Disobedient Femmes
Disobedient Femmes
Letting the Naysayers Have Their Say

Letting the Naysayers Have Their Say

How to Keep Your Own Counsel and Why It Matters

I spoke with a man this week who offered me advice based on his many years of experience in “the business” . When he was first starting out, he told me that many people had helped him. Now wanted to give back. 

I believed his motivations were sincere. The problem was his help.

Ostensibly, the conversation was to help me. But he spent most of his time talking about his successes and the difficulties he experienced.

To every question I asked, he shook his head, and with the heavy side told me that as an outsider, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to do what he had done. 

According to him, I had to have certain credentials, the kind that those in the business recognized. Without them, it would be impossible for me to be taken seriously by people in “the business.” 

“But,  good luck,” he said, and I believed he meant it.

I decided to disregard everything he told me.

Not because he was wrong about what he knows. I'm sure his advice is based on the reality of his experience. I'm sure that if I did some research, I would find evidence that the obstacles he perceives are quite real. 

In the past, I have pledged allegiance to these kinds of discouraging realities. Where did they leave me?

Frustrated. Timid, Beholden to the opinions of authorities, who may be willing to share their secrets provided I follow their advice. 

Because I believed that these authorities, like this man were right, I concluded, I must not not know enough and so I discounted my own opinions,  and retooled my dreams according to the rules of their reality 

I didn't dare do anything I was likely to fail at which as it turned out, were all of the things that were worth doing. 

Here's what I now know.: To whatever extent you dare to do what you love you set into motion energies that are unpredictable and powerful. doing the things that excite and light you up, create a momentum that travels under an inside barriers and around the limitations that tell you what is and is not possible. 

In ignoring naysayers, including the voices of doubt within me, I  am giving credence what might be possible.

This may or may not give me a way around the obstacles.  But my path is not circumscribed by these obstacles, but by something else.: My visions, my desire,  the reality that I am reaching for, even if it doesn't yet exist.

The naysayers could be right. They probably are.  But, even with the reality  the “real world” on their side. I no longer care. 

The exhilaration of trying to do what no one thinks is possible, even me, teels like it's changing the so called “real world.”

It's making me feel happier. 

And it's making me braver than I've been in a long time. 

It’s one clear indication that I am indeed on my way to becoming a real badass.


I’ve created a kind of compass for helping myself discern what advice I will take in and what advice I will disregard.  I’ve included some of the questions I ask myself.

I’ve also included a template for you to use to create your very own compass too.  Download it below.

Compass of Discernment

Disobedient Femmes
Disobedient Femmes
It’s 2021 and you’re ready to hear from the people who have been taking care of you and the world for as long as we can all remember — women. Listen to the kick-ass artists, activists and storytellers and social change makers who are reimagining the world