Are You Thick-Skinned? Listening To Naysayers While Staying On Track

I’m not a cynic and I generally try to keep the bright side out. As I’ve learned, life is what you make of it and fretting over silly anything, particularly comments and opinions won’t do anyone any good and it certainly won’t bring any of us closer to our goals. It is however a fact of life that we’re all a little different in the way we perceive this journey, what it’s all about and what counts for success or lack thereof as the case may be.

In the past, I’ve posted about how success can be perceived and have even gone so far as to paint various pictures of success via my ‘Inspiration over lunch’ posts. Fantastic people who started on one path ended up on a completely different one. Take Susan, now a reflexologist and coach, who was once totally lost in a job because of the stress it had caused to her emotional and physical health. Or Carolyn who realised the sunshine was what she needed to make her dreams come true (now, with a slightly better tan!).

Of course, there’s no light without dark. This refers to an experience itself and the reactions of those involved in some way, shape or form. Such HUGE life changes bring happiness, a new-found peace of mind and at times, words of criticism from those around us. When I consider times in my life when I’ve opted for substantially different and random life paths, I think of the conversations, both good and bad that surrounded them. There were words of encouragement, positivity, surprise and sometimes, criticism.


It was three years ago when I packed in my full-time job as I wanted to live my dream and head to South America on an adventure. Only four months before I set off, I barely had two dimes to rub together, I had no plan and unfortunately, NO job lined up well in advance of my trip to Santiago, Chile. As it was a country I knew nothing about and wasn’t super prepared, I waited for the worried comments from friends and family to come flooding in. Concerns such as “how will you survive?” and “what if you never come back?” (because of either loving it so much or possible kidnapping or death (crazy, I know)).

Oh yes, what would a bit of general worry be without a comment about the recession? What if I couldn’t get a job when I came back? Or my friends had forgotten about me or… The list goes on and on.


As you may or may not know, I went to South America, got a job before I went, saved a fortune beforehand (in just four months), had the time of my life and came back safely 11 months later. I had adventures, ate random food and thankfully, didn’t get killed (always a bonus). I have also had lots of work since I came back (yay for me).

So what was the lesson here you say? Or well, what is the point of this post?

Well basically, those comments are always going to be there. As we’re all on different paths, not everyone will understand what yours is about (and perhaps, you won’t always understand other people’s). That naysaying and those concerns are based on fear, concern and a different viewpoint. At the end of the day, they teach a valuable lesson and test us throughly.

If it weren’t for such criticism, we wouldn’t realise how thick our skin is AND how much we really want something.

Do your eyes roll up to heaven as someone questions your job choice? Good.

Are you deterred at all by someone’s implication that you might not succeed? I hope not.

In any event, whether you get there or not, depends on you. Take the comments onboard and use them as stepping stones to move you in the right direction – towards your goals.