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No matter how excited you are about something and how passionate you are about it, there are likely to be people in your life that just do not understand. Their experiences and journeys are different so they voice their opinion.

These opinions may feel or even be downright negative, but there are ways to handle it so that there’s no stopping you when you are on your path!

Assuming Positive Intent

Where’s the first place your mind goes when someone shuts down your ideas? What about when they point out the negatives in what you are doing?

Do you think, “They don’t support me.” Perhaps it’s “Why are they being so mean? Don’t they believe in me?”

Whether you are starting or growing a business, on a path of personal growth, or even taking up a new hobby or working toward a new goal, people on different journeys are going to have different opinions. Not everyone will respond the way you want them to when you share your progress, ambitions, or whatever it may be.

We often jump to conclusions and even overthink their reactions. Sometimes, it may not even be about us or what we are doing at all!

Yet, we tend to internalize it. We take their negativity and allow ourselves to either get angry with them or question ourselves and what we are doing. It can be both, which really drains our excitement and willpower to take action in regards to “the thing.”

But what if they meant no harm? What if we are overthinking it and they never meant to hurt you, upset you, or speak negatively to you?

By assuming positive intent, we can avoid the negative spiral of feeling angry and hurt. It’s quite possible they meant to simply look out for you, or were having a bad day, or honestly just do not understand.

It doesn’t mean they are terrible or intending to treat you badly, simply that their opinions are based on their own experiences and what they know. Assuming positive intent is protecting yourself and avoiding unnecessary pain.

Growth Mindset VS. Fixed Mindset

When you want to talk about your big ideas, goals and progress, you’ve got to be mindful of who you are talking to.

There are people with a growth mindset. These are the friends, family members, or colleagues who are excited to hear about new ideas and change, and they love to celebrate and brainstorm with you. They see things as dynamic and they dream big right along with you.

Others have a fixed mindset. They believe things are the way they are and what you say probably won’t resonate with them the same way. You’re seeing things through different lenses. They may have a lot of great qualities to them and bring a lot to your life, but if things do not coincide when it comes to growth and taking action you are likely to have a more positive reaction sharing your excitement with someone with a mindset similar to yours at the time.

Leading By Example

That’s not to say that those with a fixed mindset will never change, but the truth of the matter is you can’t force them to change and be more open-minded, or dream bigger, or even welcome change into their or other’s lives.

You wouldn’t want others forcing their way of thinking on you, right? So trying to convince others to share your mindset, think like you or be like you, is more likely to cause you a lot of stress than it is to change their lifestyle or behavior.

The one thing you can do however, is lead by example. You can be you and do what you want, without talking it up to the people who won’t understand. Let them just see you taking strides and becoming a better version of yourself, whether personally or in your business or relationships, and they may eventually be more supportive or understanding, and dare we say even more open-minded to the growth?

If you are committing to designing your best life by following your path, taking action on your goals and celebrating your own milestones, there will be others who see that light shine and want to be a part of it.

Asking the Pivotal Question

Just like people may not be on our wavelength in regards to certain things, we also won’t be on theirs, and that’s ok!

There’s a tool, which is actually a question, that can do wonders in situations where a difference in opinions has potential to cause conflict, especially when it’s unwanted.

There are times that you do not want others’ input and times they do not want yours. Sometimes an ear to listen or even a shoulder to cry on is what is truly needed more than anything.

Asking the question (or being asked) “Do you want support or do you want a solution?” can make all the difference. This way you know if they just want you to listen or if they are asking for you to brainstorm along with them, before you go throwing all your thoughts, ideas and opinions out there.

It’s a win-win for you both. You get to avoid unnecessary stress and you are being nice by offering what they want whether it’s support or a solution, not what you assume they want. You can add value to each other’s lives, even if you are very different people.

Find Your Tribe

The like-minded people are out there! There are so many like you who are designing their best life, growing, and taking massive action to reach their goals. They are high-fiving their friends for their growth, helping each other up when they fall, and celebrating the milestones together.

These open-minded, supportive individuals are there to lift you up without the criticism or negativity.

Find your people. Go to them with your big ideas, dreams and questions. Allow them to be the ones to help you thrive and to listen to all the incredible ways you are designing your best life.

Additional Resources

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