Doubters. Non-believers. Haters.
They’re all the same.
It’s my goal in this post to help you learn how to deal with and raise above any of the Negative Nancy’s in your life. Especially if you’re thinking about starting your own business, living abroad or traveling, or something else awesome.
Here’s a plain and simple fact: every time you start to do something cool, unique, and different, you’re going to attract some negative attention. You just will.
For example, a long time ago when I was headed off to an out-of-state college, one of my high school friends who was staying behind, tried to talk me out of it.
He said, “You know, having a college degree can make you overqualified for a lot of jobs. My sister has her degree and she can’t get hired anywhere.”
I’m not even kidding – he actually said that!
That might seem like a ridiculous example to you, but you can see what’s going on right? My friend obviously didn’t want to lose a friend and tried to find ways to keep me from leaving.
A LESSON FROM CRABS
When I was 22, I met a guy who would go on to teach me a lot about business and got me started down the entrepreneurial path.
He taught me a lesson about human nature by comparing humans to crabs. He said that when he was a kid they went crabbing a lot.
He said as they caught a new crab, they would simply throw it in a bucket without a lid. Even though the bucket didn’t have a lid and the crabs were still alive, they never worried about the crabs escaping. Why? Because if one crab started to climb up towards the top, the other crabs would pull on it until it fell back down into the rest.
He taught me that people do the exact same thing.
Change is uncomfortable for most people. This is why most people live perfectly average lives. They settle with ‘good enough’.
And the second someone starts to journey out of the “bucket”, everyone around them pulls them back in.
If you’re not careful, you too can get pulled in to living an average life never fulling living up to what you could have been.
“HOLY COW! TALK ABOUT PUSH BACK!”
We have some great friends who are considering moving to Mexico to join us here in paradise for a year or so.
I, for one, am super excited. Not only would we get to have another fantastic family here on the island, but I know what’s in store for them.
The growth & learning, the opportunity, and of course, all of the fun they’re going to have. I know years from now, they’ll look back on it as one of the best years of their lives.
Recently, I got this message from my friend:
Holy cow!! Talk about push back and negative opinions!! Who knew so many people would have such strong opinions about our decision to move to Mexico for a year! And talk about doubters!!
When I saw the message, I wasn’t surprised.
In fact, every time my wife and I have done something a little “different”, we’ve always had pushback from our peers (and yes, that includes family members).
It’s just to be expected.
HOW TO MOVE PAST THE HATERS
So you’ve decided to embark on your new adventure. You’re excited. You’re making plans. You’ve even told some of your closest friends and family.
And now you’re catching some flack from them.
Check out some of the following tips to help you overcome the negative influences.
Try to understand where they’re coming from. Are they envious? Are they sad to see you leave? Are they fearful?
Like I said already, most people are afraid of change and when they see you, someone they love, moving on to a new adventure, they react negatively. It means you’re leaving them behind (at least for a while).
Acknowledging this simple fact is a great first step to dealing with the situation positively. Instead of fighting back, you simply thank them for their opinion and secretly move forward with your plans.
REFER TO YOUR VALUES
If you’ve already decided to embark on your new life, hopefully you’ve done an assessment of your values and what’s most important to you.
If going away to college to get a degree or living abroad or starting a business will help you become happier, then stick to your guns.
Living your deepest values will give you the happiest life. Treasure that and don’t let anything impede that.
EXPLAIN THE ROI
If they’re willing to listen, explain the benefits. Try to help them see why it’s important to you. Share how it lines up with what really makes you happy.
When applicable, explain what’s in it for them.
“Mom, if I can get this business of the ground, then I’ll able to help you and Dad out with your retirement…”
If they truly love you, they may not totally understand it, but they should still support your decision.
Be ready however that sometimes there’s just no reasoning with people. You’ve got to follow your heart and move forward anyhow.
This one sounds a bit harsh but sometimes you just have to ignore the negative influences.
This can be hard when it’s your own friends and family!
But, here’s the important thing to remember – many times, the same people giving you advice are completely ignorant themselves!
Want to live in another country? Have they ever lived abroad? No? Then don’t listen to them!
Want to start your own business? Have they ever been successful with their own business? No? Then don’t listen to them!
You get what I’m saying. If they haven’t been successful in the very thing you’re about to start, then do NOT listen to them. It’s a waste of time.
If you want advice on how to scale your business, you wouldn’t ask your neighbor who works at Home Depot!
Don’t be afraid to ignore when the source of the information doesn’t line up with your goals. Do the opposite – and that’s next!
LOOK FOR SUPPORT IN THE RIGHT PLACES
Instead of trying to get support where it might not happen, look for support in the right places.
If you’re married or are in a serious relationship, work together as a team. Keep the focus on your goal and only that.
Don’t be tempted to listen to anything that doesn’t advance you further towards your goal.
YOUR LIFE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
Remember that you’re not living to impress your neighbors, coworkers, friends or even family.
In the end, the most important thing in this life will be the relationships you have with yourself, your spouse, and your children.
You need to make sure you’re living the life you’re happy with. If starting in on a new adventure will kick-start that happiness, then you’ve got to do it!
And if you’ve come this far reading, you’ve got to do it! I just gave you the tools to deal with the haters.
Now you have to deal with being brave enough yourself to do the thing!