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I recently had a virtual speaking engagement where I was discussing the theme of resiliency.  At the end of the engagement, I did a Q&A with those in attendance.  A high school student asked me my favorite question I’ve ever been asked at one of my talks: she said, “how do you respond when someone tells you you’re not good enough to accomplish something?”  I thought it was such a powerful question and immediately launched into my answer.  In the week that followed, I told multiple people about her question and continued to reflect on it.  Throughout my life and some of the experiences I’ve been through, I’ve come to realize some truths that help me to handle people who don’t believe in me or tell me I can’t accomplish something. And whether you have thought about this question before or not, I think all of us can benefit from the following ideas about how to tune out negative noise and focus on achieving the big goals we set for ourselves:

  1. Realize that it’s not about you.

Focus on the positive energy and tune out the distractions.  When you’re pursuing a goal and someone wants to rain on your parade, it usually has nothing to do with you.  One of the reasons that there is so much “trolling” on social media, is that the people who engage in those things are often unhappy with themselves and project that negative energy onto others.  When you realize that it’s not personal, it can relieve some of the negative feelings around it.  Focus instead on the positivity around you!  Perspective is powerful, and life is always better when you build upon the breakthroughs instead of dwelling on the setbacks.

  1. Believe in yourself.

Accomplishing anything great starts with self-belief!  Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  If you believe in yourself, then you can do it!  And if you fall short of your goal, that’s okay.  Don’t shy away from something just because it doesn’t always go according to plan.  Giving it your all and falling short is all part of learning and growing as a human being.  Many of the biggest achievements I’ve ever had in my life happened largely because of prior “failures” that taught me the lessons I needed to grow and prepare me for the next big opportunity.  Life is a journey and the pursuit of excellence never ends!

  1. Turn to your team.

We’re all better because of the team around us.  No individual achieves success without the help of their team, big or small.  So, when you’re struggling or other people are trying to bring you down, turn to your team for the support you need!  Success begins with self-confidence, but it grows and becomes stronger through the support of your loved ones.  Just like the victories, the burdens in life are meant to be shared!

These lessons have helped me grow into a person who isn’t afraid to go after big goals, regardless of the outcome.  One of the most meaningful compliments anyone has ever paid me was to say that they admired my ability to continuously pursue my passions and set big goals, regardless of the outcome.  You win some and you lose some, but each experience is an opportunity to learn and become better.  You will never know what you’re capable of until you put yourself out there and go for it!