“I can’t control the naysayers. I can control my attitude and work ethic and determination and that’s what I’m focused on now.”                                                    – Tim Tebow

Do you have naysayers in your life?  Family, friends, co-workers, or managers that are stealing your energy and confidence.  These people shouldn’t be doing that, but they are, so the responsibility lies with us to fix it.  What can we do about it? 

Working in the business of investigations and audits for the last forty years, I have dealt with a too many naysayers.  These people were not always sitting across from me but were supposedly on my team.  Think about interviews with potential wrongdoers who don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions.  They come out swinging with a strong offense to compensate for no defense.  Naysaying is their poison of choice.

Taking a leap of faith for yourself is an already daunting and challenging path. Naysayers or Negative Nancy’s only make the journey that much more difficult to traverse. You do not need their pessimism, nor do you have to deal with it. There are several ways to deal with these individuals so you can move past them and continue to be successful while crushing your goals.

  1. Distance Yourself from the Negative

If possible, put space between those individuals and your progress and goals. Continually listening to doubt will eventually manifest into challenging yourself. You know it is difficult to be positive around negative people.  Maybe it gets easier with age, but I don’t have enough time left to be around them.  Freeze them out.

If you cannot distance yourself from a naysayer, have an honest conversation with them. Explain that you don’t need to have their support, but their discouragement is not welcome. Be polite but firm. In the realm of interviewing, these attitudes can be a death nail in the interview room.  I would work to not take those people with me.  There were several people in my career I put on my “do not interview with” list. This is yet another aspect of planning.

  1. Bolster Yourself with Support

Once you have pushed away the negative, bring in the support. Remember distancing from the negative people creates a void that must be filled with something.  Surrounding yourself with people that believe in your goals will allow you to be yourself and unapologetically go after what you want. The support you receive from others will act as reassurance on the path you are taking, and they will help pick you up when times are tough.

In the business of investigations and auditing getting feedback and consulting with others is not always encouraged.  But it should be. We need a support system and the sooner you realize this and develop it the more successful and fulfilled you will be.  Please note here, a supporter doesn’t always agree with you.  They may challenge you but do so in a constructive way.  You don’t need a bunch of “Mini-Me’s” surrounding you, we see too many bad leaders who have done that, you need an honest, supportive colleague.

  1. No Justification Necessary

You do not have to justify yourself, your goals, or the path you are taking to anyone. Everyone is different, no two people live identical lives or achieve their goals in the same ways. If someone questions you, simply say, “This is what I choose.”

But have a reason and plan for those choices you make.  Don’t be simply “winging” it.  That basis should be in ethical conduct, investigation or audit strategy, or a well-planned and strategized approach.

  1. Don’t Share

If you know someone you must be around that thinks you are crazy for going after your goal in a big way, don’t give them ammunition. Avoid talking about your plans around them. If they try to bring it up, take the conversation another direction.  As an interviewer you should know how to do that.

Much like the levels of rapport, there are levels of conversation that I will engage in with people.  This is based on this person’s past interactions with me.  There are times and reasons to keep people at arm’s length.

  1. Turn Doubt into Motivation

If someone doubts you, use their doubt as motivation. Maybe that means making a wager or promising yourself that you’ll prove him or her wrong. Either way, do not let the uncertainty of others weigh you down. Most likely, what they think really doesn’t matter.

Turn that negative into an opportunity for self-assessment to look for a way to improve and grow.  I do evaluations for all my classes.  I frustrate my wife with the amount of time I spend on the two critical evaluations out of 50 good ones.  But I want to see if there are critiques that require adjustment and growth on my part.

Remember with any of the above list where negative input is coming from outside, you should always consider collaborating with those in your support network to recalibrate where you need to be.

  1. Embrace Solitude and Reflection

Keeping up the hustle to achieve your goals can be a lonely path sometimes. Give yourself downtime to reflect on your goals, how far you have come, and reevaluate your plan of action. This quiet time will also fill your cup and let new ideas and motivation form.

I just talked last week about being an introvert.  I need that downtime to evaluate where I am at and where I need to go.  Our lives need to have balance.  Are you taking that time away to examine, consider, and plan to move forward and grow.

Naysayers are everywhere in life. They are in your family, at work, and maybe even your friend group. This does not mean that you need to spend your life working within the parameters of their beliefs. You can move beyond their negativity and crush your goals with relentless willpower and a personal confidence and credibility.

Take the time and have the passion to make each area of your life better and more fulfilling. Care enough, don’t be dissuaded into being a quiet quitter.  That allows the naysayer to succeed.  Plan to adjust, one step at a time. 

Anderson Investigative Associates is positioned to custom-tailor training to your specific needs.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss the above subject of naysayers and goal success or any training need, please reach out.  Additional issues pertaining to interviewing, auditing, and investigations can be found in other blogs and videos that I have produced and are contained in most blocks of instruction that our company presents.

If you have additional questions, comments, or have an interviewing topic you would like me to address, give me a shout.  In the meantime, be well, stay safe out there, and find a way to minimize naysayer’s impact and maximize goal completion….it will get you moving in the direction for greater success and satisfaction in your life.  Now, off you go!

I’m off to teach today!  I sure hope there aren’t any naysayers.

Mark A. Anderson

Director of Training and Development

Anderson Investigative Associates, llc

114 Loucks Avenue

Scottdale, PA 15683