DonÂt ever tell me that I canÂt do something.
Please go right ahead and tell me that.
YouÂve done me a favor, actually, because I use it as fuel. Like an Olympic swimmer doing an elegant flip-turn against the side of the pool to propel myself forward faster. Like a NASA rocket pushing against the earth to break free of gravity.
There are a lot of people out there who will take delight in puncturing your newly laid plans. ItÂs your job to analyze whether the negative reaction is something you can use, or simply something you just need to stay away from.
ÂThose who say it canÂt be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.Â James Baldwin
History is full of stories about people who wouldnÂt have made discoveries, wouldnÂt have founded great companies, and wouldnÂt have achieved success without the initial force of perceived impossibility.
How about these two young women who invented an invisible bike helmet because their professor said it couldnÂt be done?
Negativity Can Be Your Launching Pad
First, evaluate the source. Does the person know what they’re talking about? If they are pouring cold water on your idea, do they have expertise that means you need to listen to them? Are they simply being a Devil’s Advocate?
Second, examine the substance of the criticism. Is it something you already considered? Do you need to incorporate it into your plan? If the criticism is legitimate, use it to make your strategy even stronger.
If neither of these criteria are met, flick the negativity off your shoulder like dandruff.
Put this song in your earbuds: Fitz and the Tantrums ÂThe WalkerÂ
Get to work.
Visualize the goal ahead and leave the negativity in your rear view mirror. Propel yourself forward on the strength of your strategy, which has now been tested. You should thank your critic(s), because they have done you a valuable service. They have forced you to gut check.
Now you can fly.
Have you had an experience where you turned a “you can’t do that” into a “just watch me?”