What a world it would be if everyone was encouraged to pursue their dreams. How would our world be different, if creators like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and even Mark Zuckerberg, gave in to the criticism and the nay-sayers who almost guaranteed that they would fail? Proverbs 18:21 reads, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue..” Unfortunately, many dreams and visions die on the tips of the tongues of others, it’s time we learn to drown out negativity and live on with our dreams.
Drowning out negativity, seems like a simple notion. Just stop listening to those who are always negative and you’ll undoubtedly live a happier life. Negativity though, has a way of masking itself, and sometimes comes more from those we love. It may be shaped in the forms of opinions, but as Lisa Nichols often quotes her grandmother in saying, “Other people’s opinions of you, are none of your business.” It’s those nuggets of wisdom from our elders that can give us those moments of clarity. This, especially in the age of social media, is one we should keep close to mind. Though, it’s usually the opinions of those closest to you, that cuts deep enough to potentially stop your dreams.
Many crave the opinions of others to help them to know that they may be on the right track and family opinions may weigh heavier than most. Family usually wants what they feel is best for us. They want to protect us, to ensure that we don’t fail. Some, want to keep us close and may let fear cloud their judgement in helping to propel us into the future we deserve. Our families, though well intention, may view you in a certain light. Unless you work in your family business, they may not be able to see your potential and the adult you’ve become. Being the baby of my family, I have often learned those lessons. How can you show your capabilities when those around you still see you as an immature teen or their little baby?
Yeah, I know. Try telling your family that they don’t know what’s best for you, that conversation never ends well. Why do our family opinions matter so much? Our family knows how to tap into our emotions, into our fears, and it is that fear that is passed down in our families. We are a product of that habitual way of thinking and we usually listen with that emotional ear. Venturing to live in a different area or to work in a different industry than family members may be used to, sometimes means going out on a limb.
But as they say, that’s where the fruit are. Your present results has nothing to do with your future unless you let it. Everyone around you may be scared, but it is up to you, to do what is right for you.
There are others that may use there opinion in hopes to bury your dreams. Those fair-weather friends or even some family members who may see the potential in you, but would rather keep you at their level. Their greatest fear is not that you would be inadequate, their fear is that you will be too powerful and maybe that you will no longer need them.
I have often heard some say, that you can’t take everyone with you. Not everyone in your life is meant to always walk with you. There are some places in life where we may need to go alone, so that we can come back to help those are left behind, or continue to move forward and follow your passion. When you’re passionate about something, the passion must out ways the fear, in order for you to succeed.
If you accept everything that comes your way, you will become confused. Those around you may not have a filter on the opinions that they project upon you. If you read on in Proverbs 18:21, it continues, “and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” There are consequence for those who try to hurt others, but those who speak in love you will know them and they will always be with you. I received a note of advice from my mother, it read, “When people throw you stones, it’s because you are a good tree full of fruits. They see a lot of harvest in you. Don’t go down to their level by throwing them back stones, but throw them your FRUITS so the seeds of yourself may inspire them to change their ways.”
It’s also important to understand that there is difference between opinion and advice. Opinion is a belief that a person has formed and advice is something recommended or offered. Other’s opinion of you or something you are doing is their project perspective. As some of my elders would say, “You can’t draw water from an empty well.” We need to also know where that opinion is coming from or where that person is in their station of life.
Not everyone has to be in your corner, not every opinion will be a good one, but when they see the God in you, there is no doubt, they’ll come running your way. When opinions knock you down, believe in yourself, find your inspiration, maybe read this blog again and…Get Caryed Away!