We all hear voices, including our own, discouraging us.

This can come from a wide variety of sources (friends, enemies, family, media, competitors, advisors, etc.).

This discouragement can be motivated by a number of agendas (protection, jealousy, fear, love, justification, control, etc.)

I will always remember a note my mother sent me the week I opened my own agency.

I was so proud of my new offices with my name on the door. I enthusiastically showed her my shiny desk and pricy phone system and brand new office equipment.

She looked concerned.

A few days later I received a newspaper clipping from her with some statistic about how 90% of new businesses fail or some such data of disaster.

At first I was hurt. Why didn’t my own mother want to encourage and support me?

I then remembered to consider the source.

My mom’s motivation wasn’t to hurt me because she hated me. It was to try to protect me because she loved me.

I went further in considering the source. My mother always knew she wanted to be a teacher and followed a very clear and defined course of action to achieve that. Once she finished her education she landed an elementary school teaching position and stayed their for decades until she retired.

My mom’s own life experience was informed by following safe and predictable choices.

It was my responsibility to take in her input, filter it, and arrive at my own decisions regardless of the discouragement.

How do you deal with discouragement regarding your career?