If you Google the word ‘naysayer’, you find definitions such as a person who “habitually expresses negative views” and “engages in excessive complaining, negative banter and/or a genuinely poor attitude.” Most of us read these definitions and immediately become defensive, declaring that we are definitely not naysayers! Who would willingly want to be negative and have a downbeat attitude?
But let’s sit on the concept of being a naysayer for a minute and think about how we show up for ourselves, and how we show up for others. We do this by asking ourselves if there is something we want to do in our lives that we feel is in line with our purpose that we are not doing. What are you talking yourself out of doing? What excuses are you telling yourself? How are these excuses making you feel? How does not following through on this goal make you feel?
For years I wanted to have a blog on my own website that would reach anyone interested in reading it. I love to write and empower women, and believe it is my purpose in life. Instead of starting my own website and sharing it with everyone, I settled for using a hosting platform that I only shared with my closest friends. If I am being completely honest, I didn’t follow through with my dream because I was being a naysayer! I told myself all the reasons why I shouldn’t and couldn’t do it and had a negative attitude about something that actually brings me a lot of joy. I made it very hard on myself to grow forward in life since I was exerting so much energy holding myself back without even realizing it.
I reached a turning point in my naysaying ways during a conversation with a friend about my career path. I mentioned a company I was interested in working for, and her response was, “oh no, you don’t want to work there, you won’t make any money.” My snap reaction was one of irritation; what a naysayer, what does she know, how dare she rain on my parade instead of supporting me! After I thought about it, I realized that my friend was having a hard time finding her footing on her career path and projected her negative attitude about her career onto me. She probably had no idea she was being a naysayer to me, or to herself, and she probably wouldn’t consider herself to have anything in common with the definitions of the word. Just like me. And with that, I started to change my way of thinking.
That conversation made me realize that it’s hard to be a cheerleader for someone else when you are aren’t being a cheerleader for yourself. Luckily, once we become aware of something we want to work on, we can start to catch ourselves when we go down the wrong path and we can shift our behavior, willingly leaving our naysaying ways behind. Nobody likes a naysayer anyway.
Ashley Shihab is the blogger behind theouttakesblog.com, where some posts are funny, some are serious, and all are real and authentic. She feels that if she can inspire you, make you laugh or create a connection in this virtual world, then she’s done what she came here to do. Ashley is also an Executive Assistant and resides in Dallas, Texas.