Whenever you try to do something big or something for the first time, people will doubt you. Do not be surprised when this happens. This is the byproduct of most people aiming way too small with how they live their lives. More specifically, there are 5 main reasons why people will doubt you can achieve your dreams:
- They think they are helping you. This happens often with our family and closest friends. As a student, one of my family members told me I should be “more realistic” when it came to my first job out of college. Even though this bothered me, I knew her heart was in the right place. She thought she was doing me a favor by not letting me get my hopes up only to be disappointed (since she thought I would fail).
- They don’t believe they could succeed. Another reason people will doubt you is because they don’t believe they could do what you are trying to achieve, either because they tried and gave up, or because they have never tried. Several years ago, I went to lunch with a group of professional speakers who were much older than me. During our meal, I shared my dream of publishing a book. Immediately, the entire group shared their stories of being unable to get a publisher to offer them a book deal, and a few of them implied how “impossible” it would be for me to publish a book “at this stage of my career.” Let me emphasize one point. I was at lunch with a group of motivational speakers. These people are supposed to inspire others for a living, and they were shooting down my dream! Since I ultimately made it happen, I think this is actually pretty ironic and humorous. Anyway, the message is this. Most people (even some motivational speakers) have allowed life to beat them down. Never allow someone else’s failures, insecurity, or lack of faith to dictate whether you believe your dreams are possible.
- You are trying to succeed faster. Other people might doubt you because they make the mistake of thinking that it’s not possible for someone else to get somewhere sooner than they did. When I was a senior in college, I shared my dream of working in pro sports with a senior executive from a team in the NFL. He had been unable to get a job in sports right after college, so he told me it would be “impossible” for me to do it. He then suggested I get experience in another industry and consider applying for jobs in sports 5-10 years later. (This is an example of one of the terrible pieces of advice given to me as a young professional.)
- They don’t like your dream. Don’t expect all of your friends or family members to be excited about your vision. I don’t know your particular situation, so all I will say is that when you reach adulthood, it’s time to make your own decisions. One of the biggest recipes for unhappiness is to bury your dreams in order to make other people happy. As long as your dream does not hurt you or anyone else, then go after it with everything you have.
- Some people actually don’t want you to succeed. This is also known as being a “hater.” Yes, this sounds jaded, but it’s true. Some people incorrectly believe there is a finite supply of happiness or success available in the world. As a result, they think that if you are happy or successful, it somehow makes it less likely for them to be. The truth is that there is an infinite supply of success and happiness available to anyone willing to put in the necessary effort.
The overall message is this: do not expect everyone to support your dreams unconditionally. Instead, use doubts or criticism as added motivation. In a way, I got my first dream job (to become an NBA executive) and my second dream job (to become a published author) because people doubted me, not in spite of people doubting me. I used doubts from other people to ignite my conviction that I would succeed. Doubters made me want it more and gave me an “enemy” to fight against. The challenges unleashed my competitive juices and my desire to win. I learned at an early age that your ultimate success has nothing to do with what other people think about your dreams. Your success or failure will be the result of how you respond to fear, what you tell yourself is possible, and the subsequent actions you are willing to take to make your dreams a reality.
Have you ever used doubts from other people as extra motivation to achieve one of your dreams? If so, please share below!
P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com.
-Pete Leibman (Pete@DreamJobAcademy.com)
-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You: The Blueprint For Career Success As A Young Professional” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)
-Founder of Dream Job Academy
-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour
–Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day