As soon as you have some kind of success in any area, you have to meet the ugly side of that – meet the haters. They are always there. It’s inevitable. But how to deal with them. In fact, this is one of the reasons a lot of people fail and lose the courage to build their dreams.
“Why are they doing this?”, “Should I worry about what people are saying about me?”, “Should I fight back?”, “Should I ignore them until they go away?” just some of the questions come out when you meet a hater. It’s very easy to let the haters get you down but don’t.
One day I found a post by Jeffrey Hayzlett, a Prime Time TV and Radio Show Host, Author, Speaker on Entrepreneur.com where he revealed five ways how to silence your haters.
Five ways how to silence your haters
1. Get comfortable.
You have to get comfortable with the fact that you will have haters. Yes, it sounds a bit weird but that’s a fact. People who are envious of your success will try to shut you down every chance they get. Once you’re comfortable with that fact, you can take a page from Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson, who famously said, “Fans don’t boo nobodies.”
Antagonism only fueled Reggie to be better at his craft, and it should fuel you, too. If people are hating on you, you’re definitely doing something right. Use that momentum to drown out the voices in your head that haters put there (or tried to). Get comfortable in your own skin and forge ahead. Haters are damned.
2. Be empathetic.
Feeling empathy for someone who may have hated on you at some point takes a fortitude not everyone possesses. It’s very easy to dismiss people who have doubted your success and questioned your knowledge. Rise above it. Seeing how people treat others can serve as a lesson for you to avoid those traps in the future, and it might even put you on the right path to mentoring someone who has incredible potential as a thought leader.
Actually demonstrating empathy can be a driving factor in your own path to leadership.
3. Criticism can be valid.
You don’t have to listen to every critic out there but consider the messenger. Are they an expert in the field? Do they have the credentials and know-how? Let’s say you’re working on a project that involves a potential hot-button issue. People with opposite points of view will definitely make themselves known. Amidst all that, there might be a few who bring forward a point you hadn’t considered before. Sometimes, the court of public opinion can be very influential, especially on social media.
Listening to different points of view has become a rare talent these days. Here’s an advice: Instead of listening to argue, listen to understand. You don’t have to agree, but who knows? Someone from the “other side” might be able to give you a vital detail you missed while too deep in the weeds. Take the criticism as it was intended — as an opportunity to grow.
4. Mark your territory.
It goes without saying that you should be well-rounded, but you also have to define your area of expertise. For example, as a musician, I mastered a skill to plan events, in the online world I consider myself an expert in marketing and my time in IT managements brings me a lot of experience in leadership, but I didn’t get there one day by sheer luck. It took a lot of successes, and failures, to make me an expert in those areas. In simpler terms, I have marked my territory. There’s an adage in business Jeffrey Hayzlett mentioned in his post that basically says: In order to run with the big dogs, you have to learn to pee on the tall grass.
What are you doing to mark your territory?
5. Increase your presence … everywhere.
One way to elevate your presence is by getting published or cited in national publications. How does one achieve this? By having, and maintaining, a media presence, both traditional and online; by publishing books, having frequent media and speaking appearances, authoring a white paper or study in your industry or being quoted in the press. Pretty soon, other leaders will be quoting you, helping increase your presence and influence. Be patient and build your presence.
So, now that you have your haters, and the attendant battle scars, how will go about silencing and healing them?
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