Once upon a time on a rural countryside farm, a farmer noticed two very large birds circling overhead. Upon further observation, the farmer realized these were two eagles. The eagles continued to circle above the farmer’s barn for a couple of weeks. Finally, the farmer climbed on top of the barn and noticed a very large nest. A few days later, the farmer went back onto the roof of the barn, and took an egg from the eagle’s nest. He then put the egg into the chicken coup. A few weeks later the chicken eggs began to hatch followed not long after by the eagle egg. The chicks begin to explore and learn all things necessary for survival. And right there with them was this much larger, awkward bird.The young eagle learned all of the basic survival skills just as the young chickens did. After a year of living amongst the chickens, the eagle looks up one day and notices two majestic birds flying overhead. He was in awe and said, “Wow! Gee, I wish some day I could fly as beautifully as those two birds.” An elder chicken overheard this and said, “Silly, you’re just a chicken. You’ll never be able to fly like that. Everyone knows chickens can’t fly.” And that was the end of the young eagle’s dream.

Haters are going to hate. We all have them. If you don’t have them, you’re not doing enough. However, those negative and discouraging people can really bring you down. But if we take lessons from the story of the young eagle, we will become stronger.

Lesson #1– If you allow other people’s beliefs to limit your own thoughts, you’ll never take off and fly.

Lesson #2– Don’t betray yourself. You are what matters most. What other people think of you doesn’t matter. What lies within you is what truly matters.

What do you do when someone questions your character and integrity? Do you let it get to you? Do you stop believing in what you’re doing and say they’re right? NO. You hold on to what you believe. If you are a coach, believe in your system. It’s not what you do, but how you do it. Be willing to change, but don’t throw away what you have at the first criticism. If you are in business, believe in your product and company. If you don’t, how will anyone else believe in you enough to give you their business? It may not be for everyone, but it’s for someone.

The keys to overcoming your critics are to remain confident and have optimism. Remember, there are no limitations. There is nothing you cannot accomplish. Everyone has setbacks and failures. It’s only a failure if you give up. It took Thomas Edison over 10,000 attempts to invent a working light bulb. Edison famously said, “I have no failed. I just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” Remain optimistic that the next job, game, meeting, or presentation will be the one that sets you over the top. See yourself having success; visualize it. Flood your mind with positive thoughts and visions of success. Read and study those who have overcome similar obstacles (especially within your field) and realize you can do it too.

Everyone’s going to have haters. Critics are dreamers done bad. They don’t want it or can’t see it. They’ve given up and are unhappy, so they want you to join their pity party. Ignore them. Don’t let their criticism get to you. You deserve success, and as long as you’re willing to work for it and endure the hardships you will obtain it.

Hold on to what you believe through the good and the bad. Surround yourself with fire-lighters, not fire-fighters.

Associate with those who lift and inspire. And above all, believe and achieve!

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!

Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.