How do you deal with negativity from others? Do the words and doubts of other people sometimes make you question your own thoughts and plans?
There are a group of people that colloquially are called “haters,” they are people who believe that success is a limited resource and that no one person should have too much of it. They, therefore, take it upon themselves to criticize, undermine and attempt to bring down anyone either to build themselves up or to manifest a deeper personal issue that actually has nothing to do with the person of success. Nonetheless, the vibes and toxicity you may experience from these negative interactions can affect your confidence and mental state and will sometimes divert energy and emotion away from your purpose.
As an entrepreneur, you may have experienced some of these opinions. They are the voices that say, “It will never work” or “What’s the point?” They are those that can only see risk and very little reward. Often the voice of dissent is a greater reflection of the negative person’s mindset, not your plan. Your dream or plan exposes something about them, their work ethic, their resources, or some other factor rooted in their lack. Your reaction to these people in business is important. Firstly, do not be discouraged or swayed from the purpose God has put in your heart. Look at these verses from Nehemiah:
“Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” And they sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner.”
Nehemiah was undeterred in his purpose and calling despite repeated attempts to stop the work. He did not come down to their level but rather continued with the plan God had given him.
Secondly, when you experience naysayers and negativity, use it to be an ambassador for Christ. Haters have a small perspective of things; we can see a bigger picture. The way you react reflects God’s way and has an opportunity to help and heal those who are stuck in a toxic way of thinking. When Timothy is put into leadership, his mentor warns him of negative opinions (in this case it was his age) and tells him to set an example in his dealing with them:
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12 NIV
In business, remain professional and set a higher example. God’s way is forgiveness, it allows you to keep your heart, mind, and conscience free – it is a gift. However, that does not mean these voices have access to you any longer. Do not accept their perspective, it comes from the wrong place and is distorted. Do not spend your time rehearsing these wrong thoughts, recalibrate your mind, refresh yourself with the vision and go after it.