Overcoming All the Odds When Nobody Believes in You


At every corner, there will be an opportunity to give up or to press on. Often, the easier path is to simply give up when challenges arise and obstacles are seemingly insurmountable.

Beating the odds is much easier done when you have a strong support group to cheer you on…but what if you don’t have a cheer-leading team or even a single supporter who believes in your outrageous dreams?

How do you forge ahead anyway in the face of immense challenges and scanty support?

Don’t make failure a personal deficit

In whatever you choose to pursue, there is the likelihood of some form of failure. The pursuit of all worthy goals is often fraught with all sorts of challenges, adversities, and obstacles that will make you want to give up.

photo-1428604467652-115d9d71a7f1Ask any successful person, from Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates and they will tell you a story of adversity before they got their big break. For Branson it was his dyslexia and his teachers not having too much faith in him, for Winfrey it was sexual assault and her family being cruel to her, for Gates it was failing multiple times and having few people believe in his crazy projects.

What made these icons succeed against all odds? They did not take their adversities and failures as a personal deficit; rather they saw these as mere obstacles to overcome.

It is impossible to be successful when you believe that your challenging circumstances are as a result of a personal flaw. As Oprah likes to say, “It’s never personal.”

Find your silver lining in the storm

In his popular book, The Flipside, speaker and entrepreneur Adam J. Jackson aptly points out that inside every problem, there is a hidden opportunity. This can be hard to believe when you are knee-deep in the murkiness of your day to day challenges—but you know it to be true.

Look at it this way, the odds you are facing right now, whether financial, health-related, or emotional, are an absolutely necessary part of the journey to your success.

Put quite blatantly, no pain, no gain.

You are never as good or as bad as they say

Incredibly successful people have learnt the art of taking other people’s opinions with a grain of salt. They understand that their sense of worth does not emanate from what people say or do not say about them.

When you pursue a worthy goal, the largest majority of people will not believe in your ideas. In fact, those who are closest to you will likely be the greatest dissuaders, as they want ‘what’s best for you.’

Come to terms with the fact that few people will happily support your cause and do not expect them to support you if you do not share a vision. It is also important to realize that whether you mess up or succeed, people will always have an opinion about it.

So think about it: will you be held back from rigorously pursuing your dreams because some people do not support you or will go right ahead, beyond the obstacles and try as much as you can to make your dreams come true?

Gain absolute clarity about your purpose

Are you absolutejay_z_04ly certain about your purpose? For Jim Carey, he knew it was comedy. For President Obama, he knew it was transformational leadership. For Jay Z, he knew it was music.

A look at the life of Carey, Obama and Jay-Z will reveal many, many odds that were set against their chances of ever amounting to anything. It was poverty, discrimination and continued rejection by other people. But these men knew what they wanted and they would get it, whatever the odds.

When you are absolutely clear about what you want to achieve, no amount of odds and lack of support from other people will stop you from achieving it. On the contrary, it is quite easy to simply give up or succumb to a victim mentality when you are neither passionate nor sure about your purpose.

Let go of naysayers and build a new tribe

Success begets success. Without a doubt, the most successful people in the world hang out with their own kind. They surround themselves with a clique of the chosen few who have a positive influence in their life.

Very often, the ability to beat the odds and to achieve your goals is equal to the clique you hang out with. If you are in the wrong company, odds will seem insurmountable, passions will dampen, your purpose will be murky and you will lack the right guidance to take you to your dreams.

Many times, the best way to overcome all odds is to get rid of your old clique that may be pulling you down and find a different network of likeminded people. You will be surprised how just one or two people who share in your vision can help you transcend the highest and biggest of obstacles.

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