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They say that when the haters start popping up out of the darkness, you know you are on the right track. But the assumptions and opinions of others can still create doubt and uncertainty in even the most confident business leaders. Here are 4 things they’ll probably say and a few ways to handle it.

You’re Tired

An off season is not a result of being overworked and depleted. It is actually a proactive step to make sure you don’t get that way. Of course, there is no shame in being tired; it happens to the most successful and hardworking industry leaders. But an off season is not a sign that you can’t keep up or that you’re unfit for the amount of work it takes to be successful.

People often deflect their own insecurities onto others, so when the haters assume that your off season means you easily get burnt out, it could be a reflection of their own fear of not being able to keep up with the fast-paced lifestyle of business.  

You’re Overwhelmed

An off season is not a result of being overwhelmed or in over your head. It does not mean you are incapable of the job you have set out to do, or that you bit off more than you can chew. An off season is an intentional time to look at where you’ve been and where you are going. It gives you time to plan, reorganize, re-work and rethink how you are running your business so you can work smarter, not harder. An off season allows you to let go of the things that aren’t working and strengthen the things that can send your business to the next level.

The people close to you might give you a hard time for taking an off season and assume it is because you’re overwhelmed and overworked. If this happens, remind them, and yourself, that your off season is to prevent professional fatigue. It’s a planning session, brainstorming session, a way to realign your business so that you can stay in control and focused on what you need to do next.

The haters who tell you an off season must be a sign that you’re overwhelmed may be seeing your momentum and your progress as a threat. They may be hoping that this is a sign that you aren’t doing as well as you look. They’re wrong.

You’re Stuck

An off season is not a result of being stuck, confused or lost. It is not throwing your hands up and giving up when things are hard. Your off season is a way to get a fresh look at what you’ve built and see new pathways that will launch you to the next level. Your off season is your time to look at your business and your relationships in a new light that allows you to keep moving forward.

A lot of the time, your haters won’t look like haters at all. They will be well-meaning family members who don’t understand your passion or your dreams and feel intimidated or uncomfortable with your courage to step out of the box. Don’t let their fears become your fears. You’re taking an off season because you’re not okay with being stuck in a rut or settling for mediocre. Your off season is what separates your future from theirs.

You’re Failing

Your off season does not mean you’re failing. It does not mean you’re not good at this, that it’s too much or too hard. You deciding to take an off season gives you time to look at the times when you didn’t make the right decisions, to look at the setbacks and mistakes that you’ve learned along the way, and learn from them. You have failed before and you will 100% fail again. But you get back up and you keep going, which is why you are next level bound.

Your success is a threat to other people. If it wasn’t, they’d be cheering you on instead of finding ways to knock at your confidence. They may not say it, and they may not even know it, but your failure would help them feel better about their own. So they assume, or hope, that you taking an off season means you’re down for the count. That this big dream that makes them feel insecure and small is a no-go. Prove them wrong.

There are a million things small minds will say to discredit or discourage you from doing big things. And it can be hard not to take what they have to say as truth, especially if they are close to you. But when you know the reason and purpose for your off season, you can walk into this strategy session with confidence. You will know it doesn’t mean you’re tired, overwhelmed, stuck or failing. It means you are making a smart business decision that is going to set you apart from the rest.

Hater’s gonna hate. It means you’re doing something right.

When you can’t change the direction of the wind — adjust your sails. H. Jackson Brown Jr

Every day, we have the opportunity to enter into the workday with an attitude of gratitude and positivity or indifference and negativity. And all day, we can shift our attitude in a way that will bring more patience, productivity, and success into our day. But it’s a choice. If you’re an adult and you’re still walking into each day not fully aware of the gift that it is, and unwilling to master the techniques and strategies to shift your mindset and reset your attitude, you’re not next level bound.

People who are getting to the next level understand the significance of their attitude. They no longer adhere to the idea that they are a victim of their circumstances. They no longer give fear and laziness the power to keep them from their destiny. They adopt an attitude of “I can. I will. I must.” They don’t let the actions and opinions of others control their attitude or their mindset. Attitude is everything. It is the foundation for your success, and you get to decide whether that foundation is rock solid and indestructible, or if it’s weak and prone to crumbling.

Positive self-talk and positive affirmations not only build confidence and get you in a powerful mental state to reach the next level, but it’s been proven to reduce stress, decrease depression rates, and even strengthen your immune system. Living a healthy lifestyle starts with your attitude and how you talk to and about yourself.

Your attitude, whether positive or negative, is contagious. When people are around you this week, will they feel capable, uplifted, encouraged, and inspired? Or will they feel defeated, stressed, unable, unwilling and unmotivated? And be careful about surrounding yourself with people who refuse to adopt a positive attitude. Their negativity will weigh you down. Find the good in difficult situations and refuse to be the person who constantly complains, points the finger or plays the victim. Step up and decide that your attitude is your responsibility.

This week, find opportunities to implement these four attitudes of success:

  • Possibility. Find a way when there is no way. Do the things others think cannot be done, more importantly, do the things you think can not be done
  • Self-Reliance. This week, take control of your success by figuring out what you can do to get yourself to the next level. What action steps can you make that don’t require input or response from anyone else? Do those.
  • Don’t Quit. You’re fully aware of what happens when you quit on something, so what if this week you adopted the attitude of commitment? Decide this week to push forward when you normally quit and watch what happens.
  • Improvement. An attitude shift doesn’t mean everything will go as you want it to, or that you’ll suddenly see drastic growth and improvements across the board. Apply the attitude of improvement to your life this week and look for the tiny victories. Celebrate the growth and development in yourself and others.

The reality is that sometimes we just aren’t in the mood to be productive, goal-oriented, or hard working. But your mood and your attitude are not the same things. Your mood is a fluctuation in your emotions based on your circumstances. Your attitude is your outlook on the world and the way you choose to see the possibilities in front of you. You’re allowed to have an off day, don’t beat yourself up for that. What you’re not allowed to do is dwell in a negative or victim mentality and let it rob you of your dreams.

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Give yourself the gift of an attitude adjustment this week and watch how it changes things in your marriage, your relationships with your kids, your workplace and your social circle.

-Walter