“When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success. ” — Daisaku Ikeda, Japanese Author, Poet and Peace Activist
One of the shows my family enjoyed over the summer is America’s Got Talent. It cracks me up to watch the hilarious auditions of those who THOUGHT they had talents. Apparently many people thought being entertaining equals being talented. Hello? You can watch someone being completely drunk and making a fool of themselves in public. That could be entertaining, but definitely NOT a talent on their part.
On the other hand, there are no doubt mind-blowing talents out there. I tend to adore those who are truly talented and yet show humility. True talent with a beautiful soul. Donald Braswell is one such fine example. He is a car salesman who used to be a professional singer. A car accident severed his vocal cord, leaving him unable to speak. After 11 long years, he finally got his singing voice back, and it was the first time he got on the stage again.
I would never forget his first audition show. He was the last one in the audition that day. After watching a slew of terrible performances before him, the judges and the entire audience were grumpy and restless. When he began to sing “You Raise Me Up”, the entire audience was BOOING him. “This is UNBELIEVABLE”, I said to my kids, “How can they be SO rude? He’s got a great voice!” And he surely does. Amazingly, he kept his composure and kept on singing despite the chaos.
Then, something completely unexpected happened. As soon as he hit the high note of the chorus, the entire audience broke out in cheers! It’s as if he all of a sudden had a completely different audience. They applauded and cheered for him with standing ovation. Even the judges were stunned by such drastic transformation. It brought tears to my eyes every time I watch that video.
Donald Braswell turned a deaf ear to the booing audience, stuck to his dream, and transformed the nay sayers into his biggest fans.
In life, we sometimes encounter nay sayers and doubters. They might not believe in your dream or your ability. Sometimes your friends and family hold you back, out of their concerns for you. Oftentimes, they tell you it can’t be done, based on their own fears, doubts, and limiting beliefs. Regardless of their intention, the problem is, if you buy into what they say, you might give up your goals and dreams altogether.
In my own life, I’ve had to deal with many nay sayers, some are my own friends and family. Over the years, I’ve been told many different reason why I can’t do certain things. I’ve been told that I can’t do it, because I’m a woman, a foreigner who doesn’t speak perfect English, too short, not strong enough (get that a lot because I’m petite), don’t have the right credential, not pretty enough, too shy, it’s too dangerous, etc. Some sound like very “logical” reasons too. And almost everyone who told me these reasons told me that they did it out of concerns for me.
Here’s the thing. If I had listened to them, I probably wouldn’t have moved to a foreign country, started over in new careers until I found the one I truly love, got my Black Belt and gold medals, became a keynote speaker, wrote my book, etc. When I reflect upon what I’ve achieved, it’s because I CHOSE to turn a deaf ear to the nay sayers. When they say “You can’t”, I say “Just watch me!”
Sometimes you could turn the nay sayers into your raving fans, like Donald Braswell did. Sadly, I’ve found that sometimes your own friends and family are the last ones to come on board with your dream. Sometimes they wouldn’t even come on board, despite seeing your success.
So, what can you do? You can “upgrade” your friends, but you might not want to “divorce” your family. If that’s case, I suggest limiting your contact with them, so that you are less likely to be negatively affected.
In the meantime, seek out people who see and support your vision and goals. I’ve always stressed the importance of having your own “success team” to support you in achieving your goals. It’s critical to surround yourself with people who are positive, believe in you, hold up your vision for you, and can support you and hold you accountable. Joining a mastermind group and/or hiring a professional life coach are both great ways to get such support. If you have a burning desire to turn your dream into reality, I can be your partner to help you achieve that!
What’s your dream? There are many factors dictating your success, however, I would argue that the ability to turn a deaf ear to nay sayers (and believe in yourself) is one of the most critical. When someone says “you can’t”, simply say “thanks for sharing” and take another step toward your dream.