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Today, we’re going to talk about why you need haters in order to be successful.

It’s one thing to acknowledge that they exist, but it’s a whole other thing to be able to deal with them. In this post, I’ll share with you a strategy that has truly helped me get from rock bottom, in business and my personal life, to where I am today.

But first, I think it’s important that I distinguish what a real hater is. There are some people close to you, that love and care about you, but when they watch you go through your journey and trying new things, they have some tough questions. These people aren’t your haters, but because of their lack of knowledge and how much they love and care about you – they’re probably going to push back when you make changes in your life.

Here’s how you spot a true hater: a hater always tries to find something that discredits you, no matter how big or how small. Also, they have this way of redirecting the attention back to them. They slander other people because they don’t feel like they are getting enough attention themselves. These are the people that you talk to and no matter what you’re talking about they always find a way to circle back and pull all the attention back towards themselves.

One last way to spot a hater is: their favourite subject in the world is other people. They love to pull other people into their discussion of judging others. These people are impossible to avoid. They’re at your church, your work and even in your family.

But you can’t sit at home and feel sorry for yourself.

If your strategy for handling haters is to sit at home every night, not talk to anyone, and to pray for God to change everyone’s hearts so they treat one another nicely – I mean it’s just not going to happen.

You need to choose to take the emotion and energy that the hate creates and direct it towards something in your life that’s productive. If you can do this, you will become a master at dealing with haters.

My whole game is trying to take energy that someone’s putting on me, good or bad, and redirecting it towards something that’s going to help me improve my life.

So here we go, my 6 reasons to thank your haters:

  1. They bring out the emotion.

    Man, haters get me fired up. They keep me on my toes. They keep me alert.

    Playing a game with emotion is so much better than playing a game without it. Like when you play sports, redirect the energy the haters draw out of you to something that positively impacts your end game. Let the hate remind you that you’re alive, get you more alert, keep you aware and get you ready to go.

  2. They make you re-evaluate yourself.

    The first thing I do when I get a hater, or a hardcore critic is take a step back and ask myself: Is there something positive to learn from this? Is there something that I could have done differently? By answering those questions, I help myself get better and move forward. A lot of times there is something I can improve about myself, my delivery or my message.

    The most successful people I know have the highest level of self-awareness and self-reflection in the world. Every time you get another hater, take it as an opportunity to reflect and ask yourself am I on the right track?

  3. They make you want to prove them wrong.

    Whenever someone trash talks me it’s another log on my mental fire – it excites and motivates me. Just like when a professional sports team gets a bad article published about the way they play – they cut it out and post it on the bulletin board of their change room. Every time you get a hater, use it as “bulletin board material.”

    You’re not going to play the game that day just to prove them wrong, but it’s one more reason to work extra hard. The more haters you have, the more motivated you become.

  4. They prove you must be doing something right.

    People don’t hate on someone who’s not doing anything. Having haters proves that you’re on the move. You’re moving away from somebody or something and towards somebody or something. It’s the people that you’re leaving behind that are feeling insecure in their life and are going to try to pull you back.

    Haters are validation that you are moving in the right direction.

  5. They keep you grounded.

    As you get more successful, it’s easy to let your ego get in the way. But when you get a hater, it reminds you that you’re just human. You’re not God’s gift to the world. We’re all created equal, and we have to stay humble.

    Yeah, you can have your head in the clouds, but you have to keep your feet on the ground.

    With every hater I take the opportunity to ask myself, are there areas in my life where I am showing up as a hater to someone else? Are there people that I am discouraging? Because we’ve all been a hater at some point in our lives. If you look at it the right way, there is always an opportunity to reflect and grow.

  6. They make success feel so much better. 

    You don’t need to brag or boast about your success. Your haters are watching you, long after you’ve forgotten about them. They will spend the rest of their lives judging others, but they’re the ones that will suffer as a result. Your pleasure causes them pain and as long as you don’t try to make it worse, just acknowledge that it’s part of the process.

So now that you know the 6 reasons you need to thank your haters, I want to share with you my 3 strategies for dealing with them, because even though we know they make us better, it still sucks sometimes.

  1. I ignore them. 
    Haters want attention. The reason they are hating is because they’re jealous that the focus isn’t on them. If you feed it to them, you feed their addiction, but if you starve them of attention, it will destroy them.
  2. I feel important.
    When you start winning, for some reason people start to feel like they’re losing, even if that’s not your intention. Have you ever noticed that haters only hate people who are ahead of them? They never hate people who are behind them. So, if someone’s hating on you, take it as a compliment.
  3. I maintain my focus.
    The first thing my dad taught me when learning to drive a car was to look towards where I wanted the car to go. If you stare in the ditch, you’ll hit the ditch. Don’t focus on the haters; what you focus on is where you will go.

Have you ever noticed that the only people who have time to give commentary about others are the ones that are watching a game they can’t play? You can either listen to the noise of the crowd or play the game – you can’t do both.

The more significant the change that you’re trying to make, whether it be in your health, business or relationship, the more people are going to try to tear you down. Instead of avoiding people and letting it get you down, learn to embrace the hate and push through. Block out the noise. Get in the zone. And focus on the task at hand.