At some point on the journey, every great contributor to the world was met with resistance. The ones who made the biggest impact in business, politics, invention, education, and even humanitarian and civil rights were attacked as much as they were celebrated.
Innovation is routinely met by fear from those that the advances disrupt. Bold thought-leaders are attacked by parasitic naysayers who would rather criticize than create. For every courageous doer, there are two-dozen finger-pointing detractors, eager to toss a wet blanket on progress.
In your own efforts to drive your career forward, to build your organization to the next level, or to help rebuild your community, you will undoubtedly be met with the same venomous negativity. It’s as if a gravitational force has been established to hold you back from seizing your full potential.
This resistance exists for a single purpose: to test your resolve. And while it may not feel that way in the moment, you have complete and total control over your response and the eventual outcome.
When you feel the assault of abrasive critics, your instinct may be to cave. To give a “little” ground. To settle. To allow your most potent ideas become watered down. The problem is, by giving even an inch you embolden the naysayers. Your effort to diffuse the situation has the opposite effect. In fact, it only strengthens your adversaries.
If you feed the monster, it will grow and end up eating you. Instead, you must starve it. You must fight back with the force of a thousand armies. You only conquer the detractors by determination, not by compromise.
Like any schoolyard bully, the amoral rivals will eventually back down when they realize their fight is unwinnable.
These insidious forces can appear in many forms. They may show up as a soul-crushing boss, a ruthless competitor, or an emotionally abusive partner. You may be dealing with a broken political structure, a frivolous lawsuit, or a neighborhood that’s stuck in the past. Each of us has our own opponents, but conquering them is achieved with a singular approach: tenacity.
Our nation was built with an unshakable persistence. It’s time to use that heritage to our advantage in order to overcome the challenges of the day. Let’s all stand firm. As business leaders and community rebuilders.
Never back down. Never waiver. Never empower your critics. Never cede your values and beliefs. Never cave to your detractors.
Never embolden the naysayers.