Don’t Let the Naysayers Get You Down

Have you ever decided to do something that was a little bit outside the norm? It could be something like paying off your cars, opening up a small business, or making a big career switch as an adult.

If you tell folks about your plans, often you’ll hear a list of reasons describing why what you’re about to do is a bad idea. And its especially common for the naysayers to be people you are close to.

In a way, that’s completely natural. The people you’re close to care about you, and they don’t want to see you get hurt, whether that hurt is in the form of dashed hopes or financial ruin.

Naysayers can be a valuable resource (in that they may help you think of possible pitfalls to prevent), but listening to all that doom and gloom for too long can wear on you.

It’s often hard to know how to respond. You might try explaining your plans in more detail, but it’s a rare listener who will change their mind based on a conversation.

Eventually you may find yourself just saying “yeah I know” in an effort to just get through the conversation.

But if you’ve done your research, analyzed the risks, and are willing to accept them, agreeing (even in a half-hearted, let’s get this conversation over kind of way) can be detrimental to your plans.

Instead of agreeing, try saying things like, “I know you’re worried but I’ve done my research and am prepared with a backup plan.”

Ask for positive comments as well, or change the subject if your friends and family aren’t able to visualize the positive.

If they cant be positive, meet with people who have already achieved what you’re working toward. Get your own cheering section.

Don’t let the naysayers get you down. They’ll turn into believers when you succeed.


  • Curt

    Good one, good to hear dissenting opinions, but they are often from the folks that have never tried anything like it before – I’ve found that rather than becoming believers after seeing your success, the naysayers tend to be the same ones that attribute the results of your tough decisions and sacrifice to luck, and complain that their situation is different and that they couldn’t do the same thing.

  • I usually avoid negative people in my life, but I married a pessimist I have to deal with since I love him. Usually I can give him a logical summary and he’ll go with it and encourage me or give me solid pitfalls I need to look into, but sometimes he’ll just be a bummer because he’s grumpy. In those cases, I call him a grumpy gus, ask him to stop peeing on my parade, and walk away…we work it out a little later. :-)