One of the things that I am truly passionate about in this world is helping others to follow their passion and create a career out of it that they love, which also means that one of the things that pisses me off most in the world is when people put their dreams to the side because of what other people think. And I’ve seen a lot of people over the years shelve their ambition to please the people around them, whether it was their parents, family or friends.
For example, I met a young woman who has a natural gift for baking (and when I say natural gift I mean she would outshine the talent that appears on the Great British Bake Off 100x over – she is that good). She once mentioned that she dreamt of having her own tearoom but then quickly followed it up with the statement that her parents weren’t particularly keen on the idea. What happened next was that her dream and love for baking was put on hiatus so she could study for a degree that while she may admittedly be interested in, was not her first love nor her ultimate goal in life and what I believe was more of an attempt to appease her parents. I hope that one day her dream to bake full time will happen for her.
I wish I could say this was a one-off, but it happens all the time.
People all over the world give up on themselves because they are cut down by the people around them.
And what makes it even worse is that it’s not even because their goals and dreams are wildly unrealistic, it’s because of other people’s fears and limiting mindsets. It also saddens me because the people that tell you you can’t do it, or that it’s not a good idea are the exact people who should be supportive. Whether it’s your parents, partner or peers, they ultimately should be your best cheering squad – but I know that a lot of the time this isn’t the case.
So how do you deal with that? What can you do to carry on with your dreams despite what the people around you are saying?
1. Remember that it’s not about you.
Believe me when I say this, but it really isn’t about you. It’s about them. Their comments about your life and your dreams are a reflection of them and their own fears. For example, maybe your mother tells you that you’ll never get into university, that you’re too old to change careers. What does that tell you about her? It tells you that she’s afraid of change, she’s afraid of you breaking the mould, afraid that you’ll forget her or reject her as you move away into new circles. It reminds her of how she always gave up, and in reality she may be jealous that you have the balls to change your life. A great exercise to remind yourself that other’s opinions about your dreams aren’t about you is to write about what those opinions say about that person. What does it tell you about their fears? Are they jealous of your courage? Are their opinions coming from a place of frustration and resentment because of their own life choices? Thinking about this will help you begin to detach yourself from what they say.
2. Practice self-compassion
It can be fucking tough when you don’t get the support you need, especially when you are trying to create a life and career that you love. No matter how great you are at ignoring other people’s opinions, over time it can begin to get you down. It’s at those times that you need to go within and give yourself the support and kindness that you need. A great way to do this is through a self-compassion mantra. Whenever you feel the sting of someone’s words and your self-doubt creeping in I want you to do the following:
Put your hand on your heart, take 3 deep breaths in and out and repeat this mantra 10 times or for however long you need it.
“I see you. I hear you. I understand. I love you. You are safe. You are protected. You are secure. Everything will be ok. We will be ok. Trust me. Trust us. Trust life.”
Come back to this mantra any time you need it.
3. Take action (no matter how small)
No matter what the people around you believe, don’t stop believing in yourself. If you have a dream then you go out there and you do it. That means you need to take consistent action, even when you start to feel like shit, even when the doubts and fears of others start to seep into your consciousness. Just keep going. Take action. Again, and again, and again. Seek the support and guidance of people who have done what you want to do. Ask them for help. It really doesn’t matter how small the action is – even if it’s simply sending an email, or reading an article – just keep at it. As Confucius once said “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”, and if that’s not inspirational enough for you then listen to the advice that my father gave me “Fuck their small minded opinions, you do what you want to do”. Enough said.
Don’t let your dreams be dampened down anymore because of what your parents think, or your friends or your partner.
You only get one life, please don’t waste it chasing someone else’s dream instead of pursuing your own.
If this post resonates with you then please share it, or if you want to find out how I can help you create a life and career you love then book in for your free 45 minute Call to Greatness
Don’t be afraid to live a life you love.
Till next time,