Gratitude for the Naysayers

I never in a million years thought I’d write this. Because I’ve spent most of my time warding off the side effects of a killjoy, I didn’t have any energy to see their purpose in my life. Until now.

Recently, I was speaking to a particularly potent party pooper (say that 5 times!) and this person shocked me for two reasons. For one, I realized that most of the time people who wag their finger at your creative endeavors, your ambitious ideas or your nontraditional way of living, often point their finger back at themselves. You can’t be critical of other people without being self-critical. Those who are accepting of themselves similarly are much more accepting of others.

Secondly, all the naysayers, the mean teacher, the pessimistic co-worker, the unsupportive friend, have had significant roles in my success. They’ve given me motivation to step outside my comfort zone. If only to prove to them that I could do exactly what they believe I couldn’t.

Who knew that someone disbelieving in you could have the same power as the constant supporter?

For that reason, I really can’t discredit their impact. Their doubt, negativity and failure warnings have actually helped me to work THAT much harder. I couldn’t rest on my laurels to get me a job or believe that my talent/experience were adequate to pull me through. These guys reminded me that I didn’t have any or that if I did, it was far from being good enough.

While you’ll never want to seek them out when feeling down, you CAN use their grumblings to shoot you higher if you’ve let yourself get too comfortable lately.

Basically, you have two choices. You can play victim allowing anything nasty anyone has ever said to you as an excuse to stop pursuing your dreams or you can use it as fuel to succeed. Something tells me that if you follow the latter, you’ll not only surprise yourself, you might even inspire that disbeliever (who I think secretly wants to be a dream seeker like you!).

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7 comments

  1. Amanda Socci says:

    Such an interesting blog post that speaks volumes to me. I totally agree with ou that it is important to not just acknowledge, but credit all the naysayers who do not believe in you. Why? For the very same reasons you’ve notes. Plus, it makes us work harder. Who ever thought that negative influences could make us turn our own lives around? Just another reminder that God knows what he is doing in all of our lives.

    Thank you for this blog post. I Invite you to participate in my month-long gratitude challenge:
    http://socciwriter.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/november-gratitude-challenge-november-1-30/

    • Brandi says:

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you for your comment! Yes it has taken me a long time to realize it. But it’s as you reminded me, negative situations can always turn positive because it depends on how we look at it. I will take a look at your challenge. Thanks again!

  2. Natalia Sylvester says:

    So true, Brandi! Even your ability to be able to turn the negative into the positive is such a great testament to the great energy you surround yourself with. I agree that nay-sayers can serve a purpose…I’m thankful for the positive people in my life who keep me motivated, but I’d be lying if it said I’ve never been fueled by the desire to prove someone wrong ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Brandi says:

      Hi Natalia!

      It’s been a long time since I’ve connected with you. Thanks for your thoughtful comment! It’s taken me awhile to figure it out, but I believe almost any seemingly negative circumstance can be transformed if you use your noggin a little to change your perspective. For example, I broke my toe about 6 weeks ago, which meant I couldn’t walk, drive or do almost anything. I was feeling sorry for myself at one point, but now I’m extremely grateful that it happened. It gave me the opportunity to do what I really needed to do, which was to write and rest. I’m also grateful to know I’m not the only one who uses those negative comments to inspire me to work harder. Thanks!

      • Natalia Sylvester says:

        It has been a while–things have just been very busy, but in a good way ๐Ÿ™‚ I had no idea you broke your toe…I hope it’s healed and that you got plenty of rest and are feeling recharged soon!

        • Brandi says:

          Always good when you’re busy in a good way! And thanks. One of my writer friends calls it “flip-flopitis.” Lol! I swear he’s right. Too much running around in rubber slippers and a broken toe will do you in for 6 weeks minimum.

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