, you actually can visualize yourself removing the mic from her hand with care and putting it away.
The other thing you can do with your closer ones is still tell them about your dream and plans, and when they come to you with: oh, I hope it works out because remember that project in school that you never finished and we had to do something a lot simpler instead. Ouch! Again, smile first if possible, and then politely say: mom, I’m a grown woman now and this is my dream, not a project fo school. I’m telling you about it because I am so passionate about doing this that my mind is constantly thinking of ways to make it work. I’m really excited and it’s what I do now. And change the subject if you want. But deep down yourself repeat over and over: I got this! I’m amazing! If it’s in me, it’s for me! I can do anything! (keep going with your best motivational phrases; sometimes I also sing a song: Can’t stop me now! by Queen)
In addition to that, I’m competitive and I hate when people say something is impossible. So, when someone tells me it won’t work because XYZ, I automatically jump into “I’ll make it work” attitude and fire my brain and creativity to find a way. What I basically do with these comments is to think about them and why they have any power over my commitment or excitement: if they’re making me doubt myself, is there something I need to explore? If there is one that really went deep and made you cringe, there is something there to be explored. I remember when a good friend was going to start her side hustle and someone mentioned that she needed to make sure she had the working permits for it. Well, that was important! She hadn’t thought about it at all and it helped her get everything in order before starting her business. So, see how you can twist the negativity of those doubters into a problem solving question? Another example would be: if someone mentions: you are so bad at keeping a schedule. Ok, you might go and get an app that will help you schedule all your social media posts or deadlines for the project, and that potential problem is solved.
This technique is called reframing. You take the doubt comment or question that bothered you and ask: Is there something I can do to avoid that obstacle? Is it really an obstacle for me now? How can avoid that mistake? The better the question you ask, the better the answer you’ll find. So instead of shrinking to a corner and doubting not only your dream but even yourself, you rise up and crush them with action and questions that will actually help you move forward with your plans.
Remember the only things we are in control are our actions and reactions. Take charge and prove those doubters that YOU can do anything you set you heart and brain on! 😄☀️🍵
What is your reaction to doubters?
*by Jasmine Star