Managing the Naysayers

Managing the NaysayersHas this happened to you: Feeling good, joyfully setting and working toward goals that delight you when, seemingly out of nowhere, appear the naysayers discouraging your efforts.

Naysayers are the people in our lives finding fault with our decisions, questioning our ideas, and unable to believe in new possibilities.

You can tell a naysayer because they limited the possibilities in their own minds, and are convinced what is true for them is also true for others. They are known for generalized statements such as:

The field is over-saturated.

It’s impossible to succeed.

No one makes money doing that.

You’re going to fail.

I wouldn’t bother, if I was you.

You can’t afford that…

Sound familiar?

Naysayers

Those comments, by the way, are a sampling of what I was told after starting my presentation design business in the 1990s.

It was easy for me to dismiss them because I could really feel in my heart that this was the way to go…and the right time to do it.

Turns out, there was a great need for the services I was providing, and clients sought me out. The first year I replaced my corporate income and the second year I was earning six figures.

I remembered this 18 months later when I envisioned myself buying a new home and found that my real estate agent was, in fact, a naysayer. She didn’t believe in my ability, as a self-employed single parent, to afford a home of my own. Rather than help me find something in my budget, she gave me a map highlighting to the worst part of town (with houses ready to be demolished).

The Blessing in Naysayers

As with all contrast, there is a blessing in having naysayers in our life. They show us what *we* believe. If we are discouraged by naysayers, that reveals how we are not believing in ourselves. Even an inkling of worry or doubt in us will become triggered by the naysayers.

However, if we truly believe in what we are doing, then we cannot be dissuaded no matter what anyone else says or does. Naysayer comments will seem empty or almost comical because we know what we want, and we already feel the strong momentum of our success is underway. Like someone telling a builder it’s impossible to build a building when it’s already framed up and ready to finish.

If we recognize the naysayer for who they are, a person projecting their own fears, doubts, and limited beliefs, then it is easier to forgive them and move past their comments. This is what I did with my naysayer real estate agent.

Rather than argue with her or try to convince her that she was wrong, I recognized that she was just not with the program I had embarked upon. She didn’t see or understand the magic that I was already creating in my life. I mentally patted her on the top of her head, forgave her for not seeing the magic, and went around her to get approved by a mortgage lender and find the property I wanted to purchase. Then, I contacted her again to finalize the purchase.

Some people might have skipped that last step, and found a new agent who believed in them. Because I knew this agent personally, and knew she needed the sale (naysayers often live a difficult life), I wanted to help her out. I also wanted to share the magic I was creating, so she could open her eyes to new possibilities.

Tips for Managing Naysayers

  1. As always, it starts with you: Get clear on your decisions before you discuss them with others. When you are solid in your knowing, clear on what feels best to you, comments from naysayers will not bother you. In some cases, they might even amuse you.
  2. Be choosy. Chances are, you are aware of some naysayers in your life right now. Unless you enjoy conflict, be choosy about who has the privilege of discussing your business decisions with you. Not everyone in your life needs to know every business decision you have made.
  3. Naysayers who are closer to you: Significant other or a business partner, and/or both, who are naysayers really challenge our commitment to our choices. Managing naysayers who live and/or work with us requires us to really be in touch with how we feel, and be willing to own our power to make our own choices. When you know what is important and which decision feels best to you, you’ll be better able to detach yourself from their comments.If your business partner is constantly naysaying, despite your business decisions always working out well, it might be a good idea to renegotiate how you interact. Perhaps you can agree to each make certain decisions without each others approval. Or you might want to find a new business partner.
  4. When you are your own naysayer it is time to go within and figure out what’s going on. If you cannot trust your own ideas and decisions, it’s time to work on your self-love and self-esteem. There is no room for success and well-being when we lack trust in ourselves.
  5. Use the naysayer triggers to look at your own doubts and fears. When someone elses naysaying bothers you, it’s a good indication that you harbor some of those same feelings. Otherwise, their comments wouldn’t trigger you.
  6. Bless the naysayers. Yeah, you read that right: Mentally thank and appreciate the naysayers for either showing you your own doubts and fears, or for revealing how solid you feel on the topic. Either way, they are providing a valuable service, and that deserves some appreciation!

How have you dealt with naysayers? It’s your turn to share how you’ve dealt with the naysayers in your life…comment below so we can all benefit.

Image Credit: pixelbliss

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2 thoughts on “Managing the Naysayers

  1. The thing is, we attract the naysayers, just as we attract everything in our experience. By letting it bother us, we empower them. By needing the validation of anyone outside ourselves, we disempower us. It’s another case of ignore them and they’ll go away. 🙂

    • Maggie, you can do whatever feels best to you. I have learned over the years that just ‘ignoring’ contrast doesn’t always make it go away, and in doing so we give up the greatest gift of contrast: discovering the blessings beneath the contrast. Anyone triggered by a naysayer would do better to understand why and address it.

      Thanks for visiting!

      Many blessings,
      Nancy

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