The most successful people didn’t get to the top without a little adversity. Some of best entrepreneurs and business leaders—Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, Tony Robbins, Sheryl Sandberg—have just as many critics as they do fans.
With success comes haters. Period.
As the CEO of Spartan, I have my fair share of detractors and defamers. They don’t like my discipline or my attitude. They don’t agree with my breakfast choices or how I raise my kids. They want me to slow down, be nice, and play by the rules.
Here’s a secret: The athlete you cheer the loudest for, the entrepreneur you respect, the celebrity you admire—they all had haters way before they reached the pinnacle. Consider it a sign that you’re doing something right.
Here are six ways to inspire more people to hate you—and how to use that negative energy to fuel your success.
1) Actively Participate—All Day, Every Day
Stop being a spectator. Eliminate hours scrolling through social media, watching TV, and immersing yourself in video games. Stop watching the world and start participating in it. Put your head down, focus on the work, and ignore the noise.
Haters are spectators. They like to watch things unfold from the safe confines of their couches (or from behind their keyboards) so they can immediately weigh in. They are looking for a response, a rise—some validation that their tactics are working. But if you stick to your True North, nothing can shake you. Let the negative comments keep rolling in, but don’t let them stop you.
2) Set Impossible Goals
Want instant haters? Set a few goals, and make them BIG.
It takes a lot of confidence and conviction to go after seemingly unfeasible feats. But successful people challenge conventional norms, they break barriers, and they reinvent what’s possible.
Big dreams invite skeptics and challengers. But these naysayers don’t have your vision and your work ethic. Use all of that criticism to push past every hurdle and obstacle and don’t stop until you prove everyone wrong.
3) Always Maintain Your Momentum
Haters hope you fail. They want to trip you up—to see you make a mistake and fold. But if you learn to react and adapt, you’ll always be one step ahead of failure. That’s not to say you won’t make mistakes (you will), but if you learn from them and adapt accordingly, you’ll continue to move in the right direction.
Do you know why superheroes always beat the bad guys? It’s because they can react to any situation and handle unforeseen obstacles. Villains always expect their scheme to go perfectly according to plan. When it doesn’t, they buckle.
Superheroes stay calm and cool under pressure, even if the circumstances change. They assess what is happening around them, react with decisiveness, and ultimately, save the day.
4) Bleed for What You Believe In
Before online trolls and social media comment sections, there were the people in the back of the room who never clapped. Don’t dismiss them as just being assholes.
Not everyone will support what you believe in. There should people giving you a standing ovation and a few who are sporting a disapproving scowl.
But the commitment you have to your core values is directly proportional to your success. Sure, your decisions and direction might make some people angry and bring a lot of opposition. But the passion and dedication you have to your vision will be a magnet for others who share similar goals.
5) Show No Fear
Haters want you to be afraid. They want to scare you into doubting your decisions. They want failure to loom large like a monster in your closet so that it stops you dead in your tracks.
But if you show no fear—if you have guts and bravery—it lets your critics know how tough you are. Participating in a Spartan Death Race is terrifying, but the most extreme athletes step up to the challenge with smiles on their faces. They’re not scared.
Showing no fear will stoke the fire and it might get you more flack, but it’s also going to put you in the mindset that’s necessary for success.
6) Celebrate Your Achievements Unapologetically
Broadcast your accomplishments. If you set big goals and reach them, they should be celebrated. Proudly display your certificates, awards, and recognitions. If you are living your life, doing the things you love, be proud about it.
Celebrating your achievements might come off as arrogance, and it might cause people to react negatively, but that’s okay. It’s important to take a moment to recognize your wins and relish your successes. These moments are the stepping stones to getting where you need to be, so don’t brush them off.