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Tips for Blocking Out Naysayers

Whether your dream is to start your own business, change career paths or become a community leader, you deserve to feel confident in pursuing your dreams fearlessly.

But you might hear negative comments from “naysayers,” the people who are critical, skeptical or cynical about your dream and success you might achieve. These negative thoughts have the potential to bring you down far enough to even derail your dreams — but only if you let them.

Take it from supermodel turned super mogul Kathy Ireland, a brand ambassador for American Family Insurance. At the peak of her modeling career, Kathy wanted to follow her other passion: entrepreneurship. You can imagine what the naysayers had to say when she pivoted from front cover magazine spots to launching a branded sock company. What do the doubters have to say now? We’ll let Kathy tell you herself:


  1. [MUSIC PLAYING]
    Hi, it’s Kathy Ireland, Brand Ambassador for American Family Insurance, and supermodel turned super mogul. 

    Want to give a special message to anyone out there who dreams of owning their own business. If you’re consumed with self-doubt or worry about the success of your business, we’re here to tell you to just keep going.

    You’ve got this. When we launched Kathy Ireland Worldwide with our first pair of socks, we were told it would never work. 

    Fast forward and today, I serve as Chair, CEO and Chief Designer for this global brand that covers everything from home décor to wedding destinations and some pretty cool socks if you ask me.

    Whatever your dream is, it matters and so do you. Stay focused on you and your business, and always be sure to block out the naysayers.

    We believe in you.

     

    Thank you.

     

Like Kathy said, “Whatever your dream is, it matters. So stay focused on you and your business, and be sure to block out the naysayers.” Sure, that sounds a little easier said than done, and success doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right mentality, you’ll get there. And we’re here to help! We’ve highlighted eight steps to help block out the naysayers and get on your way to achieving your greatest dreams.

8 Steps to Ignoring the Critics

1. Define Your Dream

The more clearly you articulate what you want, the easier you’ll move past negative feedback. Start by setting specific goals, then write them down in manageable steps so you don’t get overwhelmed. Finally, define how you’ll know when you’ve achieved your goals. And remember - life changes and evolves, so it’s okay if your dream does to. Just keep your dream declaration updated regularly!

Declare your dream by taking the time to sit down and put it in writing

2. Understand Your Why

Know why your dream excites and inspires you. Is it because you want to fulfill your childhood dream of writing a novel? You want to leave a legacy of community leadership? Or maybe you’re recently inspired by someone else’s dream achievement! Whatever it is, focusing on your why will make it easier to work toward your purpose, despite whatever the naysayers have to say about it.

3. Silence Your Inner Naysayer

Sometimes your worst critic isn’t a friend or family member — it’s yourself. Your “inner naysayer” is that little voice in your head that questions if you can really accomplish your big dream. But don’t listen to that internal critic! Keep that negative voice at bay with positive affirmations, celebrating every little win or milestone and continue to look towards the future to keep going!

4. Take Action

Listening to other people’s opinions can prevent you from taking action to propel you forward in achieving our dreams. When you make the commitment to take actionable strides towards your goals every day, even if it’s just making a phone call or connecting with someone who might support your dream, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ll get. As long as you know you’re moving forward with your dream, naysayers can’t get in the way of your progress.

5. Plan for Resistance

Even the most determined people run into obstacles along the way to success —that shouldn’t mean your pursuit isn’t worth your time or energy! Know that roadblocks are inevitable. Just do what you can to plan ahead and move through them one day at a time. When you’re prepared for this kind of resistance, it’s easier to keep moving forward.

6. Connect with People You Trust

Everyone needs support to reach success. Surround yourself with people who are going after their dreams, overcoming their fears and developing their talents. Talk to a supportive friend or a professional who will give you positive feedback and constructive observations, both of which are essential to reaching your goals. Find coworkers and mentors who encourage your work or join an entrepreneurial organization where you can meet other like-minded people. When you begin to hear the naysayers, turn to these trusted people to remind you why pursuing your goals is important so you can get back in the game.

7. Stay Focused

Listening to naysayers is a distraction from reaching your goals. Stay focused on what you’re working on without getting sidetracked by other people’s opinions. One big tip for staying zeroed in on your dream is to carve out focus time for your dreams into your calendar. Even 30 minutes of head-down work on your dream can make a big difference!

8. Celebrate Along the Way

Even if you haven’t fully achieved your goal yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your successes! Keep track of your progress and acknowledge your small victories, even if they seem minor to other people. Whether it’s celebrating with your favorite meal, gathering with supportive friends or family or taking a well-earned break, embracing the small wins along the way can make the final result feel that much sweeter

Celebrate small wins while working towards your goal

By following these tips, you can learn to ignore the naysayers in your life — and achieve your greatest dreams. And when in doubt, remember the words of model-turned-mogul Kathy Ireland. “If you're consumed with self-doubt or worry about the success of your business, we're here to tell you to just keep going. You've got this.”

Did you find this article helpful when it comes to your dream pursuit? Check out our Support for Your Dream page to get even more expert dreamer tips and articles to keep you motivated on your dream journey.


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