Never let the opinions of others hold you back. Entrepreneurship, success, wealth, happiness – they’re all yours for the taking. The only person in the entire world who can decide whether you obtain these things is you, and you alone. The only real obstacles that can stop you are the ones that you allow to get in your way.
Hello everyone, and welcome back to my success series. I’m Antoaneta – a London-based entrepreneur and business leader, passionate about investing and sustainability. In today’s article, we’ll talk about believing in yourself, about confidence and about the power to achieve your dreams.
I wasn’t “born successful”. I wasn’t born a “business leader”. As a matter of fact, my early years were very ordinary, maybe even a bit boring. I was just a village girl who wanted to be happy. I wanted to build a better life for myself and my daughter. Entrepreneurship was never in my plans.
We all have something very special deep inside of us. Something that we can use to make our dreams come true. For some, it’s willpower. For others, it’s faith or belief. An internal drive that can help us, get through anything, win any battle, overcome any obstacle and come out victorious.
You see, my original plan had nothing to with entrepreneurship, starting businesses or amassing wealth. All I wanted to do was find some job that would help me make ends meet. I’d get my daughter to come live in London with me. I’d help her get a good education… And we’d live happily ever after!
But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that this wouldn’t really be enough. That I actually wanted us to never have to worry about money ever again. I wanted to have security and stability in my life. I wanted us to be happy and stress-free. If that meant that I’d have to work my butt off, then so be it!
And, just like that, I had found my inspiration.
There Will Always Be Naysayers
There will always be people ready to say that “it can’t be done” or that “you can’t do all that!”. And while there really are people who do this on purpose just because they want to hold others back, they’re a tiny portion of the naysayers.
In reality, most people who act this way do it, because they don’t believe in themselves. Because they’ve tried doing something that mattered to them, but they failed. They’re just projecting their own bitterness and pain on others.
Once upon a time, they were just like you – they had their dreams, hopes and aspirations. But when the going got tough, they gave up. They didn’t have what it took. And so, instead of fighting for their dreams, they just gave up.
But, let’s be honest here – giving up is easy. For the undisciplined mind, avoiding confrontation and struggles is the easiest and “most logical” thing in the world. After all, life is already pretty complicated. Why would anyone want to make it harder for themselves?
A lot of this is subconscious. Most of these people aren’t doing this because they dislike you, or because they have something to gain from seeing you fail. For them, it’s just a coping mechanism. It’s a way for their mind to deal with the pain of their own failure.
And this is also why I can’t honestly be mad at them. For the most part, they don’t even realise what they’re doing, or what sort of effect their behaviour has on those around them. It’s very difficult to fault people for doing something they don’t understand.
On the other hand, it’s also important to realise that you can’t help everyone, especially those who don’t want to help themselves. No matter who you are, how much you know or how much you’ve managed to achieve, you can’t forcefully “fix” someone.
But just because they’ve already given up doesn’t mean that I should do the same! Never let these people “get” to you. Don’t let them talk you out of your plans or your dreams. Don’t let them put you down.
Personally, I prefer to simply distance myself from everyone with this mentality. I honestly don’t need naysayers in my life. Nothing good can ever come out of it. And I’d advise you to do the same if you wish to get into entrepreneurship.
Jealousy is another reason for this type of negativity, but it affects people a bit differently. Hating what you can’t have is a very potent coping mechanism. You’ve all heard the story about the fox and the grapes, and most of us have seen this behaviour in real life. When you’re striving for better things, when you’re working to improve your life and achieve your dreams, you are guaranteed to meet at least one or two jealous people along the way.
There are people out there, who will dislike you just because you’re getting things that they don’t have. They’ll dislike you because you’re driving the car that they’d love to buy, but can’t afford. They’ll dislike you because you’ve got a beautiful big house, while they’re stuck living in a rented apartment. They’ll hate you because you’ve given years of your life to build your own business, while they’re still filling the same entry-level position they got five years ago.
Jealousy can make people say foolish things and act in stupid ways. Again, I don’t really hold it against them – after all, they’re only really harming themselves with this behaviour. I simply keep my distance, and I ignore them.
Life isn’t about being miserable!
You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be successful. You deserve to achieve your dreams. You deserve to find a loving partner. You deserve to build a life together. You deserve to live out your days in the way that you’ve always wanted to.
A lot of people out there confuse the drive for success with greed or entitlement. They don’t have what it takes to achieve their dreams, and so, they choose to criticise those who do. They place themselves on a fake “moral high ground”, and they look down upon everyone who has ever gotten anywhere in life.
There’s this notion floating out there that “money and power corrupt”. And while this can be true to an extent, it doesn’t really mean what most people think it means. Going from zero to hero, from rags to riches or from poverty to wealth, will always have an impact on the mind. No matter who you are or where you come from, success is guaranteed to change you in one way or another. But the “corruption” that everyone talks about happens only to people who aren’t strong mentally.
It affects people who were already predisposed to these negative qualities. If someone was greedy, selfish, entitled or egotistic before they achieved success, then they’ll have little reason to change, no matter how far they get in life.
A new position doesn’t magically give you new qualities out of nowhere. It just puts you in the spotlight. A good, well-rounded person doesn’t lose anything from that. As a matter of fact, it’s the exact opposite – good people who find themselves in the spotlight get the opportunity to affect the world positively!
- Just because you’ve got what it takes to fight for your dreams, doesn’t mean that you’re greedy!
- Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you have to look down on those who can’t!
- Just because you’ve worked hard to get to where you are, doesn’t make you bad!
And would you look at that – it seems like we’re all out of time for today!
Yes, I know that we’ve barely scratched the surface here, but there just isn’t enough space to cram everything into a single article. If you enjoyed this post and you’d like to read more about the entrepreneurship subject in the future, please let me know by sharing it with your friends and liking it on social media. If there is enough interest, I could make a couple more posts about this in the future.
In closing, I’d like to highlight that this entrepreneurship article, just like all of my other content, is exclusively based on my personal experience and research. I’m not some sort of “certified guru”, and I’m not your life coach. Please remember to always do your own research and consult with a certified professional before committing to any life-altering decisions.
Have you ever found yourself in similar situations? How did they make you feel? How did you deal with them? Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with everyone in the comments section – I always love hearing from you!
Thank you all for reading, and until next time:
Stay green and motivated!