Throughout my career, I've been plagued by people telling me I'm not good enough. I've been rejected for more jobs than I care to remember. I've heard every excuse in the book for not being hired. Some of them were quite absurd and hard to swallow.
I've had my share of toxic bosses who have tried to hold me back. They used every chance they could get to put me down in an effort to make themselves look smart. They took credit for my ideas and then blamed me for their own failures.
After a while, it's hard not to start believing your haters. I know I did. My career began to plummet as a result. There will always be voices telling you you're not good enough. Telling you you're wasting your time and you should just give up.
Just because someone holds a fancier title than you or has a larger ego, doesn't mean they know what is best for your career. Many people in management positions are still trying to figure it out for themselves.
A few years ago, I fell into this trap. I started to believe that people with senior titles knew more than I did. Instead of continuing to work hard and push to move forward in my career, I began to accept the limitations that others were casting on me. The negative voices in my life were starting to drag me down.
The most difficult part of my journey has been to believe in myself and not listen to the people who were trying to hold me back. I love this quote from, Sean Stephenson: "Never believe a prediction that doesn't empower you."
Before I started blogging, I sought out advice from my boss, friends, family, and my mentors at the time. Not a single one of them advised me to start writing. Little did they know it would be my blogs that would propel my career forward and enable me to pivot into something I love.
Use your haters as an instrument for change and personal growth.
You don't have to listen to what everyone else thinks.
Always remember, the people who say you can't do something can't do it either! Not one person I sought advice from about starting a blog had ever made a dime from writing.
To overcome the negative voices of your haters, you need to seek out mentors who have been where you'd like to go. Seek out people who will coach you and empower you along your journey.
A good mentor will challenge you to get better. A good mentor will point out your shortcomings and tell you why you weren't good enough that particular day. However, unlike a hater, a good mentor will provide you with solutions for growth. These are the voices you should listen to.
To find success, keep grinding, improving your existing skills, and learning new ones.
Every day in life you have a choice to either listen to your haters and give in to self-doubt or go out there and make the changes you need to improve. Do something small each day to improve your career, and over time those small steps will turn into something big.
I've put the days of listening to haters in the past, and it's been amazingly liberating. Once I finally made this decision, it empowered me to begin achieving in my career again.
Originally published on my column in Inc. Magazine
John White, MBA John White, MBA
Columnist • Inc Magazin
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