Whether it’s starting a business, going back to school, learning a new craft, changing careers, or leaning into your passion to go further, there will inevitably be people along the way that alarm you with their lack of support.
I’ve seen at least three types of people who will kill your dream if you’re not careful.
- The Hater
- The Silent
- The Uninterested
The hater is the easiest to spot. They will either blatantly tell you all the reasons why your dream is unreasonable, unrealistic, unaffordable, or impossible, or they will say it when you’re not around.
Chances are that you already know most of what the hater has to say about your pursuit. If you’re working on something remotely significant, you will have researched, asked questions, or found a mentor that will help you identify potential pitfalls.
Sometimes the haters speak unhelpful words towards your dreams because they are jealous. Many people will lash out at someone when they take the courageous step to start doing something most people aren’t brave enough to do. It’s easier to make excuses for why they never did the same thing than admit that they are also capable but just lazy or unwilling.
Other times haters simply have a negative spirit. I could argue that these types of people are not worth keeping anywhere close to you – regardless of if you are chasing a dream or not. Hanging on to negative people for the sake of the relationship or history is like hanging on to that old VCR because it played some of your favorite movies and could be useful again someday. It won’t – get rid of it!
Either way, keep the haters at a distance and ensure you decide in advance to minimize the weight you give to their opinion or input.
Most of us have people around us that we can dream with. We think up ideas and encourage the ambitions of that person.
What happens when those same people go silent as soon as you take the first step from dreaming to doing?
It may be family, friends, or colleagues, but often to avoid being negative or offensive, these folks will say nothing at all. You’ll start to share your craft, talent, or progress and you’ll get crickets in return.
The caution with the silent people is to avoid expecting much from them. If you expect them to be your primary encouragement and motivation, it can certainly kill your dreams. Keep them around but only assume they will come quietly along for the ride.
At some point when you decided to pursue your dream, craft, or idea, you were excited and motivated. The reason I know is because if you weren’t, it wouldn’t have moved you to take action. Action comes from passion.
As you started moving towards your goals, you may have noticed people close to you like best friends, significant others, or immediately family that are uninterested. You expect the same level of excitement to be reciprocated back to you. Instead, they listen politely and respond affirmatively – but without emotion.
I wish I could tell you that you need to slap them upside the head and tell them they need to be more supportive, but the honest truth is that your dream is not their dream. If it were theirs, you wouldn’t be that excited about it.
Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, you have full responsibility for your dreams. The uninterested won’t add any value to your pursuit, but you can avoid allowing their lack of interest to kill your dream in a couple of ways.
First, like the silent people, make sure you are not expecting them to be your encouragement or motivation.
Additionally, since you have full responsibility for your pursuit, write down the reasons why you started and why it matters to you. These will serve as your motivation in place of feedback from others.
I’ve covered the haters, the silent, and the uninterested. Watch for the signs that someone may be slowly killing your dream. Realign or restructure your circle of supporters if needed.
Have you had experience with any of these types of haters? Tell me how you handled it in the comments.