“I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!” ~Theodore Roosevelt
I’m currently doing the whole “quit my job to pursue a dream” thing. I left the security and stability of having a salary along with a supposed career.
Back then, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had no experience in blogging, plus I didn’t exactly have the confidence to market and start running a business.
Sounds crazy, right?
You can imagine the reaction I got from my friends and family. The support was next to nothing, and people generally never understood what I was doing—what I was trying to do.
Does this sound familiar?
You may not have done something huge, like make a career shift, but perhaps you’ve offered a different opinion and everyone just disagreed.
You would have expected more from your loved ones. I know how disheartening that can be.
You expect support and encouragement from people you consider close to you only to be completely rejected, criticized, or worse, laughed at.
It can be really hard to swallow all the “noise” around you.
I was taken by surprise by some of the things I heard from friends; some of the comments were particularly hurtful.
I think it boils down to learning how to not care so much about what others think, and also, conversely, understanding what goes on in their minds.
I’ve come up with a little guide of reminders that I hope can help you keep going if you feel alone.
1. Your passion is a priority.
A lot of people go through the motions in life, not doing what they love. They end up constantly looking back, asking themselves, “What if?”
Whether people support you or not, do you really want to look back in regret one day down the line? To not know what could have happened if you tried to do what you really wanted to do?
This love of yours is one of the most important things in your life. Follow your heart, and not the words of others just to live up to their expectations.
2. Life is short.
It may be a little disheartening to have people around you discourage you, but remember, life is short.
Do you really want to spend your time feeling down over others’ words when they’re completely unwarranted, baseless, and probably not making any kind of sense?
Do you really want to pull back on following your dream or doing what you want because of others, and start living a life that probably doesn’t fulfill your potential?
Remember that life is short, and it will be easier to stick to your own convictions when other people disagree with your choices or put you down.
3. Others may not fully understand.
People who don’t support you and discourage you may not actually be bad people who intentionally want to destroy your dreams.
Sometimes they just don’t understand why you do what you do, so they voice out their concerns, which may make them seem dissenting.
I personally try not to take it to heart when people discourage me. I see it as they need a little education and explanation. Or sometimes, I just ignore them.
If anything, since they don’t fully understand, I don’t see why it’s something to be upset over.
4. Sometimes others are insecure.
Sometimes when people don’t support what you’re doing, it may be more about them than you.
It could be plain ignorance or even jealousy, but some people tend to attack things that are new to them.
So again, don’t take their words to heart. If their criticism isn’t constructive in any way, they may be discouraging you because of their own fears and insecurities.
5. Anything is possible.
Nobody can predict the future for certain.
The people who don’t support you might paint a gloomy picture of what’s to come if you do what you want to do.
You don’t know the future either, but do you want to listen to others instead of believing in yourself?
Don’t let objections from others become your truth and limit you from creating what you want in life.
Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard.
6. You can do this without their support.
It’s natural to want support and encouragement from the people around you, but it is possible to do what you want to do without it.
Just think of how many successful, inspiring people took the road less traveled.
You’re a very powerful being, just by yourself. Believe in that, don’t give up, and you’ll go a long way, whichever road you take.
7. You can’t please everyone in life.
You can’t. It’s impossible. And a lot of people forget that.
If you try to please everyone, it’s going to be next to impossible. So don’t bother. Keep your focus on what you want to do and why.
In an ideal world, we could constantly surround ourselves with positivity. We can’t do that, but we can work on ourselves so that we stay committed and positive.
Are you surrounded by naysayers? How have you dealt with this?