Every so often people will discourage you from following your dreams because they lack vision. You cannot get support from people who lack vision or who think in limited ways. They will never understand you because they stopped short of achieving their own dreams due to a limited vision. Just because they have not been able to achieve their dreams, they cannot conceptualize your dream coming into realization, neither can they imagine you doing great things. People who discourage you do not understand that you are unique and different.
They do not believe that you are endowed with massive potential to do great things and mount on to the summit of success. When you see naysayers and cynical people discouraging you, do not get disturbed. It is because they are mediocre, myopic and they do not see beyond the horizon as you do. Create your own reality and keep focused and do not pay attention to negative talking. People who do not believe in themselves have no reason in believing you.
Another reason why people would discourage you is that they feel threatened by you. The better you do in life, the worse they feel about themselves. These people do not smile when they see you achieving your goals and walking in the avenues of success. They will start to consider you as a threat to their status and they do not want to be outshined by your performance in anything.
When the achievements of your discouragers are juxtaposed with yours, they perceive that you are better than them in some way and their sense of self-worth is reduced. The ego of the discourager cannot allow itself to be levelled below you, that is when they will deliberately hold you back in order to protect their own fragile ego. You must not listen to uttered words of discouragement and never hold yourself back from being the best that you can be.
The most common reason for someone to stomp on your vision is jealousy. Your discouragers are people who can green with envy to see you achieving your goals. Just because they are jealousy, they are not impressed by everything about you.
They are jealous of your work ethics, jealous of your principles, jealous of your appearance, jealous of how happy you seem, and jealous of your success. That is the reason why they may not want to see you doing well in your endeavours. People who are jealousy badmouth you such that when you hear about it you will feel demoralized and subsequently discouraged.
Do not spend too much time with people who discourage you. They are energy suckers. Positivity and negativity are contagious. Work on something new, have your core work done as you commit to your passion. Always bear in mind that, if critics are discouraging you, it is a true sign that you are doing something meaningful. Barking dogs are only concerned with vehicles that are moving.
On April 23, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt who had in previous years just completed his term as United States President gave an indelible speech after the building of the Colosseum by the Romans in one of the special buildings in Paris. This concrete speech remains an inspiration to everyone with a mind to passionately do something in life despite criticism or challenges. Do not be discouraged or live in despondency. Roosevelt spoke deeply about the man in the arena.
He crowned his speech by these immortal words: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is disfigured by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who know great enthusiasms, great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.” These words are worth re-reading. Do not be discouraged or ashamed to play your part and keep doing what you know you must do and live the life that you want. Let Roosevelt’s words be your call to action.
You stand in the arena of life daily which is normally characterized by critics and energy suckers. But there are many simple ways to avoid discouragement or criticism that is not constructive. You can ignore and seem like being nothing. Ships do not sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Do not let what is happening negatively around you get inside to weigh you down.
Do not let discouragement or criticism dwindle down your passion and ambition. The struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need tomorrow. Importantly, practice a bold attitude of optimism. An optimist is more excited about everything he/she is passionate about doing. Teach yourself to see the other positive side of things, even with the small setbacks, adversities, frustrations, disappointments, and let-downs in daily experiences. Look for the lessons and trust things will work out.
Dream big and strongly believe that you will make it. As the challenges and obstacles increase, negative people will multiply their retrogressive advice influencing you to give up but you should not stop chasing your goals. Quitters are prized with nothing in the end. Never let anyone underestimate your capacity, tenacity and creativity.
Be a go-getter. Persist, persevere and keep hunting for ways to mount up to greatness. Remember all the great people in history, at one point in time they encountered criticism and discouragement but triumphed because they were defiant.
I always put emphasis on the power of prayer in my messages as I want to make it explicit about handling criticism and discouragement. Christians pray, therefore make sure you pray about your discouragement or when you feel criticized. God would love to hear from you. He is the best encourager. (Joshua 19)
Read the bible when you feel criticized or discouraged and hang out in scriptures like the Psalms which unravel many comforting, encouraging and hope reviving verses. Study the bible and you will discover that almost every biblical character faced discouragement. You will find out that you are not alone in the crevices of discouragement.
Listening to good music can really impact positive mood. Music comforts as well as encouraging, instilling you with zeal of doing whatever you feel passionate about.
In the journey of life, do not allow yourself to be discouraged by the nation’s economy or politics, joblessness, destitution, delayed marriage, loss of a loved one, unfulfilled dream, unwanted pregnancy, rejection, terminal disease, comparing and measuring yourself by others. Rather than getting discouraged, if you keep a positive outlook you will find working solutions to every challenging issue. I hope this message is encouraging and taking you through criticism and discouragement.
Gabriel Manyeruke is a Certified Educator, Author and Motivational Speaker.
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