How often do you encounter people who seem to be determined to derail you from your path or talk you out of it just when you’ve found your passion and purpose and you are happily pursuing it?
Often it seems like the closest to you try to talk you out of your dreams. However what surprises me at times is when people you hardly know or have any stake in your life try to convince you how “silly your idea is”, or why “you’re wasting your time” or my favorite, accuse you of “not being realistic enough”.
So here are 5 ways I’ve learned to deal with ‘negative’ comments or people who try to talk me out of what I’m doing:
1. Learn to identify if what you’re hearing is actually ‘constructive feedback’ or just ‘destructive feedback’. Things that can help you do this can be: how well you know the person, his/her experience, their tone and finally your ‘gut feeling’
2. Keep your cool. Don’t be defensive and emotional. Instead show confidence (a smile is a great touch to add) Show that you hear them but at the end it is your choice and decision to make.
3. You can ask investigative questions if you are curious to understand what really is the reason behind their remark. Questions such as “Interesting you say that, why do you think so..”
4. A cool way I learned to turn the tables around is to ask the person what alternatives do they suggest, and how do they think they can help. If they suggest nothing or their suggestion is not ‘constructive’. Just nod your head, say Thank you and cut the conversation short.
5. It’s natural to be annoyed by the negative remarks you hear even after you’ve finished the conversation. It’s also natural to hear voices of self-doubt and anger within you. Stay objective. This is what I do; Acknowledge these voices within me as my ‘ego’ or ‘child-self’ getting all worked up for nothing. I remind myself why doing what I’m doing makes me happy and fulfilled.
Hope these tips help you the next time you are confronted with such a situation.
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Don’t stop chasing your dreams!