They say that when the haters start popping up out of the darkness, you know you are on the right track. But the assumptions and opinions of others can still create doubt and uncertainty in even the most confident business leaders. Here are 4 things they’ll probably say and a few ways to handle it.

You’re Tired

An off season is not a result of being overworked and depleted. It is actually a proactive step to make sure you don’t get that way. Of course, there is no shame in being tired; it happens to the most successful and hardworking industry leaders. But an off season is not a sign that you can’t keep up or that you’re unfit for the amount of work it takes to be successful.

People often deflect their own insecurities onto others, so when the haters assume that your off season means you easily get burnt out, it could be a reflection of their own fear of not being able to keep up with the fast-paced lifestyle of business.  

You’re Overwhelmed

An off season is not a result of being overwhelmed or in over your head. It does not mean you are incapable of the job you have set out to do, or that you bit off more than you can chew. An off season is an intentional time to look at where you’ve been and where you are going. It gives you time to plan, reorganize, re-work and rethink how you are running your business so you can work smarter, not harder. An off season allows you to let go of the things that aren’t working and strengthen the things that can send your business to the next level.

The people close to you might give you a hard time for taking an off season and assume it is because you’re overwhelmed and overworked. If this happens, remind them, and yourself, that your off season is to prevent professional fatigue. It’s a planning session, brainstorming session, a way to realign your business so that you can stay in control and focused on what you need to do next.

The haters who tell you an off season must be a sign that you’re overwhelmed may be seeing your momentum and your progress as a threat. They may be hoping that this is a sign that you aren’t doing as well as you look. They’re wrong.

You’re Stuck

An off season is not a result of being stuck, confused or lost. It is not throwing your hands up and giving up when things are hard. Your off season is a way to get a fresh look at what you’ve built and see new pathways that will launch you to the next level. Your off season is your time to look at your business and your relationships in a new light that allows you to keep moving forward.

A lot of the time, your haters won’t look like haters at all. They will be well-meaning family members who don’t understand your passion or your dreams and feel intimidated or uncomfortable with your courage to step out of the box. Don’t let their fears become your fears. You’re taking an off season because you’re not okay with being stuck in a rut or settling for mediocre. Your off season is what separates your future from theirs.

You’re Failing

Your off season does not mean you’re failing. It does not mean you’re not good at this, that it’s too much or too hard. You deciding to take an off season gives you time to look at the times when you didn’t make the right decisions, to look at the setbacks and mistakes that you’ve learned along the way, and learn from them. You have failed before and you will 100% fail again. But you get back up and you keep going, which is why you are next level bound.

Your success is a threat to other people. If it wasn’t, they’d be cheering you on instead of finding ways to knock at your confidence. They may not say it, and they may not even know it, but your failure would help them feel better about their own. So they assume, or hope, that you taking an off season means you’re down for the count. That this big dream that makes them feel insecure and small is a no-go. Prove them wrong.

There are a million things small minds will say to discredit or discourage you from doing big things. And it can be hard not to take what they have to say as truth, especially if they are close to you. But when you know the reason and purpose for your off season, you can walk into this strategy session with confidence. You will know it doesn’t mean you’re tired, overwhelmed, stuck or failing. It means you are making a smart business decision that is going to set you apart from the rest.

Hater’s gonna hate. It means you’re doing something right.