“What do you think a hater’s job is? To hate. If you have someone hating on you right now you better think of how to get 5 more people hating on you by Christmas. You need haters to make you stronger.”
“Instead of spending our lives running towards our dreams, we are often running away from a fear of failure or a fear of criticism.”
“How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.”
There are people who want to hold you back in life.
Wanting to make something happen for yourself in the real world comes with risk. The biggest of which is upsetting the herd. That is to say, making other people look bad or feel bad about themselves. Of course, you’re not trying to make anyone look or feel bad, you’re just trying to fulfill your purpose in life. But as you face your own fears and put yourself out there, something funny happens, the people around you get uncomfortable. Your willingness to be vulnerable; your willingness to fall flat on your face, makes other people acutely aware of the fact that they are playing it safe. Any step you take towards your dream creates a gap between you and the herd. And this really pisses some people off. Understand: most people fear change. Some of these people fear change quietly, but others fear change so intensely that they actively and ferociously resist it. These people are haters.
Haterade is the heaviest form of inertia. Think of inertia as friction between you and achieving your goal. The more inertia in your life, the less momentum you can build towards your dreams. The problem is that taking productive action towards your goals will, in itself, create friction. Put another way, striving to fulfill your purpose in life will attract inertia. This is especially true early in your pursuit of greatness. Most often, this inertia will arrive in the form of other people demotivating you, ignoring you, or actively working to limit your options. By stepping away from the herd, you expose not only yourself, you also expose the people in the herd that are sitting on the sidelines of their own lives. Many of these people will take action to pull you back into the herd. This is called crab syndrome, or crab mentality. If you catch a crab and put him into a lidless bucket, he will climb out and escape. But if you put two or more crabs in a bucket together, as soon as one tries to climb out, the others will grab the escaping crab by the legs and pull him back down. This process gets repeated over and over and no crab ever escapes.
The main reason why Haterade is such a potent form of inertia is because it’s hard to define. You can’t fight an enemy you can’t see. As you enter the unknown in your life, you are like a tank crossing enemy lines. Your mission is clear and your weapon is clean. The same cannot be said about your enemy. The enemy is like a poisonous gas; a vapor that spreads without a productive purpose, slowly killing everything in its path. Haters are this poisonous gas. They are a cancer, eroding your will and rotting your dreams from the inside out. Like any cancer, you have to deal with haters quickly and completely. As hard as it may be, you have to identify them and treat them aggressively, or cut them out altogether. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life is keeping negative people close to you. These people will keep you from achieving your goal and reaching your full potential. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you start giving your sour friends and family members pink slips. It means you start carefully choosing who to keep close and share your biggest dreams with. Some people you have to love from a distance. You cannot afford to sacrifice your purpose in life to the life of a hater.
Haterade Is Contagious
Haterade is a force to be reckoned with, not ignored. The gasses emitted from a ripening apple will cause other apples to ripen more rapidly. Conversely, if an apple has begun to grow mold spores, the other healthy apples will soon be covered with mold spores. As the saying goes, one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. Several scientific studies have shown that this proverb holds true for negative people. Negativity spreads like a disease from person to person. In fact, one study found that emotions circulate through social networks in patterns analogous to what’s seen from epidemiological models of disease. In the spread of positive emotions, clustering of “positive” and “neutral” people was similar to the clustering of “infected” and “uninfected” people during flu season. Numerically, each positive friend increased your chances of being positive by 11%. The same was not true for negative friends. The clustering of “negative” versus “neutral” people was much larger. The presence of just one negative friend doubled your chances of being negative. In other words, one hater can double your inertia. This phenomenon is also present in business and entrepreneurship, with consumer research studies showing that negative opinions generate more influence than positive ones. Still other studies have shown that haters bond and grow stronger by hating on the same things and that this negativity, or Haterade, can cause real physical pain.
Haters do not deserve a free pass. Too many people believe that the best way to deal with haters is to pretend that they don’t exist. “Just focus on yourself,” they will say. While it’s true that haters will usually take care of themselves, ignoring their existence is foolish. In fact, such an approach will often empower haters. From a hater’s point of view: Why stop hating on people if there are no consequences? The key to dealing with haters is twofold. First, you have to know when you are being hated on versus when you are just being a baby. This means you have to learn to differentiate between the manipulative resistance of others and your own sensitivity. After all, no one owes you anything. It is not other people’s job to support you or even to acknowledge you. Your pursuit of greatness falls squarely on your shoulders. Likewise, the only way to get ahead in life is to learn how to accept and use criticism. Understand: hard truth is not Haterade. Criticism is a key component of correction and continual improvement. Second, you have to know how to combat a hater’s negative efforts without wasting your valuable time and energy. Learn to deal with haters in whatever way best serves your own productive purposes. For example, you can channel their negative energy, invest in them, confuse them, avoid them, or compete with them openly. The key is to make a hater’s efforts benefit you. In this way, your success in life becomes the consequence for their negative actions. In my next post, I will help you get inside the head of a hater, which will show you how to deal with haters without becoming one.