You would be hard pressed to find a motivational song, an inspirational Instagram quote, or a celebrity interview that doesn’t talk about rubbing success in the face of “haters.” Pop culture and modern society promotes this idea every chance it gets. It tells us that success can be found when we leave our haters jealous of us, that we should use the people who hurt us in the past to motivate us and put our future success into perspective. 

That is an incredibly unhealthy mindset to have. 

The only thing that should be motivating us to thrive and be our best selves is ourselves. The people that hurt us, that disappointed us, that didn’t believe in us may have had enough control over us in the past to have affected us emotionally or mentally, but they shouldn’t continue to have that power over us now. The last thing any of us should think about, the last impression we should want to imagine, the last person whose opinion we should care about is our “haters.”

Every great moment we have shouldn’t be looked at through the lens of someone that doesn’t even deserve the time of day from us. Rather than look at how jealous this person is or how wrong they were, we should be relishing in our success through the lens of our own hard work.

The people that wronged us before weren’t the ones that stayed late to impress the boss.

They weren’t the ones that went the extra mile on that A-worthy school project.

They weren’t the ones that took a risk on starting a company.

That was all us.

That was all our own passions, wants, and dreams pushing us forward. 

Let that be the only motivation you need to thrive in your life. Let that future you’ve always wanted for yourself be the thing that pushes you forward. Lastly, let that amazing feeling of accomplishment be the only thing that is on your mind. 

It is completely understandable and natural to want to prove people wrong. It is never a good feeling to hear someone say they don’t believe in us or our future success. When these “haters” first make their presence known in our lives, it can be difficult to get over that emotional hurt. However, as we progress in our lives we shouldn’t be holding onto their words or opinions any longer. They should be forgettable in the face of all the future greatness awaiting us. 

When we use these people as motivation and actively think about them months or years later, we are giving them far more power than they should ever have. When we say we succeeded because their disbelief motivated it us, that is giving them far more credit than they deserve. They did nothing to help us. They don’t even deserve a footnote in the book that is our life. 

There are so many people in our lives that help us in any way they can to succeed. They offer up opportunities, provide words of support, are shoulders to cry on. Those are the type of people that deserve recognition during our success. They are the ones that have had the bigger impact on our lives. It’s time we start giving them some of the attention and credit that we so often reserve for our “haters.”

It can be easy to get caught up in this “haters are my motivation” thought process. However, all of us would be better off if we left it in the past. Let’s stop giving the people who hurt us the satisfaction of still being on our mind and still affecting our actions. Instead, let us give credit to those people that motivated us through support and affection. Even more importantly, let’s give credit to the person who actually worked for the success: ourselves. 

Stormi R
CONTRIBUTOR