The year 2014 is gradually making an exit. Intentionally or unintentionally most adults will analyze the outgoing year, counting losses and gains. Hopefully, you’ll have more gains than losses. In counting losses, it could consist of failures and/or missed opportunities. In my opinion missed opportunities a.k.a undeveloped ideas/plans hurt the most.
Opportunities start out as ideas and then proceed to plans. The way the world is wired, you have to go through people to get to where you need to be. However, there are certain people in this chain I call ‘dream-killers’. These people use words and/or actions to discourage or keep you from moving forward. These people could be your friends, family members, colleagues, or anyone whose opinion you value. It is very sad to note that there are people who would have started a new business, gotten a new job, gone back to school, moved up in their place of work, etc. in 2014, and that didn’t happen because of what someone said or did to them. As hard as it is to completely eliminate dream-killers from our lives, we can find ways to deal with them, so that 2015 doesn’t look like 2014.
These are some categories of dream-killers I created:
These are the people who see the bad side of everything, ALONE. Woe betide you, if you tell them about your plans or ideas. They will carefully analyze, and deconstruct your plans, showing you every possible way you will fail. When you’re done talking to them, you’ll feel like the ground should open and swallow you up. This group of people always sees the glass half empty. They never entertain the possibility that the benefits might actually outweigh the chances of failure. If you have this kind of person in your life, make adequate plans to keep them very far away when you have your ideas or plans to move forward.
The Gate Keepers
Sadly, these people are the embodiment of everything negative as regards gate-keeping. I like to see them as the people at the gate of progress specifically to stop people from entering. These people are successful in something and are recognized and/or respected for that. Consequently, their opinions and feedback are valued. They are who you think about first, when you want to share your ideas. However, they use their position just for evil. They have a sensor in their brains that detects people who have the potential to do better than them and they make it a calling upon their lives to stop your ideas from proceeding. At first you might not easily recognize them because they don’t mind you taking baby steps and doing little things, but when you want to make that bold move that will threaten them financially or otherwise, they work to kill that dream for you.
The Non-risk takers
These people care about you so much that they can’t bear to see you take a risk and move forward; mostly because they don’t take risks in their personal lives either. Progress has a price; unfortunately it involves failure, disappointment, and rejection at several points; there is no one person who is successful that hasn’t experienced several of these. The non-risk-taker is able to detect when there is a risk involved (which is always the case), and then they ‘lovingly’ discourage you because they don’t want you to get ‘hurt’. These people are good for a lot of things but not when you have a plan to move forward, they will kill the dream for you with ‘love’ and ‘care’.
These people don’t believe in your ability to be anything and never wish any form of advancement for you. They almost equate you to a teddy-bear or puppy. When you suggest anything to them, they respond with a look that sizes you up, sarcastic comments, or just laugh you to scorn. These people belittle you or anything you have achieved. By the time they finish responding, you are too beat down to even think or make any progress. These ones are toxic to you. The non-believers destroy you the most and they are the first group of people you need to get rid of or avoid completely in 2015.
If you have encountered a dream-killer, you would hear things like this ‘nobody has ever succeeded with that’, ‘you’re too old for that’, ‘I’ve been in this field for long, and you won’t succeed’, ‘everybody must not be rich, be contented’, ‘just manage where you are’ etc. Never underestimate the power of words; they have more effect than actions most times. The things dream-killers say to you register in your mind and before you know it, you’ll begin to rationalize and you could do some major harm to yourself in the process. Instead of having to mitigate negative comments and feedback all the time, once you recognize a dream-killer, keep him/her far. Surround yourself with people that will speak positively into your life.
An idea is never really fine-tuned or polished, so definitely some feedbacks may not be palatable, but the goal is the receive constructive feedbacks. While some criticisms maybe constructive that of dream-killers are always destructive. One way to separate constructive from destructive criticisms is to watch out for what people do or say as feedback to your idea/plan. Did they just shut it down and do or say nothing? Did they give you a better suggestion? Did they connect you with someone who can help you? Did they encourage you and wish you well? Make sure the people you meet along the way don’t succeed in keeping you down.
Dream-killers may not intentionally hate you. They might be great in other areas or activities in your life, but not an ear for your ideas and plans. Moving forward, progress starts with you. Yes, people’s support and approval boosts your morale, but if you don’t believe in yourself, anything and anybody can be a road-block.
I believe hard work and prayer is the recipe for any kind of great achievement. If you have identified yourself in any of these dream-killer categories, strive for a change in the coming year.
In conclusion, Chantal Sutherland said “Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You got to keep going”
I wish you a happy end in 2014. Let’s make 2015 different and greater!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Denis Pepin