Whenever you’re starting out in any new pursuit or entering a new stage in life (school, jobs, side hustles, entrepreneurship, lifestyle changes), there will inevitably be people who doubt your potential, attempt to dissuade you from your intended pursuits, and use fear-based persuasion to keep you under their control or get you to agree with their viewpoint, so you can do as they say. It can be discouraging, and you feel as if you’re the problem and that you’re unable to do what you know is best for you based on how much they’ve doubted you and made up bleak visions of the future for you without considering the unique things that you have to offer or the skills that you have the potential to improve on.
Here are 8 things you can remind yourself whenever anyone tries to discourage you from reaching your full potential:
1. The people who judge you and doubt you are speaking out of contempt for you because you have a different attitude towards life and a different definition of success.
They feel contempt for you because they think you’re young, naïve, and very foolish for having an adventurous spirit and passion for what you want to do. Most commonly, they do not think you can make it because they believe that you’re not doing something practical, and they narrowly define you based on the past mistakes you’ve made. They also have a skewed view of what it means to be a person of worth and they probably consider achievement of externally-conscious goals as the only way people can prove that they’re successful. Their narrow perspective only reinforces their own attachment to their self-image, which they want to preserve, since they are insecure about anyone else doing something different and has the potential to become revolutionary.
2. They think that your past failures define what you are incapable of now and in the future.
Whenever you try to explain to someone what you’re going through and how you want to change a significant aspect of your life, you’re likely to hear them bring up past failures, without any regard to your past or current successes, as if your successes never even occurred. However, if they haven’t moved on from your past, it speaks a lot about how they judge you, and absolutely cannot predetermine your failures for the future.
3. Their minds work within a narrow and constraining framework – one that is based on scarcity, external limitations, and catastrophes.
Because they think this way, they perceive your alternative way of thinking as dangerous and potentially destructive because they cannot see past their own narrow confines within their minds – they always assume that the most catastrophic outcome is guaranteed, they believe that all failures are signs of perpetual inadequacy, and they judge you, not out of love, but out of irrational fear and severe anxiety. Whenever they tell you that you’re bound to fail and never reach your potential, it’s because of the way they think, and their judgments have nothing to do with your potential for growth and success.
4. Their opinions are not ultimatums or actual visions of the future, nor should you ever view them as such. Otherwise, you’d be allowing their misery and discouragement to influence how you feel about yourself, which will set you up for failure and lack of progress.
Their opinions are not based on truth. Nor are they based on any factual evidence. They are based on feelings of fears that they haven’t been able to keep under control. That is all. The way they put you in fear whenever they speak of their disappointment in you might make it feel like they’re giving ultimatums and forcing you to give up on bringing forth your visions to life, but in the end, they are only manipulating your feelings of fear to keep you paralyzed where you’re at.
5. Your worth is more than someone’s arbitrary view of your worthiness.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter how you’re measured based on someone else’s judgmental scale of worthiness. What matters is that you know what’s best yourself, what you did to bring forth your truest self, and how you good you made people feel in the process.
6. Everything in life will come to an end, and you should not be wasting your time trying to fight for your life to please those that doubt you and think you’re worthless.
Nobody knows when the economy will collapse, when another global war will start, when society will be reduced to an arena with cutthroat battles for survival, or when a totalitarian regime will be fully established. But it may be sooner than you think, and by that time, it will be too late to create the life that you’ve always wanted to live and too late for you to create things that will actually help yourself and others. Now is the best time to start anything that you’ve always wanted to start (and who knows – your voice and your actions may be part of the reason why a totalitarian regime won’t be put into place). Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
7. Opposition is to be expected whenever you set out to do something more than what you may appear to be capable of.
On the surface, you may seem like you’re falling short of a few expectations set by someone else. Or that you’ve had a troubled past. Or maybe you don’t “look” like someone who’s capable of achieving great success. However, you need to remember that others are looking at how your life looks based on what they see either on social media or how they perceive you on a given day. They don’t fully realize the powerful fires within your soul or the inner workings of your complex mind. Their opposition is based on what they don’t like about you on the surface.
8. You don’t need their approval, permission, or moral support to start the things that you believe are essential for your fulfillment and long-term happiness.
You cannot expect them to hold your hand and tell you what to do because all they’re going to do is crush your spirit under the guise of safety and familiarity. You cannot wait for them to give you permission to start because they’re never going to do that, and you’ll be waiting until you crumble from life’s tribulations and die without ever actualizing your full potential. You cannot depend on them for moral support because they are definitely not going to give that to you if they think so lowly of you. You just need to act now. And stay curious, be persistent, find people who actually do believe in you, learn as much as you can, change as much as you need to whenever you experience setbacks, and evolve into a truer version of yourself, the kind that you have the potential to become.