How to Deal with People Dismissing Your Passions

How to Deal with People Dismissing Your Passions

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*

How to Deal with People Dismissing Your Passions

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.

Keep creating!


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  • Karen Grosz

    It is so hard to remain positive and forward-moving when those you love are not supportive. Thanks for the ideas.

    September 21, 2015 at 8:11 am Reply
    • cmercier

      It truly is, and sometimes I try to remember that they don’t understand the unconventional side of this world, and what greatness and fun can come out of it (especially if it’s making you happy alone). Self pep-talks are sometimes needed to deal, or journaling, because you can only take so many blows at a time before you have to pick yourself back up, right?

      We can do it! I love having support online, like you taking time to comment. Thank you so much!

      Cierra M

      September 21, 2015 at 8:31 am Reply
  • Susie

    Oh I hear you. I recently share what I thought was a great title for my book and did I get shot down. How can I ask for ideas and help when Im so easily bruised when my ideas get crushed? That’s why I think introvert – creatives like me end up going it alone. But it’s lonely and all we need is a teensy weensy bit of encouragement. Instead of saying I don’t like it, or I think you should change this or that, why not ask gentle questions: Hm have you thought about…. or I’d love to know a bit more about your book, could you share a quick synopses and then I may have some more questions. Thank you for this article. You helped me.

    September 21, 2015 at 8:44 am Reply
    • cmercier

      Ah yes, I’m an introvert as well, and like working alone, but sometimes it’s nice to get a liiittle bit of encouragement to fuel you from time to time, like you’ve said. I’m sorry people aren’t gentle, I prefer that as well. People feel empowered in different ways, gentle, harsh, loud, critiques, advice… I love your take on asking gentle questions rather than being so blunt about transactions and critiques, and I’m SO glad to hear this article helped! Thank you. =)

      September 21, 2015 at 12:20 pm Reply
  • Kayla

    Thank you for sharing! Fortunately, I come from a line of people trying to do the unconventional. My grandmother was an artist, my mom has her own home childcare and she has a huge garden to help grow healthy food and teach them about nature. They have been quite the inspiration and they support me in my first attempt to make a documentary. I feel so blessed to have them because in my endeavors people have not been so kind. Conventional or not, people just like to tell you that you can’t do something or that you’re doing something wrong, something they wouldn’t do. It’s both disheartening and annoying they can’t see the vision. But you just have to keep at it. Thank you for this amazing post!

    September 21, 2015 at 8:45 am Reply
    • cmercier

      Oooooh my gosh! Your family ROCKS! That’s so great! And a documentary? What about? And you make an EXCELLENT point! No matter what, there’ll be people wanting to drag you down, but as you also said… You’ve GOTTA keep trucking! Thank YOU for an enlightening comment!

      September 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm Reply
  • Jacque

    I love this! Thanks for the tips…people used to dismiss me all the time..even beyond my passions. Just me! lol but I used all that negative energy to fuel my creativity. I was spending so much time alone so why not? It’s crazy how once you get a little footing everyone finally starts showing “support” smh. You have to stick to what you love regardless 🙂

    September 21, 2015 at 6:38 pm Reply
    • cmercier

      Thanks for the feedback and support!! And same! I usually am pretty nonchalant about people telling me I can’t do something, but now that I’m passionate about this… Completely different. It fuels me SO much to prove them wrong. I have all the time in the world to create as well, so why not work hard to make something of it?? I see many great successors to admire after (including you!), so most days I feel unstoppable to work toward that as well. I have my blinders on; my happiness is most important! Thanks again!

      September 22, 2015 at 7:41 pm Reply
  • jennie b.

    this article was so helpful. i don’t have much of a support team right now. in fact, i feel like my efforts are often sabotaged by loved ones. therefore, i am keeping everything to myself as i work on my passion. that is why posts like this are so important to me. thanks so much!

    September 25, 2015 at 8:38 am Reply
    • cmercier

      Hey, Jennie! Thanks SO much for letting me know this article helped you! I’m in the same boat. Sometimes I think it’s safe to explain a portion of something I’m passionate about to loved ones, but then I regret it immediately, because they just don’t get it! I’m very happy to provide a safe place for these types of situations. Thanks again for commenting!

      September 25, 2015 at 9:42 am Reply
  • Amy Maricle

    Cierra- I love this post! What a key topic. I love your suggestions for preparedness and encouragement to find supportive peers. I will be sharing!


    September 26, 2015 at 6:02 am Reply
    • cmercier

      Hey, Amy!!

      Thank you SO much for your supportive and kind words! Being surrounded by people that don’t understand–and seeing others vent about the same topic–made me want to confront the issue in a post, and I’m glad I did!
      Thanks again!

      September 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm Reply
  • Yaya

    Great post. It’s important to learn early on that not everyone will be a fan and thats okay. But always remain true to yourself and your goals and the rest will follow. Thanks for participating in my motvation link party

    September 28, 2015 at 10:17 am Reply
    • cmercier

      Thank you so much for inviting people to do so in the group! And standing in your truth is definitely important to learn sooner rather than later!

      September 28, 2015 at 11:06 am Reply
  • Kim

    I love “stand up for your happiness”…it is most important to YOU if you are happy…don’t let others tear you down.

    September 28, 2015 at 6:11 pm Reply
    • cmercier

      Hey, Kim!
      Thanks for commenting! And exactly! I’m learning bit by bit that what makes me happy is what sends me into euphoria… If strangers and even loved ones don’t get it, it’s not my concern to stress over. They’re not me after all; we all have our own individualistic goals and joys and EVERYTHING!

      Thanks again! =)

      September 29, 2015 at 7:51 am Reply
  • Jan Zac

    Hello ,

    I saw your tweets and thought I will check your website. Have to say it looks very good!
    I’m also interested in this topic and have recently started my journey as young entrepreneur.

    I’m also looking for the ways on how to promote my website. I have tried AdSense and Facebok Ads, however it is getting very expensive. Was thinking about starting using analytics. Do you recommend it?
    Can you recommend something what works best for you?

    I also want to improve SEO of my website. Would appreciate, if you can have a quick look at my website and give me an advice what I should improve:
    (Recently I have added a new page about FutureNet and the way how users can make money on this social networking portal.)

    I have subscribed to your newsletter. 🙂

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Maybe I will add link to your website on my website and you will add link to my website on your website? It will improve SEO of our websites, right? What do you think?

    Jan Zac

    April 9, 2018 at 2:16 pm Reply
    • Cierra M

      Hi, Jan!

      I JUST relaunched my site, so I don’t have much input on how to increase traffic! I took a look at your site, and I’d think our two audiences would be different from one another. Do you know where your people hang out at online? I haven’t used things like AdSense or Facebook ads, but there may be Facebook groups out there where you can show off your expertise!

      As far as SEO, have you tried the YOAST SEO plugin? You could start optimizing your site to rank higher on Google by using keywords in articles and in your pages that relate to making money online like how you speak about it.

      Thanks for the subscribe as well! 🙂

      And I think that could work down the line, but I don’t think our content is similar enough to link to one-another!

      April 10, 2018 at 4:54 am Reply
  • director dada

    i have started my passion and i started study on my passion i started blog on that topic .. it would be good and help full foe if you visit my site thanks

    July 6, 2018 at 10:05 am Reply
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