Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone supported and encouraged our hopes and dreams?
Can you imagine the amount of additional energy, strength, and drive you would have if you knew that everyone who you encountered at home and at work rooted you on and believed in you?
Yeah, I know. Crazy, right?
Actually, it is crazy.
Expecting to go through life receiving unconditional support and unwavering belief in our dreams would be like expecting to go through life without experiencing another rainy day.
Just like the inevitable rainy day that’s coming, there will always be people out there who don’t believe in us.
Why, you may ask?
Because being a skeptic is easy.
Do you know what’s hard?
Believing in something that hasn’t happened yet.
That’s infinitely harder, and that’s why most people can’t/won’t do it.
If a person is currently out of shape and she declares that she’s going to train to run a half marathon before the end of the year, it’s much easier for someone to look at her current physical condition and snidely say, “yeah right,” than it is to picture her future self and say to her, “I believe you can do it.”
Last week, I shared that I am a few months away from reaching one of my lifelong dreams of being a published author. Sure it might be all skittles and rainbows now, but when I shared my dream with people initially, I was told by countless skeptics that my dream would fail.
That’s what skeptics do. They love to throw a cold wet blanket on our dreams before we even get started, and they can be wildly effective if we choose to believe them.
Good thing for us that’s a choice that we don’t have to make.
Skeptics have followed me all throughout my life. I know this might sound strange to some people reading this, but I can honestly still hear their voices in my mind as I type their words below:
“You’ll never get accepted into college.”
“You’ll never graduate from college.”
“You’ll never make the basketball team.”
“You’ll never get that job.”
“You’ll never get promoted into a leadership position.”
“You’ll never make it as a public speaker.”
“You’ll never make it as a blogger.”
“You’ll never become an author.”
Do you know what all of the above statements have in common?
They were all dead wrong.
I had the extremely satisfying pleasure of disproving each of the above statements as I did the exact opposite of what they believed I was capable of doing.
Am I sharing this with you just to show you how awesome I am?
Well yeah, actually I am.
And believe me, you’ll need to believe in your awesomeness too if you plan on dealing with the skeptics out there who don’t believe in your intelligence, your skills, your inner strength, and your ability to achieve your dreams.
Even though dealing with the skeptics in our lives may sound like a scary process, the good news is that the skeptics in our lives don’t need to be feared or avoided.
In fact, if anything, we need to view the skeptics in our lives as a gift.
Their lack of faith in us might be the greatest dream-achieving fuel that this world has to offer.
As soon as someone tells you that you’re too out of shape to run a half marathon, too pathetic to ever leave your toxic relationship, too lazy to graduate college, too weak to quit smoking, too unqualified to get that job, too much of a nobody to ever get a book deal, too much of a coward to stand up to your bully boss, too untalented to achieve your dream, or too old to live your best life, you could choose to believe that they’re right.
Or you could do something else.
You could choose to feel the sting of what it’s like to have someone not believe in you, and truthfully you should marinate in that pain for a minute.
But once you’re done feeling that pain, it’s time to use that pain as your fuel by refusing to allow anyone (this includes your boss, your parents, your significant other, your physician, anyone) to place limits on what you’re capable of doing, or not doing.
Then it is up to you to sincerely and defiantly say the following four life-changing words either out loud or silently to yourself:
“You’re wrong. Watch me.”
You or Them
The Positivity Solution at its core is really about one thing:
Living our best lives.
In order to do that, we must be willing to fight for our dreams with an intense ferocity and tenacity.
Ferocity and tenacity are the perfect words too, because if you think that you can achieve your best life by “kinda wanting” your best life, you’re kidding yourself.
If so, the skeptics will eat you alive.
Trust me, I know. They chewed me up and spat me out for years until I finally learned to do something that I wish learned earlier on in my life.
This is critical if you have a serious interest in achieving your dreams.
Speaking of dreams, there is no doubt that if you’ve read this far that you have a dream that you want to make real in your life, right?
Just as certain as it is that you have that dream, it’s equally as certain that there is someone out there who doesn’t believe that you can do it, be it, or have it.
It’s at that moment that you’ll have to make this extremely important choice:
You can either believe in your ability to live your dream, or you can believe in the skeptics who will happily tell you why you’ll never have it.
Obviously, you can’t do both.
Just know this–whether you believe in yourself, or if you believe in the skeptics, one thing is for certain:
You’ll be right either way.
The Worst Skeptic of All
You probably already figured this out, but this post really isn’t about making believers out of skeptics–it’s about digging much deeper than simply “earning their belief.”
Truthfully, I couldn’t give a damn if the skeptics believe in me or not. You shouldn’t either.
The goal of this post is not to allow the skeptics to stop us.
Like I said earlier, skeptics will always be a part of our lives.
But what if your biggest skeptic is the person staring back at you in the mirror everyday?
If so, I’ve been there.
There’s no way to sugarcoat this, so I’m going to just come out and say it. It was a lesson that I had to learn the hard way:
You will never live the life that you’re meant to live until you believe in yourself.
This shouldn’t be too surprising. Every step of progress starts with a belief in ourselves. Without that all-important step, the possible becomes impossible in a hurry.
So, really the question isn’t if the skeptics believe in you. The real question is do you believe in you?
If not, here’s what you need to do.
Keep showing up to do the work.
Some people call it “fake it until you make it,” and the process really is that simple.
Keep showing up when everyone thinks that you’re wasting your time by chasing your dream. Keep showing up when your insecurities and self-doubt are begging you to quit and go home. Keep showing up when the obstacles seem bigger, stronger and built to last longer than you are.
If you commit to just keep showing up, you’ll notice that your belief in yourself will develop with a speed and conviction that will shock you. Contrary to popular belief, there is no skeptic, insecurity or obstacle that can withstand the power of your persistence.
Fair warning, though–just because this “showing up” stuff sounds simple, don’t be fooled into thinking that doing it 100% of the time is easy.
Along the way, you may be tempted to believe the skeptics, or even worse, quit on your dreams altogether. If that temptation ever crosses your mind, indulge in this horrifying thought for a minute:
Think of all of the skeptics, naysayers, and haters who you’ll prove right if you do end up quitting.
Remember this: Your dream came to you for a reason.
It didn’t come to you so you could give up on it.
It didn’t come to you so that someone outside of yourself could convince you that you’re incapable of having it.
It came to you because you have everything necessary within you to make it real.
But only if you believe it.
When is the last time that you’ve proved a skeptic wrong? Are you currently dealing with skeptics who are telling you that you don’t have what it takes to live your dream? Jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!