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How to Deal with Negative People when Following Your Dreams

Gandhi quote

Here’s the thing: if you decide to follow your dreams there will be people ready to tear you down.

It’s sad but true.

People tend to project their own insecurities onto others – and I think this is the main driving force behind the behaviour.

The problem is – it’s hard enough to keep the faith when you’re chasing your dreams as it is, without having to deal with naysayers who say things like:

“Oh you’ll never make any money doing that!” or “Best keep that as a hobby and get a real job that pays the bills” or “Shouldn’t you be a bit more realistic?”

What you need to understand about these people is this;

They are simply telling you what they believe about themselves. It’s all about THEM – not you.

So if they tell you they don’t believe that finding your dream career is possible – this is just what they believe for themselves, not you.

They’re projecting their own beliefs onto you.

And you kinda have nothing to do with it really.

I’ve experienced this first hand throughout my own journey.

As my business has grown, naturally I started to get the odd negative comment here and there.

And I noticed a real shift when I started to scale (I think when I had around 50,000 people join my newsletter I noticed it the most).

I’d get a few hater emails from people saying things like ‘Who are you to teach people to find their dream careers….is this all a scam…clearly you’re only in it for the money’ etc. things like that.

The first few emails hurt like hell and I took them personally.

But upon reflection I realized a couple of things…

1. You can’t please all the people all the time

When you start to reach a large amount of people, it’s only normal that a few people are going to be negative, naysayer types. It’s a numbers game. So you just have to not take it personally. And besides, I tend to find that most of the negative types are the ones who you can never really help anyway. They aren’t willing to do the work and like to blame others for things going wrong in their lives. No point trying to convince them of anything. Best to just let them get on with their lives.

2. If you know WHO YOU ARE then the comments won’t affect you

Here’s the thing. I know who I am. I know what my intentions are and I know that everything I do in my business comes from a good place. And when I KNOW that, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says to me. These people don’t know me – so who are they to judge? If I can be 100% grounded in who I am (and have the self awareness to do so), then it’s much easier to brush off any negative comments.

3. Be proud of your enemies

Winston Churchill once said: “You have enemies? Good, that means you have stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

It’s true right? If people disagree with what you’re doing then it just means that you have had the courage to do something that has real meaning in your life! And you can use the naysayers to drive you forwards. I always remember when I was just starting to build up my dream career, I could tell people didn’t think I was serious. They thought I was just tinkering away at my blog and it was some kind of nice little hobby that would never make any money or become a real business.

I always use to think to myself quietly ‘I’ll show them…they may think that now, but soon I’ll be the one laughing!” And I used their lack of belief to fuel my determination even more. I’ve never ever let anyone tell me I can’t do something – in-fact the second someone says that to me, it only makes me want to prove them wrong more than ever! And that’s why I love Mahatma Gandhi’s quote so much:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi

It’s so true.

And a lot of the people who kind of ignored what I was doing all those years back are now contacting me and asking for help…

So if you’re at the start of YOUR journey towards building the career of your dreams, I just want you to be ready for a few haters along the way.

It means you’re in the right place.

See them as a rights of passage almost – know that they are there to remind you that what you’re doing is admirable.

And more than anything, never lose sight of who you really are. Only YOU know that – never, NEVER let anyone else try to tell you who you are and what your intentions are.

Stay true to your dreams, keep on going one day at a time, and eventually you’ll cross over the line and suddenly people will be clambering all over you asking you how you did it.

Trust me, it’s the truth.

How do you deal with the naysayers? I’d love to hear in the comments below – just scroll down.

With love

Zoe B

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16 Comments. Leave new

Carmen Peskin
February 8, 2017 3:58 pm

So, so true! There will always be haters but what I learned over the years is that when people are negative or say hurtful things, it comes from a place of pain. They are either dealing with their own grief, or insecurities or past failures and just cant move past it. Its got nothing to do with you and is all about them


PERFECT TIMING 🙂 Awesome advice. I’ve only recently begun to understand this and sometimes it’s hard to put to practice. Someone once said that people come in our lives for a reason, a season, or forever. I’ve found my life and stress levels have improved tremendously since I’ve learned to let go. Thanks for sharing Zoe 🙂 <3

Laura Korhonen
February 8, 2017 11:45 pm

Hello there! I totally needed this right now as I am trying to finally believe in myself and my abilities and I am a really sensitive soul. Thank you for this article! I have been battling against so many mean people in my life and I have been a victim of mental abuse, so now I am just striving to be just me and know what I can do, because I have so much to give to people.


Great good news you are starting a new life. That’s the opportunity to learn how worthy you are!

Yulia Savelyeva
February 9, 2017 12:49 am

Wow, very timely!! Huge thank you!


I’ve not told anyone but my daughter ; when I wrote my first book my cousin didn’t believe I hadn’t done it , I don’t share anymore or if someone ask what are you doing ? My reply – trying something new or what worked before and buckling down. God holds my secrets to my success and guides me the rest of the way.


This is so spot on for me right now. This hit the nail on the head as they way I’ve been feeling right now. This has made me feel some courage grow – it’s exactly what I needed to hear. So thank you. And I love that quote from Ghandi – it’s going on my wall of quotes!

Igono Joseph Okeme
February 9, 2017 8:06 am

This article came at the right time for me.
I write a lot of stuff on cars on an online platform, and have realised got a lot of thousands of comments that are positive, while some few bunch of people, kinda send negative comments, and the likes.
Initially, I took that as an offence, but realised from this article, like the quote from Ghandi, that…..they’d hate you, etc.
Your article has really encouraged me the more to write more articles.

Thanks ZOE.


Hello Zoe, I got loads of negative people around throughout my whole life. Once I was quiet and patient, I used to ignore the comments or the attitudes. It hurts. However, now I do know who I am, it’s true, I do know my intentions are good, I’m a hard worker, yes I do my big or little mistakes, as anyone. But I’m no longer quiet when someone laugh at me or at my good will. As a real passive aggressive I use sarcarsm to make fun of them back. Then I feel worse. I feel I just hurt them worse than they can hurt me. So I’m working on myself trying to go back and just ignore the naysayers.


Thank you Zoe, wonderful quote from a great human being.
Everyone encounters people who can’t understand them and prefers to deny you, to make more sense of their own way of living; I believe smiling at them will always defeat them and relax you, so you can carry on following your flow without getting affected by others.


Just as you mentioned there are naysayers everywhere. Sometimes it is really hard to deal with them, but in my opinion the most important is to have a high confidence in what you do. I think the best way to deal with them is they should hear your story of how you’ve come up to this level, and how they have become successful in your work. Tell them your story so the people admire you and let them find themselves in the story. That may change their minds and when they see you so happy and confident they will want to become just like you!


I loved this post Zoe. Last year before I started my new journey I was told by someone whose opinions I had previously valued that my idea was unlikely to happen. Blogging was so last season and those who had made a serious living from it were bank rolled by their families. It knocked me off course but deep down my idea has never left me. Despite periods of self-doubt and some periods of low mood I found your programme and shared my ideas. I’m edging towards the finishing line of this phase and module 4 almost beckons. My original idea remains with me as strong today and I’m grateful for the path of positivity you have shown me. Safe to say I’m staying away from the negative vibes that these people give off and I’m learning not to overshare but trusting my own instincts and beliefs.


Zoe, at this stage I can’t afford your 30 days sessions, but I am following your blogs, it was enlightening. I feel for quite some time now, I have been stucked somewhere and I lost my drive, but everything I get to read your articles, my hopes get back up and I am inspired to plan and do action to keep myself out of this situation. You are making a huge impact to people. I’ve been thrown cold water by friends and even family members about my dream, but reading this article, gives me a reassurance that I am on the right path on discovering what I truly want to achieve in life.


Thanks for this informative post. I concur whole heartedly! I discuss this in my book 365 Days Smarter, you must believe in yourself and disregard the negative and unsolicited opinions of others. It is your vision that was given to you by God, therefore you need not the approval of anyone.
Keep pushing forward, great things are ahead. Nothing beats hard work and dedication.




Thank you so much for all the wonderful true stories I am so glad that I came across you zoe, I was about giving up when I decided today on a fine sunny day on the way to my nans for Sunday dinner that I’d find something positive online to build my low self esteem I felt so low this past few weeks totally just freezing out when people were talking to me because I knew anything I’d say positive would be flushed down the toilet. As much as your family and friends love you try to do there best for you when your not up to there kind of good financial ways ud still do without eat bread and butter for a week, I have had this problem for so many years it’s called acceptance I’m a singer songwriter and choreographer I’ve lived my dream as a dancer because one day I escapes through that exit with multiple negative history that nearly caused me to take my own life but I kept going because I knew that it was only me and God that knew exactly what why I felt this low if I say I’m a singer my mother laughs at me makes jokes and stops me If I sing one single good note it’s crushed, I need your help and I appreciate that too xx if you find me on twitter please keep it all private or email is better thank you zoe love and blessings xxxxc


I decided to interview for a permanent substitute teacher position and so many people have told me not to do it because of my disability. However, even though I have a disability I managed to finish high school, finish my associates, bachelors, and masters degrees. But now that I want to strive to be an educator people around me do not think I can do it. But i managed to be a volunteer for six years and I just wish to follow my true dream of being a teacher.


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