Top 3 Ways To Flip the Script on Haters

Have you ever had someone think your dream was too big? Have you ever had someone laugh at your dreams? Try to make you feel stupid for thinking your dream was possible? Every single person who achieves success faces haters. The worst is when it is your so-called friends or someone in authority like a teacher or boss.

There have been many for me, but the first one I remember was a fourth grade teacher. This teacher was old, bitter, and just flat out mean. You know the one: the teacher who should never have been allowed to influence kids due to her bitterness. One day early in the school year, she asked me to read in front of the class. For some reason, I got stuck on one word. I struggled for about 30 seconds trying to figure this word out. This teacher stood up at her desk in front of all my classmates and said, “Jimmy, I was told you were one of the smart kids, but you’re one of the worst readers I have ever had in my classroom. Sit down and let one of the good readers finish this book.”

I don’t think I have to tell you what this did to my fourth grade self-confidence. For the next four days, I got sick every day right at the time when our class had reading. On the fourth day in a row, when my Mom pulled up to the school to check me out, she asked me what was really wrong. Moms always know when something isn’t right.  I told her the situation, and she handled it a lot better than I believe I would if this happened to one of my children. She and I met with two other teachers that she knew. One was a former teacher of mine and one was the teacher I ended up having my fifth grade year. Both of these teachers were very supportive. They both tutored me after school for the rest of that year. I can’t thank Miss Faye Wilkerson and Mrs. Barbara Wilkerson enough for helping me regain my confidence in reading. Fourth grade was a turning point for me. Although it was difficult at times in that class, I chose to get better rather than to get bitter.

The next year, the March of Dimes had a statewide reading contest that lasted a month. The grand prize was a black-and-white TV (totally just dated myself). I took the entry form home to my Mom and asked her if I could have a TV in my room if I won this contest. She quickly said if I won the statewide reading contest that I could have the TV. After all, how could I win a statewide reading contest when just the year before I was told I was one of the worst readers my teacher had ever taught?

I read sixty six books in thirty days. I broke the record for the most books read in this statewide contest. They held a special school-wide program and a man from The March of Dimes came to present me with the TV in front of the entire school. As I glanced out over the audience, my eyes met my fourth grade teacher and without saying a word, I knew I would not have been standing there at that moment without her.

The following are 3 ways to flip the script on haters.

#1: Turn Your Haters into Motivators

Frank Sinatra said, “The best revenge is massive success.” Use their negativity to feed your burning desire to see your dream become a reality. When times get tough and you want to quit, think of the haters. Do you want to give them the satisfaction of saying I told you so? Or, do you want the satisfaction of proving them wrong?

Whatever your dream might be, don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t achieve it. Understand that most haters are just bitter. Haters don’t really hate you. They hate themselves because you are a reflection of who they wish to be. Visualize your dreams and don’t let anyone slow you down from chasing them.

#2: Don’t Pay Attention to the Vocal Minority

The vocal minority is defined by the Urban Dictionary as the small group of individuals that frequently and strongly voice their opinions, contrasting with the silent majority that makes up most of the population base, but rarely give their opinions.

Usually a hater is a vocal minority. If you noticed in my example, I had two teachers that spent time after their work tutoring me. Looking back, there would have been many more if I had wanted them.

The best way to insulate yourself from the vocal minority is to surround yourself with positive and uplifting people. They are there. You just have to search for them. If you don’t know any then study biographies of people who have already achieved your dream. When you are ready for them, they will appear.

#3: Stay Classy Dream Chaser

Stay above the fray. If you try to argue with your haters then you are giving them what they want. They want to distract you from your dream. They want you to focus on them instead of on your dream. They want to bring you down to their level. They want to infect you with their bitterness. Do not give them what they want.  Your dream is too important to spend time arguing with a fool. Instead focus on your dream and work harder than ever. By doing this you move toward your dream instead of away from it. No one who takes the high road ever looks bad.  In the words of Ron Burgundy, “Stay Classy.”

Be Encouraged

Losers don’t have to worry about haters. If you have them then be encouraged. They usually show up right before big things happen. Get excited. Your dream is closer than you think.

Below in the comments, share your stories of overcoming haters. What do you do to turn your haters into motivators?

About the Author

jimmyburgess_squareThis is a guest post by Jimmy Burgess. He was a millionaire by 35, lost it all and ended up in bankruptcy. He bounced back quickly financially, but it was the bounce back that happened physically, relationally and spiritually that led him to write the book What Just Happened? How To Bounce Back In Life So You Can Do More, Have More, and Be More. You can connect with Jimmy on Twitter.

13 Responses to 'Top 3 Ways To Flip the Script on Haters'

  1. Thanks Lisha for publishing my guest post, and for all you do through your UpGusto.

  2. Jimmy, what an awesome story…especially the black and white tv ;-). More than anything, I love that your advice was about dealing with one’s self-perception and behavior, not externally trying to deal with someone who just isn’t on your side. When things like your story have gotten me down, I realize that my perspective was the ultimate problem.

    • Lisha says:

      That’s true, and also our perception is a lot easier to control than other people! :)

    • Thanks for the feedback. I’ve found that the person that holds me back most is myself. I try to wake up each morning and say “thank” when my first foot hits the floor and “you” when my second foot hits the floor. Starting my day off from a place of gratitude helps me to focus on all the things I have in my life instead of any of the noise and distractions that can sometimes affect my self-perception.

  3. Thanks again Lisha. This was a great topic, I am sure many could relate to your guest.
    Off I go I feel completely inspired. I am going to be busy doing what haters say I shouldn’t.

    • Lisha says:

      Yeah, you go girl! Yep, this was a great post by Jimmy. I’m glad he could contribute :)

    • Kymee,

      I always like proving people right that believe in me. Sometimes proving people wrong can be even more motivating. Keep doing what you’re doing. “Haters” usually discourage you from doing things they are afraid they couldn’t do.

      Jimmy Burgess

      • Lisha says:

        I never really thought about proving people right who believe in me. That’s a really good point to think about, and a good way to live your life :)

  4. Wow Jimmy. This is great. Thanks Lisha for featuring him! This is so timely for me and definitely a great reminder. Absolutely love the point about vocal minority. Staying true to myself has also helped a lot. Haters are everywhere, it’s inevitable but keep believing, keep pushing and they’ll probably swallow back their words in no time.