I remember several years ago calling on a prospect in California. When I introduced myself over the phone, he asked, “Are you the guy who sings and plays the banjo?” My reputation preceded me, how cool is that? I smiled and said, “Yes, that’s me!” He said, “Uh, yeah, I saw you last year, I don’t think so.” and hung up. It felt like I got punched in the stomach.

The Naysayer is everywhere, just waiting to say “NAY!” to your hopes, your dreams and your future. When other people disapprove of our best efforts we may feel deflated at best and at times downright debilitated.

Still harder for me to ignore is my internal Naysayer. He sounds a bit like Simon Cowell without the English accent.

“I don’t think you’re as good as you think you are.”

“My advice would be if you want to pursue a career in the music business, don’t.”

“That was terrible. I mean just awful.” –Simon Cowell

On the boulevard of broken dreams there are countless unrealized talents and goals crushed by the Naysayer. Don't let this happen to you. Here are some thoughts on dealing with the Naysayers in your life or in your head.

* Don’t take it personally. Easier said than done, right? But in many cases the naysaying is truly not personal. Hey- it's a banjo (or a new business, or a book you're writing, or a move to the country, or whatever). Not everybody gets it, so what? It doesn't take everybody to realize your dreams.
* Get used to it. Develop a thick skin. There will likely be many more naysayers along your journey.
* Get, be and stay around people who believe in you and lift you up. Tell these people how much you appreciate them.
* Don’t try to please everyone- you never will, particularly the Naysayer.
* When you find yourself listening to your internal Naysayer, pick a different voice inside your head- one that appreciates you and believes in you. It’s in there somewhere.

“There are many voices in my head. The key is deciding which one to listen to.” –Doug Grady

Finally, appreciate the Naysayer- no matter how unwarranted, uninvited, inaccurate or negative the feedback may appear to be. The Naysayer is a very real reminder that realizing our potential and achieving our goals isn't always easy. At times we may need to be humbled. At times we may need to be challenged. At others we may need a fire lit under us to grow, to stretch, and to get better. Let this be your response to the Naysayer.

Author's Bio: 

Doug Grady is a professional speaker, musician, and President of High Achievers Network. He has been studying and teaching the pathways to personal potential for over 20 years. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Ripple Effect.