How to overcome naysayers and create the life that you want

by The Relationship Guy
October 21, 2015

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Let’s get rid of the monkey in the room right now and just say it – the world is full of naysayers. It doesn’t matter what your dreams or goals are, there’s always someone trying to bring you down.

Many of them are trying to be helpful, but it doesn’t always feel that way.

Allow me to be frank with you and say, if you allow naysayers to discourage you or force you off track, your life will be much less than you deserve. 

To live life on your terms and create the results that you desire, you must learn how to deal with these negative people once and for all and move on. 

I totally agree with Tim Fargo who said, “those not chasing their dreams should stay out of the way of those who are.”

It’s time for you to start focusing more on your own life rather than what other people are saying.

Let’s talk about how to overcome naysayers and create the life that you want, and hopefully, you can take something from this post to move the needle in your life a little bit closer to the results that you want.

How to overcome naysayers and create the life that you want:

1. Keep your aspirations to yourself.

It’s commonly suggested that you make your goals public.

In fact, I’ve personally endorsed this on many occasions.

The principle behind it is that the fear of embarrassing yourself is supposed to be motivating.

However, several studies have also shown that announcing your goals isn’t always a good strategy.

The bigger your goals, the more likely you are to receive negative comments.

If you’re sensitive to the criticism of others, this type of feedback can derail your efforts.

I think the important word to emphasise here is, sensitive. If you have thicker skin than most and don’t really care what other people think of you, go ahead and announced your goals for the world.

In that case, it will serve you.

Of course, you can inform everyone when you’ve accomplished your goal!

2. Remind yourself of your positive qualities.

If you’re starting to doubt yourself, remind yourself of your best qualities.

Make a long list and focus on it until you’re feeling capable again.

If you need help, get help from a supportive friend or coach.

The sad reality is the moment other people start questioning our goals or dreams, we follow suit and start focusing on all our weaknesses and flaws.

That’s the worst thing you can do.

It’s absolutely paramount that you focus on and keep reminding yourself of your best qualities.

I can almost guarantee you that they do outweigh your shortcomings, but it is ultimately up to you what you’re gonna focus on.

It doesn’t really matter what I say you should believe — it really comes down to what you choose to believe.

3. Avoid taking it personally.

When others are unnecessarily negative, it reveals more about them than it does about you.

No one knows enough about your personal business to have an accurate opinion anyway.

Stop giving people your power.

Take responsibility to stop taking it so personally.

And for goodness sake, quit sweating the small stuff.  At the end of the day, it’s all small stuff.

4. Keep your vision in mind.

It’s easy to become discouraged when you’re on the receiving end of discouraging comments.

Go back to the big picture and remind yourself of your goals.

See in your mind how great the results will be.

Imagine how satisfying it will be when you’re proven correct.

Nothing is quite as sweet as achieving your goals in spite of opposition and resistance.

5. Consider the source of the feedback.

Are you trying to launch your own company?

Criticism from someone that’s always had a corporate job isn’t valid.

Unless the other person has accomplished your goal, consider their advice worthless.

You wouldn’t take stock tips from a man living on a park bench.

Most of the advice we receive is similar in value.

Take most advice with a grain of salt.

However, a mentor or credible coach can be a valuable addition to your life.

The right mentors will have accomplished your goal.

Perhaps they even started from a similar point as you.

Ideally, they’ll also be supportive and encouraging.

6. Make a list of your greatest achievements.

Write down every experience you’ve had that makes you feel successful.

You’ve already done some amazing things.

The naysayers in your life don’t know about most of those things.

That’s just another reason why their opinions are irrelevant.

7. Learn to ignore the noise.

Have faith in yourself and avoid allowing others to control your thoughts or emotions.

If you allow them to do that it is on you not them.

8. Smile.

When you show others that you won’t be affected by their unkind words, they’ll eventually stop.

Smiling will also improve your mood and lower your blood pressure.

Smiling is also free.

So smile and just keep moving forward.

Every naysayer in your life can seriously just go stuff themselves.

You don’t owe them anything and you deftly don’t have to give them your power; let them know this fact with a smile on your face :)

9. Rely on supportive people.

We all have that friend that seems to think we can do anything.

Instead of dealing with the naysayers, surround yourself with people that support your efforts and believe in you.

The difference is staggering.  getting the right people around you will absolutely supercharge your results.

Make sure you have the right people around you and keep listening to them.

All the rest … well, they can go jump in the ocean.

I need you to be prepared — the naysayers will always be there.

It doesn’t matter how much we wish them away, they will keep appearing in life.

However, every great achievement was preceded by numerous naysayers giving their two cents.

You can’t allow others to derail your plans.

Be confident that you can accomplish anything.

Project your success into the future and remind yourself of your past successes.

Surround yourself with the people and keep going.

This is your time.  Make it count.

About the author 

The Relationship Guy

Gideon Hanekom is the founder of, a top-50 relationship blog (2021) and top-100 marriage blog (2021) which focuses on providing healthy relationship advice about love and life. He earned a Master's degree in theological studies before training as a professional counsellor and hypnotherapist (DipProfCouns., DipMSHT.) almost 10 years ago. He completed a graduate diploma in Psychology and is currently pursuing postgraduate Psychology studies at Massey University. He has been married to his wife for over sixteen years and is the dad of two children. His articles have been published on and The Good Men Project.

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