Remember that sinking feeling when something you held precious to your heart was shattered by words of discouragement?
There have been times–even recently–where I’ve tried explaining what I loved doing, and all I’d receive in return were confused and/or concerned looks. By family, I’d be told “I could do better” or my hurdles to find success would just be met with “well when you get a job…” as if I wasn’t working hard on something they just truly couldn’t wrap their heads around.
DESTINY is a feeling you have that you know something about yourself nobody else does. The picture you have in your own mind of that you’re about WILL COME TRUE. It’s a kind of a thing you kind of have to keep to your own self, because it’s a fragile feeling, and you put it out there, then someone will kill it. It’s best to keep that al inside.
During an interview I watched for a college English class I took four years ago, this quote from Bob Dylan clung to me years after the class’ end. It resonated with me so much.
Blogging, YouTubing, graphic design, fine arts, writing, fashion, makeup artists… Everything unconventional is viewed through smoke and mirrors as child’s play.
And when you’re still trying to figure things out, it can be even more daunting to hear doubt about what you’re into if you don’t have confident footing… yet. Just remember, as you continue to explore your passions and interests, you’re going to come across a lot of snags before you can hit the ground running smoothly.
Believe it or not, there’s a handful of ways to get your head into gear and combat people ready to dismiss your passions, and they’re all things that can be done peacefully and effectively.
Whatever you create with all your heart can easily be shattered by mere whispers of negativity. Don’t let that happen. Your happiness comes before anything else.
If you’re someone who’s thinking about showcasing your work, make sure you’re confident about what you do.
But know that waiting for the perfect moment is not the solution… because readiness will never come!
Know that waiting for the perfect moment is not the solution… because readiness will never come!
Here are some ways I’ve handled naysayers when I’ve spilled the beans about my passions:
Search for Support About Your Passions
Chose one or two people you trust to see your work. Whether poetry or a life-sized painting… Make sure who you show are people you feel would be the most supportive. Or chose an online group on a site like Tumblr or DeviantART, Twitter and Instagram hashtags, Facebook Groups, Pinterest Groups… There’s a place for you out there! Eventually, you may have to get prepared to either show or explain your work in person if it comes up during small talk, and want to be taken seriously. If it’s something you love doing, I want you to someday be able to talk about it confidently!
Realize There Will Be People Who Won’t Like Your Work… and That’s Okay!
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so when you come across someone who just doesn’t get what you do, don’t feel discouraged. Their opinion of your work does not validate whether or not you should continue doing what you love. I know, it’s easier said than done… It’s a very vulnerable situation to share any form of work that sincerely comes from you. Getting used to not hearing 100% positive feedback is a reality though, and you need to know it’s nothing personal against you. It’s just knowing not everyone is going to like, or understand your work: no reason to stress yourself over it.
Even if it’s family or someone who means well… They’re just concerned because they don’t understand the capabilities that the internet, technology, and social media can do for people nowadays. Remember, you’re not alone in this struggle!
Practice What You’d Say About What You Do
I’ve never been one who’d get elated about public speaking, but the speech class I took in college really turned my confidence level around. The number one thing I was taught that’ll make your public speaking voice a little stronger is to COME PREPARED.
Believe me, it’s one less thing to worry about when you’re in front of someone telling them what you do when you’ve drilled it in your head beforehand. Whatever you do, don’t dismiss yourself, and what you do!
Stand Up for Your Happiness… Civilly
There have been times when I’ve wanted to throw a tantrum because people just did not get that setting up and organizing a blog, or anything else unconventional takes tons of time! Having untraditional passions can be judged, and sometimes we’re talked to as if we don’t know what we’re talking about (especially when we’ve been involved with this type of work on a much larger scale than they ever have).
No matter how frustrating the ignorant can be, it won’t help our case to be hot-headed in response to said ignorance.
Just tell them that what you do involves more work than they realize. That it’s one of those things where you see the finished results, but never see the behind-the-scenes.
Judgment on your interests (such as learning a “non-traditional” second language, watching cartoons as an adult, wanting tattoos/piercings/crazy-cool colored hair as an adult) should be handled in the same way: I know what I like, and what makes me happy. If doesn’t harm anyone, so I will continue doing what makes me happiest.
For Loved Ones… Let them Know You Have a Plan!
Speaking of… It may put the concerned at ease if you tell them you have a plan.
“Yes, I still watch cartoons, but I have a life game plan I’m working on as well. I’m working on getting testimonials for my services, setting up a site for it, and creating an editorial calendar for the next month on work I plan to do, and email pitches I plan to send out.”
Ya know… Something along the lines of “Look, I sound smart because I AM smart. Here’s how…”
*Insert kick-butt plans for the near future that goes way over their head*
Please, never forget your worth! You may be surrounded by people who don’t understand what you do, but it’ll never mean you’re on the wrong path.
Any path of exploration is a wonderful one.
What have loved ones said about your passions? What are your passions?? I’m interested in knowing! Reply with your own personal rants, and how you cope in the comments!
The morning this post went live, I came across an article that almost moved me to tears in its last few paragraphs. It resonated with me that deeply, and goes hand and hand with this topic.
Click here to read it now. And please, read it all the way through.