When you need encouragement in following your dreams
Lately I find myself missing my dad a great deal.
Apart from missing his physical presence, his green eyes, and the way they crinkled at the corners when he flashed a 100-watt smile, I also miss his encouragement.
My dad was one half of my biggest support team (my parents) and his absence is daily felt. While I still speak to him spiritually and pray for his advice and counsel, I’m still adjusting to not having him physically here with me.
My dad was one of a kind. He always praised my gifts, talents, and abilities. He showered me with accolades and encouragement. He believed in me. He truly believed with everything in him that I could change the world – that I would change the world, in whatever way God had equipped me to do so. He regularly spoke such affirming words over me such as: you’re smart, you’re intelligent, you’re beautiful, you’re gifted, and my personal favorite: one day you’re going to change the way people think about the world.
To be honest, I never thought much of his songs of praise. I would brush them off with an “oh, dad…” (except in my case, it was “oh, Bear…” since that was my nickname for him), and then I would launch into the next conversational topic.
Even now, I don’t raise the topic to brag in any way. It’s not as if he stroked my ego, leading me to feel pretentious and ‘puffed up’.
If anything, it softened my heart and reframed my thinking, so that I could begin to perceive the possibility that perhaps I could change the world, perhaps there was a divine purpose set aside for me, perhaps I even had a responsibility to change the world and my dad was the guardian angel (and now even more so) purposed with reminding me of that.
The more I considered this, the more I came to conclusively feel that everyone on earth, every soul, deserves to have their own ‘Bear’. Everyone deserves to have an individual in their life who rallies their spirit, who uplifts them, who provides a shoulder to cry on, who points out their magnificent gifts, who believes them, and who challenges them and holds them accountable for achieving their absolute best.
The question then becomes: do you have such a person in your life?
Because if you surround yourself with negative naysayers who are constantly contributing to your self-concept, and you openly receive their input, then your ascent to greatness and success will feel like pushing an elephant uphill. You see, what you say to yourself and what you allow others to say about you ultimately manifests into what you are and who you become.
I wonder how many dreams have been left by the wayside simply because someone dared to believe for something different, only to be shot down by naysayers. Without a powerful self-concept and in the absence of an encouraging friend, the individual chose to believe all the impossibilities over what had been planted in their heart.
Here’s the truth, my friend. In life, someone’s always going to tell you no, that it can’t be done, that it’s impossible, that you’ve lost your mind, that you’re crazy, that you’re just a daydreamer, that it’s not going to work…on and on the list goes.
But here are just some of the traits of successful people:
- When people say they can’t do it, that simply fires them up to prove such people wrong
- They are willing to take risks and aren’t afraid of failure; in fact, they often fail more than they succeed – but only because they take more chances than the average person
- They have an insatiable appetite to grow, learn, develop, and expand
- They make up their mind about what they want and then they work hard to get it
- And perhaps most importantly: they have a good support system
My favorite clip from the 1993 movie Cool Runnings captures this sentiment perfectly. In the clip, which I’ve featured below for your viewing pleasure, a character describes his dream of one day living the high life – only to be laughed at by his teammate. However, another teammate comes to his defense, insisting that no dream is impossible if you believe for it enough and work hard to achieve it.
Watch it here now:
Has anyone ever laughed at you because of a dream you had? How did it make you feel? Did your dream fall by the wayside as a result?
It’s time to shake off the negativity and step into the abundance that’s meant for you. It’s time to ‘go get your palace’.
Take action now: Identify at least one individual who can be a source of support and encouragement in your life. If you can’t identify anyone in your immediate circle, start to broaden your scope and look into interest groups, clubs, or small business alliances which exist for the exclusive purpose of elevating individuals. Then, make plans to connect with this individual/organization so that you can take one more step toward your dream. In the comments below, share your plans! Remember, putting it into writing helps you commit!