Everybody’s a critic, have you noticed? Especially when you’re chasing a dream they’ve deemed an “unrealistic fantasy.” Dealing with that negative input is hard—on you and your goals—but you can choose once and for all to keep moving, regardless of others’ opinions. This is your time, your life, your moment of truth.
Don’t let criticism or rejection control you or stop you from getting what you want. It’s not what other people say that decides our success; it’s how we respond to their comments, what we think they mean, and whether the challenges trigger the “giving up” reflex in us or motivate us to hang tough and keep fighting.
The foundation for creating results in our lives is to realize that, ultimately, we alone are responsible. Period. If your dream aligns with your purpose and ignites your passion, no one else’s opinion really matters.
The following people ignored their critics and achieved their dreams because of it. Follow their lead and pay no attention to these seven pessimistic lines:
1. “The timing is all wrong.”
In 1987, prior to accepting Paramount’s offer to host a late night talk show, Arsenio Hall was told by everyone, “It’s too hard to crack into the late night ratings. Besides, television isn’t ready for a black talk show host. You can forget it.”
2. “Why don’t you get a real job?”
Not understanding his desire to become Mr. Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s family pleaded with him, saying, “How long will you go on training all day in a gymnasium and living in a dream world?”
3. “It’ll never work; you’ll lose everything.”
Weeks before she opened her first store, cosmetic tycoon Mary Kay Ash’s attorney said, “Liquidate the business right now and recoup whatever cash you can. If you don’t, you’ll end up penniless.”
4. “Don’t rock the boat.”
In response to Muriel Siebertís’ application to be the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, officials responded, “The language on the floor is too rough and there’s no ladies’ room.” She bought a seat anyway and remained the only woman there for nine years.
5. “It’s never been done before.”
Upon applying for a job after graduation from Columbia University, announcers for NBC Radio responded to Sally Jessy Raphael, “You have the perfect voice for broadcasting, but you should get a job as a secretary. We’re not using women.”
6. “You don’t have enough talent.”
Responding to his desire to become a recording artist, Ray Charles’ teachers said, “You can’t play the piano, and God knows you can’t sing. You’d better learn how to weave chairs so you can support yourself.”
7. “Don’t even try; you’ll just be disappointed.”
When auditioning for a part in a high school musical, a teacher rejected Diana Ross, saying, “You have a nice voice, but it’s nothing special.”
Your time is now.
Related: How Far Can Your Dreams Take You?