Having empathy for dream crushers

May 17, 2021 Sandra Dawes

On the weekend, I witnessed a conversation where someone shared what they considered to be good news with a friend. The friend didn’t share in the enthusiasm and cautioned them from committing to anything. The person who shared the news was disappointed by the response. He wanted his friend to be happy for him, and instead, his news was greeted with negativity.

I think it’s important to remember that we’re all operating from the knowledge we’ve gained through personal experience. Some of us have taken leaps of faith that had an unkind crash landing. When this happens, we have two choices; we can take it as a sign that what we wanted to achieve wasn’t meant to be, or we can see it as a strategy that didn’t work and look for another way to make things happen.

We often give up because we don’t like the feeling of not succeeding as something we’ve set out to do. Not wanting to feel like a failure is understandable. To avoid experiencing that feeling again, some of us will go to something safe, where the results are constant and consistent. It might not light your fire, but it protects you from doing anything that may lead to the emotions that bubbled up when you tried something and failed.

When we share the great news with people and caution you about all the things that could go wrong, it’s important to remember that they’re coming from a place of love (most of the time). They will warn you about getting too excited; they will ask you if you’ve thought about all the ways things could go wrong, they will want to know if you’re prepared for it all not to work out the way you want.

People who don’t share in your joy are acting from a place of fear. They know how horrible the disappointment felt, and they don’t want someone they care about to experience anything similar to that emotion. It’s not that they don’t want you to have nice things or have wonderful new experiences. They will reason that they aren’t negative about the situation. They will tell you that they just want to take a realistic approach.

When you encounter naysayers and people you feel are trying to kill your dreams, try not to take it personally. If you do, then take it as an act of kindness because they’re trying to protect you from their perceived “worst-case scenario”. On the other hand, you could see it for what it is, and that’s projecting of their own fears.

I believe it’s important not to get angry with people who don’t seem supportive of your goals. It’s not that they don’t love you or want the best for you; they’re just afraid that you’ll get your hopes up and things won’t work out. If you’re confident in what you’re doing and have faith that everything will happen as it should, then the commentary from the naysayers shouldn’t matter anyway. Remain focused and inspire through your actions. ♥

june, 2021

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