How to Maintain Motivation When Surrounded by Naysayers

You already know how hard your path is. You don't need people telling you it's impossible.

learn more about John Rampton

By John Rampton

FangXiaNuo | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I've had lots of business ideas throughout the years. Some have paid-off, while others never panned out. Thankfully, I have a great support system that is honest without exactly being a naysayer.

However, I've also encountered my fair share of naysayers. You know. Those people who drain every ounce of motivation out of you. Yeah. We want to steer clear of those people. But, unfortunately, there will be times when we can't help but get surrounded by them.

When we find ourselves in that situation, you can use these tips to keep your motivation rolling.

Put your goal in writing and keep it close.

Obviously, you're passionate about what you're doing. If not, then you wouldn't be doing what you do in the first place, right?

As such, you should have no problem verbalizing your goal(s) and then jotting them down. If you're having trouble getting started, begin with visualizing where you want to be in one year, three years, five years and 10 years from this point. Doing this makes your goals crystal clear.

This also creates benchmarks along your journey so that you can celebrate both small and big wins. Keep this written goal close by at all times, like on your bathroom mirror or computer monitor. Whenever criticism rears it's ugly head, you have a method to remain focused and motivated.

Related: The Power of Writing Down Your Goals

Surround yourself with supportive people.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but some of those closest to you have to leave your inner circle. What if these skeptics are family members? Really think about if they're helping or hurting you. If they're doing more harm than good, then you should keep some distance between the two of them.

Once you've removed those negative influences, or least put some distance between you and them, create a support system of people who assist you and put a smile on your face.

Related: How to Deal With Unsupportive Friends and Family

Get in the media spotlight.

There's a reason why a majority of Americans "Google themselves." Seeing your name or idea in print gives you a little self-esteem boost sometimes.

That's because having your thoughts and hard work being discussed or shared in the local newspaper, university journal or respected blog is validation that you're doing something right And, that should be more than enough to quiet those annoying naysayers.

Related: 25 Habits of Successful and Extremely Happy People

You don't have to justify your path to anyone.

We all have our own path to follow - which is based on your values, beliefs and passions. And, the same is true of others choose. That means that you shouldn't justify your path to anyone but yourself.

It's actually powerful and liberating when a naysayer questions what you're doing. You can simply respond with "because that is the path I choose." And, best of all, you don't need to give them any further explanation.

Write yourself a letter.

"Paper is to write things down that we need to remember. Our brains are used to think." -- Albert Einstein

Think about that for a second. How often do you write down the things that you might forget? But, do you ever jot down your goals, hopes, dreams, desires?

Stop leaving those things to chance. Write yourself a letter to remind you who are and you're going. This way, when a naysayer tries to steal your motivation, you can read that letter to prove them wrong.

Related: The 4 People Who Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

Make it a motivator.

This may sound counterproductive, but actually ask the naysayer for permission to prove them otherwise. Then use that as a motivator to prove them wrong. For example, if you say that you'll land 10 new clients by the first of the year, then wager something like a dinner on it.

If you succeed, they'll have to pay for the meal. But, if you fail, then you'll have to pay. Either way, it will push you to meet that goal.

Related: Indiegogo Overcame the Doubters by Trusting Its Users -- and Itself

Set parameters for conversations with the naysayers.

Remember when we discussed how to remove those naysayers who are loved ones? Here's a way to handle that awkward situation. Let's say your parents are the naysayers. Make an agreement with them that when you're together, you discuss everything except work.

Related: F, as in Forget, Those That Doubt You

Data doesn't lie.

Another way to handle naysayers, even if they're family, friends, or employees, is to prove them wrong with hard, cold facts. Do the research, collect proof, then present it. Even if you aren't able to change their minds, it should at least boost your confidence.

Related: 5 Lessons From LeBron James About Big Goals and Proving the Doubters Wrong

Embrace solitude

When you're hustling everyday you sometimes don't take the time to reflect on the fruits of your labor. That's why we all need those quiet times alone when we can look back at yesterday and develop plans for conquering tomorrow. however, you may not have the time to sit back, get your mind quiet, and let ideas come to you.

In fact, there are plenty of people who have an "aha" moment when in a quiet state of mind. Make time for it.

Related: Why Boredom Is the Superpower of the 21st Century

As the wise Dr. Seuss wrote: "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go…"

John Rampton

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Entrepreneur and Connector

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the calendar productivity tool Calendar.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid
Thinking of a Career Change? Here Are 4 Steps You Can Take to Get There.
A Founder Who Bootstrapped Her Jewelry Business With Just $1,000 Now Sees 7-Figure Revenue Because She Knew Something About Her Customers Nobody Else Did
Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law
Starting a Business

90% of Online Businesses Fail in Just 4 Months. You Can Avoid the Same Fate By Using These Strategies.

It's not catastrophizing when we think about potential failure; it's in fact a chance for any business to precisely see any outcome and prepare in advance.


How to Bring Your Franchise to the Next Level With Marketing Automation

With the impacts of inflation and associated costs of running a business, automation is a powerful solution for streamlining a positive guest experience and overall marketing.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.

Business News

You Can Now Book Unlimited Cruises With the New 'Ultimate Paradise Pass'

Guests will be able to take an unlimited amount of two-night cruises to the Bahamas out of Florida.