When life and people shovel dirt on you, do you shake it off and step up or do you let them bury you?

On your journey towards your goals, the path is not going to be straightforward.

There will be times when you’ll feel like you're on top of the world.

Yet, there will also be times when you’ll feel like you are at the bottom of a deep dark hole.

Depending on how you deal with these tough seasons of life you’ll become the victim or the victor of the circumstances.

No one is going to come and rescue you from the deep hole you may fall into during the journey towards your goals.

Even worse, people will be ready to judge you and discourage you till you give up on your goals and that hole becomes your tomb.

Remember: the only person who can get you out of the hole is YOU!

The only person who is going to make a drastic change in your life, be it physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, financial is you. 

It all comes down to how you respond to life challenges and the naysayers.

What are you going to do about it? 

You can become upset, nervous, tense, hopeless when life and people shovel dirt on you and give up on your goals.

Or, you can regard every tough experience, every adversity as an opportunity to forge your character and get stronger.

In the latter case, the achievement of your goals will be inevitable.

“Instead of giving up in the face of adversity, you should face it with a positive attitude and smile”. Anurag Prakash Ray

I bet you can recall tough periods in your life without which you would not be the person you are today.

They have allowed you to improve, haven’t they?

They had a purpose that you couldn’t spot back then, but by now you must have connected the dots.

Learn from your past challenging experiences because they hide precious life lessons.

How did you respond when life shoveled dirt on you?

Keep reading and you’ll find out the approach to win in life. 


cartoon of a smiling donkey
cartoon of a smiling donkey

There once was a foal of a donkey that lived on a farm.

He used to canter with his grandfather most of the time.

One day, the old mule was lying on the lawn when the little donkey noticed unusual stripes on his back.

“What are they?”, asked the foal.

The stripes on my back are the sign that I’ve never given up!

They always remind me that all you have to do is to shake it off and step up!

“What do you mean, grandpa?”, asked the confused donkey.

“Dear grandson, let me explain what I mean by recounting a life experience to you”, replied the mule.

“I was a young donkey like you, I was in the same paddock where we are right now when the farmer left the door behind him open by mistake.

So, I decided to explore the surrounding hills and grasslands.

The new beautiful view amazed me, but, suddenly everything became dark.

After a while, I realized I had fallen into a very deep hole.

cartoon of a hole
cartoon of a hole

I cried for hours before the farmer heard me.

When I saw him I thought he would save me, but he looked at me pitifully, shook his head and he was gone.

Before long I heard some rumors; they were the voices of other people.

I thought to myself that the farmer had called his neighbors to help him pull me out of the hole.

To my surprise, I heard the farmer telling the other men that I was worth nothing.

So, they decided to fill the hole to stop someone from suffering the same fate as me.

They began to shovel dirt into the hole.

cartoon of men shoveling close to a hole
cartoon of men shoveling close to a hole

I was scared to death!

I thought it was the end.

But then I realized that every time the dirt they threw at me landed on my back I could shake it off and take a step up on the layer that had formed. 

As the men continued to shovel dirt on top of me, all I had to do was to shake it off and take a step up.

The more dirt they threw at me, the higher I could step up.

cartoon of a donkey stepping out of a hole
cartoon of a donkey stepping out of a hole

Soon, to their amazement, I was able to step out of the hole and trot off. 

I hope you have learned the lesson, my dear.

Shake it off, step up and get out of the dark”!


Pursuing your dreams is exciting, it opens new horizons and brings about possibilities.

Yet, life will shovel all kinds of dirt on you. 

Along your journey, you’ll encounter pitfalls and people will try to divert you from your journey to a better life.

Don’t let them and your negative self-talk get in the way and bury you. 

Shake it all off instead, take a step up, and move forward.

Whenever I started pursuing a goal, my initial enthusiasm was often shaken by adversity.

The biggest struggle for me has always been to deal with the discouraging, and disempowering remarks the people I love say to me.

Remarks like: “What are you doing? How silly of you? Can you not see you are not getting any results?”

It’s hard to pursue a goal when the people around you don’t believe in you.

They can make you feel not good enough and unworthy till you end up not believing in yourself.

I’ve been there many times, and many times I’ve given up on goals because of that.

Yet, I have been getting better and better at how to let go.

I’ve learned how to not give a f*ck about what others may think of me.

This has resulted in me taking action and moving towards my goals even when I hit rock bottom.

Every major goal comes with challenges and people who judge you and tell you that you cannot make it happen.

Only by giving a f*ck about what other people think, can YOU put yourself on the track to make your dreams come true.

Look at each adversity as a lesson and opportunity to get better.

"Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end”. Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Look at each person that tries to pull you down and shovel dirt on you like another reason why you’ll make it happen.

You MUST prove them all wrong! 

But, don’t fool yourself by thinking that because you have achieved your goals the naysayers and haters will disappear.

Mind you, new goals and new levels bring about new devils who will keep shoveling dirt on you.

Yet, as long as you shake it off, you step up and move forward, nothing and no one will ever stop you from making your dreams come true.

donkey icon with the inscription: shake it off and step up!
donkey icon with the inscription: shake it off and step up!

More resources for YOU:

Christian Caliendo
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  1. People will talk no matter what you do. It is a painful fact of life. Therefore not giving a f*ck about it is a great ability that you should preserve and develop in yourself 🙂

    Thank you for your thoughts!

    1. We live in a world of haters and naysayers, ready to pull you down and discourage you from pursuing your goals.

      Thus, I truly believe in developing the skill of not give a f*ck about what others may think of you as a key skill to achieving success in life.

  2. Love this and very relatable!
    I had been on my ‘Goal’ journey for few years and remember times in the past the discouragement and judgements by people.
    Looking back on couple of comments that were made by someone who is in the same field as me, I was told “If you start now you will fail as you are not good enough yet”
    This stuck in my head for a long time making me believe that I wasn’t ready yet or good enough yet , maybe back then I wasn’t but there was no encouragement or support to become better…
    Or from people close who believed I would never actually take action and it was just a silly thing or words without me acting on it.
    Now I am doing what I set out to do because I worked harder and believed in myself and my ability , those same people have not commented or congratulated me.

    I have learned in life the most important thing is to believe in ourselves and never let anyone tell us we are not good enough especially if it’s not supported with helping to support your growth to become better.

    I listened to a lot , even behind the fake smiles and talk that could feel were not sincere.
    I hit rock bottom and was made to feel not good enough not just in what I’m doing but as a person.
    For a while I believed it then I realised I wasn’t loving myself like I should and not valuing who I was. Yes I’m not perfect with many fuck ups
    But I became stronger with from mistakes I made , and refused to give up on myself.

    Like the story in the post, the dirt was thrown on me , and was trying to pull me down
    But I got up from way down, pulled myself up gradually and showed them.
    I may have fallen into a hole and the dirt thrown on me buried me a little but I found the inner strength and most importantly believed and loved myself again and reached up out of the hole stronger than ever before.

    1. Thanks so much, Christine for sharing part of your journey and the struggles you have overcome so far.

      I love that you have learned to believe in yourself.

      I believe it’s one of the main reasons why people don’t start pursuing their dreams, or they give up on them too early – they don’t believe in themselves.

      But, you have been applying what I mentioned in the story, i.e. you are shaking the dirt off and taking steps up.

      As a result, you are building your self-confidence, which will serve you to achieve your goals.

      Well done Christine, keep up the hard work 😉💪🏻

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