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4 Things to Remember When Doubters Tell You “You Can’t”

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When you have a dream, you will have doubters. It’s right up there with death and taxes – probably because nobody has to pay taxes or die for doubting. These gleeful killjoys shoot us down before we take off. They say “you can’t” when we thought we can. They make us hesitant when we were sure, silly when we were smart.

External doubt feeds self-doubt; the number one dream-killer as shown in studies. Life and success aren’t about what happens to you, it’s about how you perceive and respond to what happens to you. And doubters happen. They happen fast and hard on your unsuspecting dream. Be ready for them. Better yet, benefit from them. Because, as unthinkable as that sounds, you can.

Here are four ways to give your dreams the benefit of the doubters:

1. Doubters actually care

Don’t hate on those who don’t believe in your dreams, because they might be the very people who love you. Oftentimes, it is those who are closest to us that have the loudest voice of discouragement. This could be your father, your partner, or your best friend.

Sometimes, even your dearest ones cannot see in you what you can see for yourself. They unwittingly project their own self-limitations on you to “protect” you from the pain of failure. A father who has failed in business may urge his entrepreneurial son to “be realistic” and get a “proper” job with a steady paycheck.

The good news is, they want you to succeed. This gives you a chance to turn them into staunch supporters after their initial resistance.

Stay true to your course while making allowance for their advice. Earn their approval and support by addressing their deepest fears about your endeavor. As you progress toward your goals, you’re helping them disprove their assumptions and undo their own limitations too.

“I tend to enjoy proving people wrong.” – Hayley Williams

2. Doubters show you where to improve

Put aside the apparent assault on your ego for a moment and consider what your critics are saying. If you can get over yourself, there’s a lot you can learn there. Take the criticism objectively. Try to find at least one valid point in what they’re saying.

For example, if a headhunter dismisses your aspiration to land a bigger job, she could be 99 percent wrong. The other one percent could be the nugget of insight that will help you. This may be a skill you need, a person whose connection you should make, or better timing to make your move.

The next time you hear others doubting you, find the sliver of truth in their words. Build that into your game plan. You’ll be better for it.

3. Doubters make the best motivation

In his Hall Of Fame speech, Michael Jordan thanked his detractors for the motivation. He credited them for being the driving force behind his legendary work ethic. Jordan was a fierce competitor. He hardly needed any push during his playing career. Yet he chose to turn his doubters into demons he had to slay to prove his greatness.

They were his best motivational buttons and he mashed those poor buttons like a teenager playing NBA2K. Be careful not to invest emotionally in the critics, for they will drain you. It doesn’t matter whether they were being personal or not, as long as you don’t take it personally. Don’t burn out trying to manage others’ opinions of you.

Know that your skeptics cannot define you, unless you allow them. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Turn their action into a positive, powerful reaction that works in your favor. The motivation to prove your critics wrong may be exactly what you need to push for greatness.

“When the doubters tell you it can’t be done and all kind of tragedies will come your way, I say nonsense. If you can get to the very root of who you are and make something happen from it, my sense tells me you are going to surprise yourself.” – Vidal Sassoon

4. Doubters can become powerful allies

Naysayers are oftentimes the byproduct of differences. People can harshly judge ideas or ambitions that are not in line with their own beliefs, opinions, or behavior.

If you can bridge the differences to create win-win relationships, skeptics can become strong allies. They’ve already proven they have a voice and they are willing to use it, only this time, in your favor.

In a team setting, you will have to use your communication and people skills to not just win the argument, but to win the sentiment. Sharing your vision and getting others to stand behind it isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth your effort. Creating advocates of your dream can only accelerate your success.

The bigger and more audacious your dream, the more naysayers you will experience. Be like Usain Bolt who said, “To all my doubters, thank you very much because you guys have also pushed me.”

Are you allowing the doubters to control your life? What are you going to do to change that? Leave your thoughts below!

Victor Ng is an executive coach and entrepreneur who helps those with ambition overcome adversity to reach their goals. Download his free self-coaching worksheet “Adversity To Advantage” to reframe challenges and refocus on your success. Victor has 18 years of corporate experience in advertising and marketing communication. He is one of the youngest in his industry to reach the regional C-suite, and is credited with over 100 industry awards, including Cannes and Clios.

Motivation

20 Science-Backed Ways to Stay Motivated (Infographic)

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Motivation is something we all strive to have, but can also be one of those feelings that’s hard to keep. Whether we’re attempting to reach a new fitness goal or trying to stay motivated in our role at work, sometimes that motivation just isn’t there. You feel motivated for a while – you’ll listen to podcasts, read books, keep yourself accountable – but then it’s lost. You feel so much energy at the start, then feel yourself slowly losing that inspiration. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. (more…)

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Motivation

How To Create Everlasting Motivation To Achieve Your Goals

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If you’d like to learn how to consistently motivate yourself so you can achieve any goal you want, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


People are always waiting for motivation to strike them before they start working on their goals. However, waiting for motivation to come to you before you start working is an unreliable method if you want to consistently work on achieving your goals. (more…)

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Motivation

8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side

Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all? 

Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

3. Don’t overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.  

4. Get up and get moving

This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.

5. Reset your focus

It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do. 

One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.

6. Listen to your favorite music

Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.  

“Work like there is someone working twenty four hours a day to take it away from you.” – Mark Cuban

8. Meditate

If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.

When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.

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Motivation

Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About These 4 Motivation-Boosting Techniques?

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If you’d like to learn how to increase your motivation so you can get more done during the day, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


How many times have you heard the questions: “What drives you” or “What excites you?” These questions may come from well-meaning people but they make one problematic assumption – Our motivation depends on something external. As a result, instead of actively building structures that motivate, we find ourselves aimlessly looking for some outside factors that will motivate us. Instead of asking: “What motivates me?” We should be asking, what am I doing to remain motivated? The answer to this question lies in the doing, not motivation itself. (more…)

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