Few things in life are more exciting than having a dream. Perhaps your dream isn’t necessarily new, but something that you know you should’ve probably attempted years ago.
Regardless, you have the passion. You’re ready to begin, and then, it happens … the people closest to you: family, friends, and maybe even your spouse scoff at your vision and quickly harp on prior negative outcomes you’ve had.
Isn’t this your 3rd business? Marriage? Bright idea? You get the point.
They see a half-empty glass. They won’t accept that you want to try something new, which can be very upsetting. Despite your frustration, you can turn this perceived setback into a wonderful opportunity.
Reaction or Response: It’s Time to Choose
There are two ways you can handle negative feedback: you can react or you can respond. Let’s examine the differences.
A reaction is natural. Whatever you are instinctively predisposed to do is what will come to light when you react. This usually isn’t good! Reactions can be catastrophic to personal and professional relationships. Reactions can even sabotage important opportunities for which you’ve worked long and hard.
A response on the other hand, is pre-planned. This is critical.
You make up your mind in advance what you will say, assuming you say anything at all. Choosing to simply walk away from some situations may be the best response of all, especially knowing that it’s fruitless to try to “win” a disagreement.
Consider the Opposing Point of View
When you share your dream and receive a less than desirable reaction, take a moment to consider that someone may be reacting out of their own pain. Maybe they feel like “their time” has passed them by, and they see what should’ve been themselves in you. They may resent that a little bit. While they may mean well and genuinely love you, they are most likely operating from a place of disappointment over an opportunity perceived to be lost.
This is where your tremendous opportunity comes into play; this is the perfect time to show genuine love and empathy! Express that, while you understand their feelings about your endeavor, this new course means a lot, and you’d rather try and experience a poor outcome, then to not try at all.
The All-important “Catch”
After emphasizing your commitment to your journey, take some time to lift someone up!
Take the focus off of yourself and ask “what’s your dream?” If money were no issue for you, would you keep earning a living doing what you’re doing? Are you operating within your gift and your passion? What a great way to impact someone for the better!
We each have a unique gift that the world needs and deserves to benefit from. Turn your personal discouragement into encouragement for someone else! Let’s abandon our myopic worldview for a far greater vision.
Who knows? You just might help turn a doubter into a believer who helps someone else.