One of the key inhibitors to success is doubt, especially self-doubt. In order to achieve, especially at the highest level, you have to virtually ignore what people say about you.

Not that you should ignore criticism-that which will help you improve-but if you've worked diligently at a goal, have it clear in your mind, know it's feasible and doable, have built considerable enthusiasm that you have no alternative but to accomplish your goal, then you must forge ahead ignoring all naysayers.

But how do you overcome the naysayers?

Not easily.

First, you have to follow the first two steps of building towards success (know yourself: desires, talents, strengths, and gifts; accept your shortcomings / weaknesses and work toward their elimination), then you are ready to tackle your goal. But there are a lot of people who will try to talk you out of achieving it.


They don't want to see you do what they've always wanted to do but can't for some reason. Most likely they don't have the determination, desire, or belief that they can do it. They've accepted the norm that it's just not normal to achieve in the extreme and only unique or exceptional people can do so. They don't know any high achievers, so they can't "see" it happening. They're lazy. They have no ambition, on and on. The reasons are many. However, yours is not to be concerned with the why of naysayers but the inevitability of your achievement. Yes, you must eventually believe at that level.

But how is this specifically done?

Have you ever looked at a good speaker, performer, dancer, or athlete and just wondered how they do it with all that pressure? You think to yourself "Man, there's no way I can do that!" And you're right. However, that attitude can be changed. Almost any shortcoming of thought can be altered to benefit the person transmitting those negative thoughts. Whether you're lazy, a procrastinator, hopeless, shy, depressed, angry, addicted, a complainer, on and on, people have and continue to overcome themselves by the hundreds, by the thousands all the time. However, it takes constant work and daily diligence. And there's the rub.

Unfortunately, most don't want to expend the effort and will say things like "Oh, I'm OK. I have flaws, but I like who I am." Not likely. People who truly like themselves show it in their energy, enthusiasm, hope, passion, and ability to attract others to be the same. Those who are negative, downtrodden, long in the face are not inspiring others or helping others to change and improve their lives. For those who have overcome, and we all can and need to overcome, they are the ones who have been bolstered and energized by their new found self and have an overpowering passion to share their discovery, their secret with others.

Wonder why there are so many gurus out there? Those with the next best product, idea, service? It's because the majority have struggled to get there personally and professionally, and in the process of doing so, they've overcome a lot and discovered a lot of new found energy, hope, and enthusiasm that by nature can't be suppressed. In achieving their goals they've overcome a lot, chipped away a lot of the bad and the negative, and that new found light shining through can't be held back and must not only light the way but lead the way. These people have a profound desire to share with others and lift them up too.

Why do you think so many of the uber-successful keep working? Why? Because they've discovered the fountain of youth. The secret to success. A reason for being. And a desire to share it all.

My suggestion? Want to improve? Want to get out of your doldrums? Want to experience the euphoria of life that which way too many will never enjoy?

Sure you do, but how do you specifically go about it?

First, get outside yourself. You need to overcome your worries and concerns. Most people, to tell you the truth, are more concerned about how they're coming across than they are noticing how you're doing. Find something or some things you can do that get you in front of people, preferably helping in some way.

Second, you've got to find your passion. You know what it is. Don't shy away or back down from it no matter what it is.

But I know what you are thinking:

"Well, I can't be an artist. Artists don't make any money until they die. How am I going to support myself?"

"I can't be a teacher. I love to teach, but that involves getting up in front of people. I'm too shy."

"Yeah, I'd like to start my own business, but 90% of new businesses fail in the first five years."

"OK, I'd love to work with kids, but I'm just not good with people, never mind young people."

On and on the doubting goes. But guess what? You only have one life to live. How ya gonna live it? Time will pass no matter what you choose to do, but if you don't take the bull by the horns or play it safe, then there is one thing I can guarantee, that you will have one sad and unfulfilling life. You will never feel the euphoria and joy of overcoming your shortcomings, taking in a deep breath months, years, decades later saying "Man! Life is good!"

It really comes down to believing in yourself. People will generally believe your opinion of you. If you radiate success, confidence, hope, passion then people generally accept it, get out of your way, and let you go to it. If you radiate doubt, fear, hopelessness, all that negative stuff then people will accept that too, get out of your way, and avoid you like the plague.

Believe me. I know. I've been in both places.

Growing up, I was shy, introverted, hopeless, paranoid, angry, doubtful, suicidal . . . all the negatives. But at one point I just decided to change and began on my path of recovery. I'm still in, what I like to call, doubter's recovery, but I have turned it around 180 degrees.

People used to ask, "Is that Jeff Brown retarded?" "Is he mute?" "Can he talk?" "Man that guy is a loser. Who would ever want to date him?" On and on. But it's all turned around.

In most recent years here's what some people have said about my writing or in response to what I said about theirs:

"I feel so intimidated commenting on your work. You are such a brilliant writer I feel I have nothing intelligent to say or add. I just wanted to let you know I read your article, understood most of it, and can only begin to imagine what it must feel like to have such a huge brain. Have a great day and watch out for those toes." Myla Madson (author, coach, family counselor)

"I'm humbled a great mind & skillful pen like yours consider this article worthy of your time. And the MLK reference sent my head swelling for a second. You've made my day. Thanks much, my friend." Mogama (author, motivational speaker, life coach, spiritual leader)

And in recent months, what a woman said to me in the parking lot after giving a speech:

"YOU are GOOD!"

Plain and simple as that, but the point has sunk in and reverberated for months.

Yes, with time, effort, desire, ambition, motivation, inspiration, with finding who we are, what we love to do and committing ourselves to a life of betterment we can all achieve great things. There is no limit to the number of people who can do so. There is only the limitations we put on ourselves.

We have to work at seeing our worth, building upon it, and driving it into the core of our being so much so that regardless of where we are, what anyone says, what anyone does, what bad days may come along, we continue to grow, and thrive, and prosper.

Remember, there's no limit on riches, only the belief that they are finite. Find them in the world and in your soul.

Here's to your success.

Author's Bio: 

Jeff is CEO of working with students and parents using the proprietary Success, Design and Preparation system creating a plan to ensure being of the 30% of college grads who don't waste 10 to 15 years or leave 100s of thousands of dollars on the table.

Previous to owning Inner Projection, Jeff worked as a computer programmer and in tech. support, but hated it enough to move from his home in Connecticut to do stand up comedy in Boston where he worked with such comics as Bill Burr, Dan Cook, and Billy Martin and wrote for people like Mz. Michagan who needed material for her ventriloquism act. He then moved to Los Angeles to do more stand up, but found being a college professor more fulfilling. He's married with 3 children.

Looking for a fast paced, fun, inspirational read?: Black Body Radiation and the Ultraviolet Catastrophe (