Women, it’s time to stamp out the naysayers

Stamp out the naysayers










In my previous post, I made a call for Women, it’s time to Be Bold. As part of my own Be Bold journey, I am running my first London marathon on 26 April. At aged 48 and with a dodgy left knee and hip, it pales in comparison to the parathletes at the Paralympics and Commonwealth games who have inspired me.

Rather than the usual fundraising activities, I have decided to use my strengths, what I do best and will benefit others and designed the Be Bold programme for women to step up, step out and be courageous to get ahead, progress, achieve results, success and fulfilment.

I have followed my own advice and reached out for help and have had overwhelming support and good wishes. However amongst those there been a couple of naysayers and negative comments.

In your journey of Being Bold, you will meet people who will be unsupportive, may even oppose what you trying to do or achieve or say unconstructive or unhelpful things. This comes at a time when you are already feeling vulnerable and trying hard to maintain your self- belief and confidence.

How do you keep perspective, maintain optimism and belief? Some of the things that have worked for me and my clients

Acknowledge your feelings

When someone says negative things, it is human to feel hurt and upset. I certainly did. And for half of the day, it festered within me until I came to terms with and responded to them.

Let your feelings surface, listen to what they are telling you and deal with them.

Is there any validity in what is being said? Although painful, be open to criticism and explore if there is anything truthful that you can learn from what was said

Did you act and behave with integrity and in good faith?

Put it into context: out of 12 comments, 11 comments were positive and 1 negative. We tend to hone in on the unconstructive and forget to acknowledge the positives.

You have the power

Other people often project their own issues/ inadequacies unto you. There is nothing that you can do about that. It is beyond your control. Bring the power back to you and don’t let one or two negativities and naysayers bring you down. You can choose not to accept what they say. Make the right choice.

Respond with dignity and integrity

Thank them for their feedback and comments. There is no need to engage in discussion, to explain, assert your perspective or probe. Remember that you do not need to seek their permission and you do not want to get into lengthy discussions. This will only zap your energy and focus. Acknowledge, let go and move on.

Remind yourself of the ‘why’

Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing, the benefits you will achieve and keep that bigger picture and vision in mind. Do not allow yourself to get sidetracked as this will lessen your focus and momentum.

Celebrate the learning

Accept that you will meet naysayers, setbacks and obstacles in your journey. Create a mindset that sees them as learning opportunities to test you. Life would be pretty boring if everything was plain sailing. Responding to such challenges helps us to develop our resilience. And the more resilience we develop, the braver and bolder we become. Bring it on!

Write it down

On your Be Bold journey, recording your thoughts and feelings in a journal is a powerful activity. It will help you to process what you have experienced in a safe environment. Writing can be very cathartic. Writing about painful emotions experienced can help to release the intensity of these feelings, leaving you feeling much calmer and ready to face the world again.

Journaling can also help you to clarify your thinking, put things into perspective, pay attention to what you are feeling and learning. Remember to record your all of your achievements and successes, no matter how small. These act as great reminders for boosting confidence

Keep on Being Bold and surround yourself with people who will champion and support you. And ask yourself – how are you supporting and championing others?


About verawoodhead

I'm an executive coach, leadership facilitator and learning & development consultant working with managers and leaders to develop the skills and behaviours to inspire performance and drive results; achieve promotion ; make successful career changes, be resilient and thrive at work. Within organisations, I help to facilitate better conversations, design learning interventions which deliver practical and lasting solutions aligned to business strategy and goals. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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One Response to Women, it’s time to stamp out the naysayers

  1. Jamie says:

    Great post, Vera! Wonderful and wise advice.

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