By Suze Orman
I’ve built a successful career around giving advice. And that very success has often made me a target of criticism. Not helpful, constructive criticism, but nasty feedback entirely disconnected from facts.
When I first encountered the blowback, I was angry and confused. Angry at how my work was being misrepresented and misconstrued. Confused by why the attacks grew in lockstep with my success.
Then I learned to be an elephant.
A wise teacher from India shared this insight: The elephant keeps walking as the dogs keep barking.
The sad fact is that we all have to navigate our way around the dogs in our career: external critics, competitors, horrible bosses, or colleagues who undermine. Based on my experience, I would advise you to prepare for the yapping to increase along with your success.
You can’t tame the barking dogs. But you have it within your power to completely tune them out. By being an elephant that keeps walking while the dogs are barking.
Channeling your inner elephant is a healthy exercise in being focused on who you are and what you believe in, rather than letting others do the defining. The only thing that matters is what you know to be true about your goals and intentions. Everything else is noise.
While the world would definitely be a better place without vindictive and misinformed dogs, I have learned to make peace with their existence. And used it to my advantage. Being an elephant has made me stronger and more resolute, and helped me become even more compassionate. It delights me to turn the dogs’ vitriol into my virtue.