Don’t get mad.
There will come a time when you feel comfortable talking about your dreams of becoming debt free, starting your own side hustle and retiring. And when you do, be ready for the haters, the doubters and the discouragers.
Don’t get mad.
First we’ll deal with the haters. These people you simply don’t want or need in your life. I know it sounds bold and harsh, but it’s true. If someone is discouraging you and bringing you down and talking shit about you… why would you want that kind of person in your life? These are the easiest people to get rid of. That’s not to say they will never come back into your life. Maybe one day they’ll see the light and become a true friend. There may be a time when YOU choose to mentor them and help them understand their negative ways and help them move forward in a positive loving way.
But until then, you need to delete them from your life. Harsh as that may be. Remember these are the true haters in your life.
These folks are the people who know you and judge you by your past actions. They probably see you as a dreamer, who never achieved their dreams. These people love you and don’t want to see you get hurt.
They believe that Failure = Defeat.
They don’t understand that you see failure as an opportunity to learn and move forward. As Thomas A. Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
You too are starting to think that way on purpose and more often and so the “Doubters” in your life aren’t bad people, they’re just stuck in a negative mindset. Some people would say that you have to rid yourself of these people too, but for me… it was most of my family and friends.
It’s not that they didn’t want to believe in me and my dreams, it’s that they were stuck in their own paradigm of who they thought I was. Every time I failed it was an individual failure. They didn’t understand that I was learning from those failures. To be honest, sometimes it takes me a while to learn.
The important thing when dealing with your doubters is repetition. Help them understand that you see failure as a stepping stone. Maybe tell them that you are encouraged by Edison’s quote, “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.” The sad reality is some people will always be doubters, but that’s on them, not you. Don’t let it bring you down. Share the things you’ve learned with them and let them know that you believe in you and that’s the most important thing. One day, when you’re living your dream, they’ll have no choice but to see it.
It’s funny how even now, I still have people in my life who think that I’m a dreamer. Even though I’m living my dream life and don’t have to “work” to keep living. They can’t see it. They’re still waiting for the other shoe to drop; they’re still seeing “me” in their old paradigm. They still think that there is no way that my lifestyle is sustainable. At some point I’ll be broke and will have to return to work and I’ll be worse off than I was before I quit working.
I try to point out to them that even in my worst case scenario, one where I have to go back to work (for whatever reason), I still had X amount of years off “work” where I lived the life I wanted, being debt free with no mortgage to pay AND I would only have to work 2 days a week to keep my lifestyle. I believe that the fact that I retired once, gives me the advantage of knowing how to do it again.
Still they can’t seem to wrap their minds around it. After all, it’s just little old me, how could I possibly have solved a “problem” that they couldn’t? The truth is I didn’t solve anything. Thousands did it before me. I just found a way to use their knowledge to suit my situation.
We all know people like this, but in my opinion or at least the way I see it I think “The Discouragers” are often misunderstood. I’ll give you a personal example.
My mom – if there was anyone in my life that could put the kibosh in one of my dreams, it was her.
“Mom, I would like to try and go to the Olympics for diving.” I said to her once.
“Stop dreaming in color, I’m broke with 5 kids and you think you’re going to the Olympics? That’s never going to happen.”
One time I told her I was going to do a stand up comedy show. She said I’d never do it. I told her I had a time slot booked for the next night. She said, “But you’re not funny. Comedians make people laugh. What are you going to do?”
You get the idea. It didn’t matter what success I had under my belt. The next thing I attempted was sure to fail and then I’d see how right she was.
Just to be clear, I love my mom. I call her almost every night and I go see her as often as I can. So, what is her problem? Right?
Well, what if I told you my mom was born in a small town back in 1940? When she was in grade three, she had to quit school to help take care of her siblings. Her mom died giving birth to her 14th child, when my mom was only five. In the summer of her tenth year, one of her brothers drowned and another died of food poisoning, eating wild mushrooms. She left home at 12 and got a job at a local store. She took care of the kids and worked at the store. She got room and board as her pay. When she was around 17, she had to get all her teeth removed. She saved up for a few years and was able to buy herself dentures.
On and on working for a butcher, cleaning houses, sewing… She met my dad and had five kids and then he left her with a nine month old, a three year old, a six, seven and eight year old. I think you get it.
Was my mom being mean to me, with her discouraging words? Nope. She was trying to help in the best way possible. She didn’t want me to fail, she didn’t want me to get hurt. Life is hard and cruel and your only dream should be to survive it as best you can.
I always tell my kids, make lots of mistakes before you’re 25, because they don’t really matter. Once in a while they’ll tell me they want to try something and my first instinct is to discourage them. Not because I don’t think they can do it, but because I want to protect them from making mistakes. Once I get over my own fear, I encourage them and we make plans and set goals.
I guess my takeaway on “The Discouragers” is:
- They’ve lived their lives in fear of being too happy. They believe if you’re too happy something really bad is going to happen to you. Karma wants to bring you down a notch.
- They don’t want to see you get hurt. They just want you to play it safe. Get a job, pay your bills and try not to amass any kind of debt.
Be gentle on your discouragers, keep explaining to them that you don’t see failure as failure. You see failure as a way not to do something, which in turn is a success. As strange as that sounds.
Have a great day.