How To Stop a Negative Nancy In Their Tracks

Kat Norton, aka Miss Excel:

When we start to push past our comfort zone—whether it be by posting a TikTok, starting a business, or taking on a daunting project at work—it’s not uncommon for people to say things that clobber our self esteem.

  • “Why are you posting these cringe videos?”
  • “Are you sure you want to give up your secure corporate job to start a business?”
  • “We know you want to take on this project, but are you sure you’re ready?”

Sure, their intentions might sometimes be pure. But when those intentions, sincere or otherwise, cause you fear, worry, and doubt—well, that’s the last thing you need when you’re taking a leap of faith.

When building Miss Excel, I’d get loads of comments from doubtful observers. Boomers told me to get a “real” job and strangers commented not-so-nice things on my videos.

So, how do you filter out the negative noise when you’re going after what you want?

My go-to method is to ask myself,

“Would I trade places with this person in this area?”

If the answer is yes, I might have something to learn from them.

But if not, it’s probably a no-go. For example, if someone is telling me the “right way” to parallel park but doesn’t have their license, I won’t consider their input too much.

Entrepreneur Michael Hyatt compares advice to the many options Google Maps gives you for getting from point A to point B in routes both direct and convoluted:

“Some advice will get you where you want to go. Some will just send you in circles. Don’t waste time. Look for people who can get you where you want to go with the fewest dead ends.”

The next time someone questions you or gives you advice contrary to your ambitions, remember you’re at the steering wheel. You get to decide if you’ll follow their directions or if you’ll stick to your own route.

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