What To Do When People Don’t Believe In You

When I started my business I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by a lot of supportive people who encouraged me to succeed. But there...

What To Do When People Don’t Believe In You

When I started my business I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by a lot of supportive people who encouraged me to succeed. But there were one of two who wanted to discourage my ambitions and tried to put me down. These people refused to acknowledge the value of creativity and thought what I wanted to do was pointless - doomed to failure. Their ignorance meant they couldn’t accept there are possibilities outside the traditional 9-to-5 job.

If you’re struggling to deal with people who don’t believe in you, here are some reminders.


Not everyone will understand
Not everyone who discourages you is a bad person trying to destroy your ambition. It’s not always personal or an attack on your skills or talents, it’s simply not everyone understands why you want to do what you want to do. If they don't understand how something works and or know all the facts, it's hard for them to be positive about your goals, which can seem dauntingly ambitious.


Other people’s insecurities get in the way of giving good advice
When people don’t support what you’re doing, it says more about them than it does about you. It’s hard for people to give advice on something they know very little about and often it causes them to default to criticising or picking holes in your plans. The fear of the unknown means when people don’t understand what you’re trying to do, it can make them push you into doing what they know how to do and discourage you from any other path. If someone doesn’t believe in their own skills and talents, your ambitions can cause jealousy - don’t take it to heart. Remember if someone is trying to discourage you it says more about their fears and insecurities than it does about your own creative talents.


Listen to constructive criticism
Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in what we want to do, we only see the positive and neglect to acknowledge the pitfalls. Be open and receptive to other people’s criticism providing it’s constructive and take on board suggestions you might not have thought about. But don’t be afraid to ignore any criticism that is born through bitterness, spite, or the fear of the unknown.


Get rid of negative influences
There are some people who you can simply afford to be without; anyone who tries to put you down, refuses to acknowledge your creativity, or attempts to sabotage your success - get rid of them, you don’t need them in your life. Most of all: don’t listen to their negativity.


You can do it without them
You don’t need other people to believe in what you want to do, you can be a success without them. Surround yourself with positive people; find your creative allies; work hard; believe in yourself.

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40 SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  1. Other people’s insecurities get in the way of giving good advice is so true. Most people will only show off their own fears to you if they know you will be doing something different. I don't get why some people are such downers. Nobody wants to be listening to a person that only brings you down, but then again, misery loves company. This is great advice! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I agree, if it's constructive take it on board, but if it's an imposed opinion because they don't understand, then just ignore the negativity.

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty - www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. This is brilliant. I struggle with having a confidence and part of it is due to couple of friends being really uninterested about my business, which makes me sad because it is a big part of me.

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  4. Other peoples insecurity is such a downer, I cannot stand when people project their own insecurities. It's really frustrating. Luckily I'm only surrounded by people that really believe in me, and I am so grateful.

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  6. Well said, Sophie. A perfect summary of something that took me close to 10 years to realize.
    When you work in an "unorthodox" industry or an industry considered less stable than a typical 9-5, it was hard (and still can be) to avoid people questioning your life choice. Sometimes it comes from curiosity, and other times...well, it could be a bit rude, mean and hateful. Cutting negativity out really helped, and keeping supportive people close is incredibly motivating. My group of friends is small, but together we're happy.

    To the previous commenter, Katrina: Don't let people drain your confidence! Do what you do because it makes you happy. If it goes well and proves your non-supporters wrong, that's just an added bonus. Enjoy yourself.

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  7. Yes yes yes, you need to believe in yourself for other people to start believing you!

    Love, Tiff
    http://breakkfastattiffs.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. I like how these tips can be applied to every life circumstance! Specially the one about insecurities - I've had to let go of many friendships and other relationships because of how I was being affected by other people's insecurities and negativity. You are so lucky to be surrounded by people who support you! :)
    -x |words at dawn

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  9. It is hard to balance being confidet in what you do and being open to critism. But this post explains it really well. Thanks!

    Girl Against Oleka

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  10. Thank you for these tips :) It's amazing how those one or two negative voices can trump dozens of encouragements. It's so important to be strong in your vision. You're an inspiration! :)

    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

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  11. My sister has given me a constructive criticism and I am so grateful for that. It's a win-win situation when people are not only sugar-coating but also are able to express what they do not like as much. Do you keep your inspirations in one place? To read more go to http://www.igaberry.com/ Have a lovely day, Iga x

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  12. Maireem Maneje3/26/2015

    Love this post. I feel like the last one is quite important. You need you to believe in yourself most.


    www.maireem.blogspot.com

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  13. Great post. I think it's important above all to believe in yourself, because if you don't how can you expect others to? I also agree with listening to constructive criticism as well, sometimes it can give you a new perspective on things.

    Sarah xo | PolkaDotLemon

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  14. Awesome post, love the tips. If someone doesn't support me, I take as another reason to prove them wrong :)

    RachelShuchatMakeup

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  15. Wonderful wonderful wonderful

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  16. Great post, Sophie! This is something I am ALWAYS struggling with. My own father doesn't believe in me and doesn't see how freelancing or having your own creative/artistic business can be a job. It's all about what your exposure is, too - what you've seen others do or know is possible. For our generation, we are constantly seeing all of these new successful creatives and artists so we know it's possible (and we believe). But for the older generation, their exposure is the typical 9-5 job and nothing outside of that. It's tough when the person who doesn't believe in you is your parent because you can't just kick them out of your life, nor do you want to. I just try to control how much I speak to my dad and the topics of our conversations. Hopefully at some point he will come around.

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  17. Such a great post. I've been in several of these situations, and to be honest, it has made me quit what I was doing and loving multiple times. I guess I just started to believe that what those people said was true, and that I should have more 'normal' (or what's considered normal) goals and dreams. Anyways, I've grown a lot now, and I'm slowly getting back in the game. This helped me a lot. Thank you for writing so beautifully.

    simply-mode.com

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  18. disqus_NFOCycF4Nc3/27/2015

    Some people really just don't understand. Or maybe they're giving this particular opinion in order to conform to what others are saying, or maybe they can't comprehend your ambitions. I don't know. Maybe you should simply listen to yourself. We construct our own criticism enough already.

    -M
    The Life of Little
    Me

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  19. Points 2 and 3 are both so so true. Point 2 especially is something I will be telling myself in my head next time someone asks me about 'all that blogging stuff' with that slightly sneery look on their face. You know the look right? Everyone here probably knows the look.

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  20. It would be great if everyone supported you 100% with your dreams and goals but the most important thing is to believe in yourself like you said. Once you're rock solid with what you want to do, you don't need other people bringing you down or having unhelpful opinions.

    Hanh x | hanhabelle

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  21. Absolutely - I completely agree with you.

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  22. Yeah.. some people don't understand blogging, but that's OK. Just keep going :))

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  23. We should listen to constructive criticism but I think it's important to believe in ourselves and not let anyone who is being destructive, tear us down.

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  24. I've experience a few work colleagues who didn't believe in creative careers, they were try to put down my work and make me feel like it wasn't worth it.. it feels horrible, so I totally understand how it must feel that you father doesn't support you.


    It is really hard.. but never feel like you should give up, just work harder! <3

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  25. That's a good way to think about it :))

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  26. I totally agree with this; constructive criticism is useful, I look to other people to offer fresh ways of looking at things that I may have overlooked.. but I also believe in myself and my decisions.

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  27. Absolutely - if you don't believe in yourself, there is no point carrying on. We won't succeed if we don't have faith in ourselves.

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  28. I try to surround myself with people who will tell me like it is and not hold back from raising concerns over my plans BUT I also believe in myself and sometimes it's best to go ahead and try things even though others are uncertain.

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  29. I see this quite a lot with other creatives; a couple of negative or nasty comments can really hurt people and make them doubt themselves. I think it's important to recognise when someone is being cruel and when they are genuinely trying to help you by expressing concerns.

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  30. It is hard, no one likes to be criticised but being open to it means we can improve ourselves and our skills. It's important to "ignore the haters" though.

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  31. Definitely - I feel the same way. I try to surround myself by positive people. I'm encountered a few people who are negative and nasty and their toxic friendships really had an impact on me.

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  32. Last year I made an effort to get rid of anyone who was bringing me down - it's amazing how much the people around you can affect your attitude.

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  33. That really is sad, it's important the people who spend our time with show an interest in our lives and support us. It can be difficult when that doesn't happen.

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  34. Absolutely. Sometimes the advice people offer isn't really advice, it's a vague opinion based on assumptions rather than facts. It's important to weed out the opinions from the genuine, knowledgable advice.

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  35. Definitely - I completely agree. Constructive criticism is great but I often find, when I talk to "non-creatives," they don't really understand how the industry works and therefore their opinions tend to lean towards negativity. They don't get it. I ask for advice from other creatives who "get it."

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  36. I'm going through this at the moment. Its like some people just can not understand why anyone would want to leave the security of full time employment. They see creativity as something you leave behind in childhood and not real life. Their idea of real life is putting the colouring pens down to do a mediocre job you hate for 40+ years. Luckily, the people whose opinion actually matters to me are not like this at all as I know what I'm doing and they know that.

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  37. That's also so true. Sometimes we should trust our intuition.

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  38. olivia pope4/08/2015

    What do I do if I don't believe in myself?

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