Why are Some People Naysayers
The naysayers can be people on your team (coaches, teammates, and staff members), those in your personal circle (parents, family, friends, teachers, or others influential), and social media connections.
Several reasons account for the naysayer persona. First, much of what they learn in their youth lays the foundation for negative perspectives and behaviours.
Naysayers’ negativity comes from their fears of not measuring up, frustrations of falling short, or self-doubts that prevent them from pursuing their dreams. Therefore, naysayers settle for “average” and, to protect their ego, want others around them to settle for mediocrity.
Dealing with naysayers healthily is crucial for your athletic confidence, mental health, and well-being.
Recognizing the Signs
Most of the time, naysayers disguise their intentions as helpful or realistic. Therefore, your first line of defence recognises the signs of potential naysayer influence.
Naysayers are judgmental about your choices and actions. For example, a naysayer may question your college choices, “I don’t think you should apply to that university. As a result, you will never receive any playing time.
Naysayers can cause you to doubt yourself and hurt your self-esteem. For example, You may start questioning your athletic abilities, “Maybe, I’m not as good as I thought I was.” Or “Maybe playing soccer at a university is not realistic.”
Naysayers often offer their unwanted opinions that are neither constructive nor beneficial. For example, naysayers make comments such as, “You are just not that good”, or “You are not as talented as the starters on your team.”
Naysayers may stir negative emotions within you. For example, when you are around doubters, you feel less confident, depressed, anxious, or have a negative self-image.
If you listen to the naysayers, you will miss out on opportunities to be successful, build your athletic skills, grow your self-esteem and confidence, and achieve more in your athletic career.
Strategies to Deal with Naysayers
To negate the impact of naysayers, you need to develop a mental suit of armour. Your mental suit of armour will protect you from the verbal slings and disapproving looks from doubters. In addition, knowing effective strategies to deal with naysayers helps you conserve your mental energy and focus on achieving your athletic goals.
- Create affirmations that emphasise your abilities – One way of keeping the focus on you is to write down or recite positive personal affirmations. For example, “I am a hard-working athlete who can accomplish anything.” Or “I am a talented soccer player, and I’m improving daily.”
- Gravitate to supporters, not dream destroyers. Identify people who lift you, give you sound advice, and believe in you. You can think of this group as your mini fan club or success team. These are the people you should spend more time around.
- Don’t take it personally – Let their trash be their trash. Don’t allow others to dump on you. Instead, tell yourself that these naysayers speak from their insecurities and inadequacies. In other words, “Is this negativity about me or more about them?”
- Use their negativity as motivation – You should always focus on your athletic goals and compete for yourself. However, proving others wrong can give you a motivational boost.
- Do some detective work – Evaluate the accomplishments of your doubters. What have they accomplished or failed to achieve? Understanding the source of the negativity can help you easily dismiss their opinions.
- Know yourself – List your athletic successes, strengths, and positive mental and physical abilities. No one but you truly knows your abilities, motivation, determination, and positive qualities. Remind yourself that you are the expert when it comes down to you!
- Recognise the difference between constructive criticism and destructive opinion. Ask yourself, “Does this feedback provide specific, helpful, actionable suggestions?” If not, dismiss the comments and ask those in your trusted circle for improvement suggestions.
- Build up your self-esteem – When you feel good about who you are, you won’t feel the need for the approval of others. Certainly, compliments can help you feel good and boost your confidence. However, high self-esteem will help you see the positive in yourself. You can increase your self-esteem by spending five minutes daily reminding yourself of your positive qualities.
- Focus on your goals – Focus firmly on your goals, action plan, and process. Recall what exactly you want to achieve. Write down your goals, why those goals are important to you, and why you believe you will achieve those objectives.
Athletic achievement and mental well-being require that you say “Nay” to the naysayers. Ultimately, you are responsible for the path you travel in your life.