Being Authentic,  Dealing with Fear

Watch Out for Those Dream Killers!

{flickr photo Andrew Magill}

I had a disturbing dream the other night. A loud, abrasive woman (who resembled me on PMS) said, “You need to watch out and guard your inspiration and your passion!” or something to that effect.

That poor, harried lady who scared the hell out of me was trying her hardest to warn me of what scares me the most-dream killers. While they exist everywhere, they are particularly rampant and concentrated in certain areas (especially if you grew up with them).

In fact, I have grown up with a lot of them. And because of it, I’ve attracted and invited a few into my life. While it’s never pleasant to hear how I “haven’t really made it yet” or why any writing job I get will never be as grand as my third uncle from a second marriage’s impressive career, I do have to say this:

If life was a school, they’d be my biggest teachers.

How to Outsmart Smarty Pants People

The only way to negate negative people is to:

  1. Minimize your time with them. {I talk a little more about that and about the people you should avoid if you’re in a particularly bad mood on my Beliefnet blog here.}
  2. Pretend you’ve got headphones on and you can’t read lips.
  3. Suck it all in, run far away from them and then scream, exercise and vent in journal or to a supportive friend.
  4. Smile and say, “Thanks for sharing” and try not to do it with sarcasm.

The one thing you should NOT do is to reply with anger, in the heat of the moment and say things you’ll regret.

The thing about us creative types is that we’re extra sensitive people. And the funny thing about that is we often grow up in communities and families that are less than sensitive to our feelings.

—>If I’ve learned anything it’s that the worst thing you can do is attack someone who you feel is attacking you. It might feel tempting to point out your friend’s hypocritical criticism especially when he/she has yet to take a risk and follow their own dreams. Or to laugh at a relative who makes a nasty comment about your creative endeavors when they haven’t done anything creative or risky themselves. But that’s the point.

When it comes down to it:

The best thing you can do is to put on an invisible shield and let those words bounce right off of you. Realize that no matter how much it stings, most of what they say has nothing to do with you.<—

Remember you don’t have anything to prove to anyone. ¬†You are on your own path and they are on theirs. Remember that as long as you’re continuing to follow your dreams, you are not the loser, coward, failure they say you are. In fact, you are a survivor, someone who simply deserves everything you ever wanted in life because you are here and made it this far.

*I took a much needed Creative Friday break. The last one really wore me out, which you can read about here and here. I hope to be back to my regular schedule next week. Have you been busy crafting while I’ve been away on vacation? Tell me please! I need the motivation.

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