Are You Listening to Naysayers? Here are 5 Good Reasons Not To

Have you ever told your family or friends you want to make a living from your writing?

How did they react?

Did they cheer you on?

Or did they bust out laughing?

Photo Credit: typexnick Flickr via Compfight cc

If you’ve been made fun of for wanting to make a living as a writer, join the club.

It hurts when people belittle your dreams. It’s depressing when your friends say you don’t have enough talent.

It takes everything you’ve got to press on and keep writing anyway.

Why We Keep Listening When We Know We Shouldn’t

When people mess with your emotions, they mess with your heart.

Why is that?

Because we’re emotional creatures who justify our decisions with logic.

Most of these emotional manipulators are those closest to you:

  • friends
  • family
  • coworkers
  • neighbors

These are the people who say they love us. Would they lie?

It doesn’t seem possible.

But it is.

Here are five reasons naysayers test us, sabotage us, and try to shut us down.

When people mess with your emotions, they mess with your heart. Click To Tweet

They’re Jealous

How do you feel when your best friend has more money than she knows what to do with – and you’re struggling to pay your rent on time every month?

It can make you so green with envy people mistake you for the Jolly Green Giant – until they talk to you and discover you’re not so jolly.

Jealous people want what others have that they don’t:

  • Houses
  • Cars
  • Money
  • Talent
  • Connections

The sad thing is when you’re jealous of someone, you’re wasting energy on wishing  – and not doing.

They’re Wrong

When someone tells you your dream is stupid, do they really know what they’re talking about?

Unless that person is a professional writer, she doesn’t have a clue.

If you want advice about how to fix your toilet when it leaks, do you ask a history professor? No, you ask a plumber if you want it done right.

If you want useful advice, ask an expert. Anyone else is just guessing. Click To Tweet

They’re Inexperienced

Your friends are well-meaning. They don’t want to see you fail. They’re only trying to protect you from shame and embarrassment.

Shame and embarrassment they’ll probably lay on you.

Here’s the truth. You’ll fail on the way to success. There’s no other way.

And it’s okay.

You don’t remember learning to walk. Your parents and relatives do, though – and they could tell you some stories!

Did they tell you to give up after you fell on your face for the 15th time? No. They kept pushing you to take step after step until you could walk safely on your own.

So why do they tell you your dream is impossible before you take a step?

Only you know what you can do. Listen to yourself. Write something and share it. The first effort may suck – but keep at it. You’ll get better with practice, so write your heart out. 

They’re Negative

Imagine you’re trying to climb a cliff 300 feet above water.

You tug and tug, inching ever closer to your destination, hoping for that moment when you can put your elbows down and hoist yourself onto level ground.

What if you had someone on your back along the way? And what if that person spent the whole trip whining:

  • “This is ridiculous. Are we ever going to reach the top?”
  • “What kind of an idiot are you? You can’t make it. Why don’t you just give up?”
  • “I could have had anyone pull me up. Why did I choose you?”

That’s enough to make you want to fall to your death so your companion will just shut up.

Negative people drain you dry. Don’t waste time sharing your dreams with them. Talk with people who will lift you up with encouragement, useful advice, and positive suggestions.

Only you know what you can do. Listen to yourself. Click To Tweet

They’re Toxic

You’ve heard bad company ruins good morals.

It also kills dreams.

  • “Go find a safe job.”
  • “Writing makes a great hobby.”
  • “There’s already 30 million writers trying to sell books.”

Choose your associates well.

Spend time with other writers trying to make a dent in the universe. Hold each other accountable. Let the iron of like-minded people sharpen your iron.

Now Do This

Are you convinced that the naysayers in your life don’t have your best interests in mind?

Do you believe that they don’t know a thing about what you can and can’t do with your writing?

Then choose now to test for yourself what’s true and what isn’t. Aim high. Do what scares you. Who knows? You might surprise yourself, your family, and all your so-called friends!

Make it your goal this week to:

  • Make a pitch to a blog in your niche
  • Connect with another blogger who writes what you write
  • Write something bold and useful and share it

After you do, tell us about it in the comments. Ask questions if you get stuck. Let’s figure this out together and prove the naysayers wrong!

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