Have you ever felt a moment of clarity, or heard some inner voice calling out to you, telling you to go in a particular direction in life? I know this happens many times and with varying levels of intensity across life. It could be related to love, family, creativity, or it could be something bigger, something that is guiding you toward the reason you are here on this planet, toward your purpose in life. What if you were bold enough to follow this voice? Have you ever felt a strong pull to do something, but then you talked to someone about it and lost your resolve? This person could be, and frequently is, someone we love. It could be a close family member, a trusted advisor or mentor, it could be a boyfriend or a spouse, or even a best girlfriend. These types of people are VERY powerful influences and in their own minds, they probably do have our best interests at heart. The problem is, they may not see our dream. They may not see how it would ever be possible to make it happen, and they may try to dampen it before you even take one step toward your goal. It might be a dream that is nearly opposite to their own plans and goals and so they may feel it will impact them negatively. Or, they may simply not be able to comprehend why YOU would want to take on such an endeavor.
What I want to tell you today is, do not be deterred! This is YOUR dream, this is YOUR goal. I wish you all dozens of close, supportive family members, friends, and colleagues, but if you do not have that kind of support in your life, if you do not have a cheering section like that, do not give up your dreams because of other people’s OPINIONS. WHY do we let ourselves become discouraged from a path that we feel a strong desire to follow? There are a number of reasons, including putting other people’s happiness above our own and people-pleasing, in general. The thing is, you cannot make ANYONE happy. You cannot change ANYONE’s opinion of you or your dream. You are the only one you can control and you are the only one you will have to answer to if you decide to follow your purpose, or if you decide to be derailed and do what everyone else expects you to do. Sure, if you make certain decisions, some people in your circle will be happy, and no matter what you do, there will be some people in your world who disagree with you. You need to do YOU!
You can be the best, happiest, prettiest, smartest, most high-achieving person you know, and you will still find people who don’t support you, who drop out of your life, who talk about you behind your back, and who think you are failing at something. There is NOTHING you can do to make everyone like you. There is nothing you can do to get everyone on your side. The best thing you can do is to be true to who YOU are and to be the person that you are proud to greet in the mirror each morning. The worst thing is that you could be incorrectly PERCEIVING the opinions of others. It is really hard to know what people actually think, and it is easy for you to make a wrong perception of what they think. This is only another reason to limit how much you allow other’s opinions to affect your decisions on how you choose to live your life and what dreams and goals you decide to pursue.
When you begin to succeed at a new goal or dream, some of your old friends will not understand and may not see how they fit into your world now that things are changing. This is true, even if you try to bring them with you, and even if you encourage them to come along with you on your new path. They might not be ready. That is ok, I have had friends like that, and I love them to do this day – more than they can probably ever understand. I still cheer for them and wish them all the wonder that life has to offer; We were very close for a season in life and now in this season, we are in different places – and that is ok. Changes like this open new doors to other people with new ideas and open arms, ready to cheer you into the next amazing season of your life. If you are very sure you are on the right path, but you have to spend countless hours explaining to friends why you are doing this or why you care so much, these may not be your people. Make new connections, reach out to others who are doing similar work as you, and begin to collaborate to reach your goals together. You will find your people, and those connections you make will take you to places you could not have imagined in a million years.
I spent decades of my life trying to make people think I was a nice, sweet, happy girl. Always trying to be the peacemaker, the mediator in disputes, always thinking I could control someone’s temper, always thinking if I just worked hard enough, I could bring harmony to every area of my life. This was true of my own family life, my work life, and my friend group. Around the time I turned 40, I stopped all of it, little by little. It was not easy. I quit putting myself in drama filled situations as often, I put a stronger focus on self-improvement, and ensured I was in a constant state of learning.
My life has exponentially improved as I have taken direct control over who I let in my life and the amount of negative influence anyone has over me. By letting go of negative influences, I found my husband, a true soulmate, a partner, and the love of my life. He brought both passion and the desire to work hard toward common life goals, he is my equal and sees me as his equal, and it is the most powerful thing I have ever known, to love someone this much and to know that they love you back just as much. There is no power play, no mismatch, no imbalance. I wish this for each of you as you make partnerships in love and life. By letting go of negative influences in my life, I have cleared both my time and my mind so they are free for activities and thoughts that allow me to dream, that allow me to create, and allow me to be on my path to help other ladies find this kind of nirvana. By letting go of negative influences in my life, I was able to focus on work I actually care about, without being told that my desire to work was wrong, this has allowed my career to flourish in ways that I will tell you about more in different articles. By letting go of negative influences in my life, I have been able to grow an amazing relationship with my adult daughter, and I love that I can celebrate her successes and hope that I am giving her an example of another way to go through life. I am hoping she forgives others and then lets the negativity that comes her way pass by, and that it does not take her until she is 40 years old to decide it is ok to reduce negativity, even if it is coming from those you love. This has been a five-year process, and I made some very hard decisions along the way, but it’s amazing how I do not regret ANY of them now.
You know who you are! You know what drives you, you have felt it since you were a child. It is time to stop allowing others to diminish your light. NO MORE! BE WHO YOU ARE – be the unique, wonderfully different, powerful woman that you were born to be!