No one said chasing our dreams would be easy, and sometimes it just plain hurts. Some people won’t understand why we’re stepping outside of our “limits.” They might object or say things that make us second guess ourselves. They might even stir up drama to sidetrack us from pursuing our goals.
These people don’t do this because they’re cruel, it’s just that they don’t understand. And that’s ok. Everyone isn’t going to understand our dreams, but here’s the deal -
The solution isn't to give up our dreams to please the people who don’t understand, but to surround ourselves with people who do.
When we stop giving our energy to drama, the people who try to bring in into our lives will eventually stop coming to us. And if we stay the course, eventually the people who doubt our dreams will fall away.
Yes, it hurts to lose people. There’s no denying that. It feels like judgment, and no one likes to be judged. And sometimes it feels like it would be easier to just keep doing what everyone expects us to do, rather than face the possibility of walking our path alone.
But I can honestly say I’ve never felt more alone than when I was living in a way that didn’t feel authentic to me… just to fit in. I had many “friends,” yet in their company, I felt completely alone.
I decided a few years ago that...
I would rather risk being alone and fulfilled, than surrounded by people who don’t see the real me,
or who constantly bring their drama into my life and bring me down.
So I made a choice - I stopped feeding into drama; I stopped pretending to be something I wasn’t; I started saying what was on my mind and pushing toward my dreams, regardless of what people thought or said. I let one rule, and one rule only, dictate my decisions - Be kind and put love into the world, and that love will come back. The rest will fall away.
It was a gradual transition, but I can honestly say that 99% of the people in my life now are drama-free and love me as I am. I don’t have to “fake it” with the people I give my energy to these days. I don’t have to pretend to be anything other than exactly what I am. I can have weak moments. I can screw up. I can go for it and fail. And they love me just the same.
There’s a Bernard Baruch quote that I like to share with friends who've been hurt by the judgement of others -
"Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind."
People who judge our dreams or our shortcomings don't matter. The people who do matter are the ones who would never judge us, no matter what.
Are the friends I have now the same friends I had five years ago? Some are, yes. But most are new friends. Real friends. Friends who love and support me, and whom I can do the same for.
Some people still don’t understand my dreams. Some people still walk out of my life because they don’t like what I’m doing. Others walk away when I refuse to buy into their drama.
But the ones who stay? They are pure gold. They are the true definition of friends.
In the past, my immediate response to someone walking away would have been to frantically wonder how I could change myself to make them stay… and I would lose myself in the process.
Now, when someone walks away, once I get over the sick, sad feeling (because no matter what, rejection hurts), I thank God for freeing up more of my energy to focus on the things and people who truly matter.
The best analogy I can think of is this – Have you ever purged your closet? (I highly recommend Marie Kondo’s book Spark Joy if you haven’t read it.) The idea is that you go through your closet (and home) one item at a time and get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy” in your heart when you look at it. The result is that you walk into a closet with a lot less crap, and what remains are only the things that truly add joy to your life.
I try to remember this when someone walks out of my life, and I feel gratitude, because the people that remain are the people who truly spark joy in my heart.
Live YOUR truth. Be authentically YOU. And the people who choose to be in your life will be the ones who genuinely see and appreciate you for YOU.
The perfectly imperfect, UNSTOPPABLE you.