Often in life, we listen to the negative comments of others. This can bring us down, make us doubt ourselves, and impact our performance, whether in our careers, social lives, or any other realm. But what if we ignored these perspectives? What if we decided to be deaf to negativity?
The story of the tiny frog who participated in a race up a giant tower is a reminder of the benefits of shutting our ears to negative comments.
Here’s how it goes.
The Tiny Frog and the Race Up the Tower
Once, a group of tiny frogs came across a gigantic tower. They decided to hold a race to the top of the tower to see who would reach the top first.
When they started climbing the giant tower, they attracted a group of curious onlookers. These other frogs looked at the tiny frogs enthusiastically climb the tower, step by step, with their focus only on reaching the top of the tower.
The crowd of frogs cheered them on at first. But as the race continued, the onlookers began to doubt the tiny frogs’ ability to get to the top of the tower.
They started voicing their doubts.
“It’s too difficult to climb such a TALL tower!” shouted one frog from the crowd.
“You’ll never make it to the top of that tower! It’s impossible!” said another to the tiny frogs.
“These tiny frogs are going to fall to their deaths today!” said a frog loudly to the crowd.
None of the frogs in the audience believed that these tiny frogs could make it to the top of the tower.
One by one the tiny frogs started collapsing and falling off the tower. But even then, there were some tiny frogs that were determined to get to the top and refused to give up.
As they climbed higher, the crowd below continued to dissuade the tiny frogs from climbing further.
“You’ll fail, stop climbing higher! You won’t make it,” they shouted, worried that more of the tiny frogs would fall.
More and more tiny frogs began giving up because of all the discouraging comments from the onlookers, and in the end, there was only one tiny frog left.
Regardless of all the noise, he kept climbing step by step. The onlookers were amazed that he hadn’t given up, and slowly, inch by inch, he reached the top, exhausted and elated at the same time. He had reached the very top of the tower! He had won the race! He had not given up, where everyone else had.
He looked out at the amazing view, the most wonderful view he had ever seen in his life. And he smiled.
Finally, he began to make his way down. When he reached the bottom, all the other tiny frogs gathered around him, congratulating him, clapping him on the back, asking him how he had kept going when everyone else had failed.
But the tiny frog didn’t hear a word they said.
He was deaf.
Why You Need to Shut Your Ears to Negativity
“You need to overcome the tug of people against you, as you reach for your high goals” George S Patton.
Sometimes in life, you are the tiny frog, with big dreams and goals that may seem too difficult to those around you. They can weigh you down with their negative comments, leading you to doubt your abilities and in turn make you give up.
There will always be those around you trying to bring you down with their negativity. They will tell you that you cannot do it. They will tell you that it’s too difficult. They will tell you that you don’t have the resources, connections, money, or education.
But don’t let someone else’s standard of life dictate yours.
Don’t be discouraged by the disapproval of others or their inability to see what you are capable of. It’s important to ask for feedback and ideas but only pay heed to them if they are constructive and lead to your growth. Ignore anything that adds no value to what you wish to achieve.
Once you cut out the noise from dismissive and pessimistic people in your life and truly focus on your goal, you will make progress and achieve things beyond your wildest dreams.
There’s a beautiful poem by Edgar Albert Guest that perfectly encapsulates this idea.
It Couldn’t Be Done
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
While we all want to be cheered and our dreams and aspirations believed in, it’s not always possible to receive such encouragement and appreciation from the people around us. If we depend on others to achieve our potential, we may lose our motivation and purpose to sustain us through till the end.
This is why it’s important to listen to your inner voice, drown out the negativity and narrow mindset of whoever that’s telling you it can’t be done, and show the world what you are capable of.