Majority of the artists I’ve crossed paths with in my life have all faced some degree of rejection and lack of support from other people, because of how they choose to live their lives.
Maybe your parents think you should go to the university, your boyfriend thinks you should stay in the city you grew up in, your teacher doesn’t think you’re ready to take the next step, or maybe your friends doubt if you can make a living from your passion.
Let’s be honest: It SUCKS. Especially if you’re in the beginning-stages of your career, where you’re just a little vulnerable baby-seed that needs a little love, a little water and a little sunshine to grow.
They aren’t just A-holes
To avoid loosing our minds, we must assume that (most) people aren’t trying to hurt you intentionally. That they just don’t realize the amount of courage you’re digging so deep to find within yourself every day to go for it. They really don’t realize how their small comments and lack of support have the power to shut down an entire dream with just the wrong timing.
But yo, little baby-seed. If you are strong enough to choose a path that’s different, you are strong enough to handle being misunderstood. I’m being so serious. Yes, it takes some RedBull-like caffeine-fuel and some deep yoga breaths to find that power in your gut, but you wouldn’t even think about whatever dream you have, if you didn’t think you could handle it.
Your emotions come from your thoughts
It helps me to think, that words can’t hurt me physically. Words cannot puncture your lungs, give you bruises or dislocate your shoulders. What hurt in your stomach is therefore not the sounds and words coming out of someone’s mouth – the problem is your thoughts about what that person is saying to you.
I think someone’s comment only really gets to you, if you deep down in your stomach agree with what they’re saying. If they tell you that you’re not good enough, but you damn well know that you have what it takes, you can brush their comments off. But if they tell you that you’re not good enough and you don’t think so either, it’s gonna hurt ten times more.
When a guy I was dating told me I wasn’t good enough to move to L.A for dance, it hurt me more than anything because I deep down agreed with him. If I were confident in myself and my own abilities, I would just think: “I’ll f show you”. Instead of focusing on people’s opinions, try to focus on your own opinion. If you’re anything like me, thats probably where you can improve.
Do YOU even believe in yourself?
How do you expect others to believe in you, if you don’t even believe in you? If you are not speaking about what you love and what you do with passion and confidence, that’s the energy you are sending out there. Maybe your friends and family don’t support you because you don’t sound confident, happy or excited about what you’re doing.
When I first started my Danish blog years ago, it took me WAY to long to talk confidently about my writing. I would say “uhmm.. yea.. It’s just this little dance-blog thing.. I’m not a blogger.. it’s silly.. it’s just…” and people would question why the heck I would want to write and post it.
But when I finally stopped doing that and stood by the fact that writing is a part of me and that what I have to say matters, not only did people stop questioning what I was doing – I stopped questioning what I was doing too.
Forcing yourself to talk about your dreams and choices with confidence is super important.
If you’re an overthinker, you can’t miss this blog post!
They don’t support you BECAUSE they love you
I know, I know: “IF THEY REALLY LOVE ME, THEN WHY DON’T THEY SUPPORT ME?!”
Because they love you. Their perception of success and happiness is just different than yours. They look at your life through their own swimming goggles.
We all grew up in different homes with different values, norms, education, and social status. What happiness means to me is not necesarily the same as happiness means to you.
If happiness to you is living the passionate “starving-artist”-life, but your friend thinks happiness is a stable income, a family and a house – they don’t want that broke-artist-life for you, because they love you. Great intentions, but not so great at looking at things from your point of view.
They are even more insecure than you
A lot of people don’t have the courage to do what they are truly passionate about because of their insecurities. So watching you ignoring your insecurities and go for it, bothers them. Many will try to leave you with feelings of doubt, fear or guilt, to hurt your self-worth.
For a long time I’ve been a fan of “just be kind”. And yea that’s great, but honestly, what’s the point. It takes too much energy and time to constantly try to tolerate the behavior of other’s. Walking away can be another liberating and necessary move.
Did you read “Scared Of Making The Wrong Decisions yet”? If not, you can read it right here!
Focus on people that prove to you that it can be done
You are probably not dreaming of flying to Venus in a spaceship made out of pasta and meatballs. So there must be people out there right now that are doing what you aspire to do. Focus on them instead. Study them and let those people be the positive impact on your everyday life.
If it’s a blog, podcast, a book, Instagram, interviews, YouTube videos, sport games, conversations with a mentor about your dream… whatever it is that can give you a daily dosis of inspiration and courage, take that in.
The more you normalize your dream by not putting it on the highest pedistal but instead realize how many people that are actually out there doing it, the easier it will be to deal with unsupportive people.
It’s okay that people don’t understand your passion
It’s okay that people don’t understand what you do, why you care or why it makes you happy. Honestly, would you be able to sit down right now and explain why your engenieer-friend chose that life? Or explain exactly what his life looks like? No.
So if you started criticizing that guy and telling him how you think he should be living his life as an engenieer, should he then do what you say? No, that would be ridiculous.
So why do you get upset when people that know nothing about the world you live in is telling you how to live your life?
“You wouldn’t be here if you couldn’t handle it“
… That’s my favorite sentence in the whole world right after: “let’s get Pizza”. Yes, support feels great and it’s nice when people applaud you for what you do, but that is not everything and we cannot build our self-esteem and self-worth on what other people think of us.
I swear, when you truly start believing in youself and if you support yourself, nothing anyone ever says can touch you. If something makes you happy and flipping excited, don’t you dare dim your light or settle for less.
Easy to say, am I right!