We will be looking at one of the stumbling blocks that hinder so many young people and that is…people’s opinions! I’ve wanted to write this post for a week now but I was unsure of how to put it all together in a concise and polite manner. But, I was reading Brown Girl Bloggers founded by Candice VanWye (a must-read blog for minority women) and I came across the post “4 reasons to do that thing you’re scared to do.” The first few paragraphs below moved me and led me to write this post.
“In July of 2013 I took a big scary leap when I move all the way across the country with a guy I had been dating. I moved away from my family and everything I knew as a small town girl to live in sunny Southern California. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.
Since that move I’ve lived alone, become an entrepreneur, married the guy I moved with, founded a site for minority women who blog, paid off my debt, expanded my horizons, and become a completely different person.
If I had listened to the people who told me not to do it I’d probably be somewhere near my hometown pregnant with some annoying guy’s baby.”
What struck me was the impact people’s opinions tend to have on us. It is one of the reasons why we limit ourselves, we fail to dream big, to go for our goals because XYZ says “I can’t make it,” or because of what he or she thinks. I’m here to tell you their opinions do not matter. Hard one but so true. Stop living your life based on others. Be you. Do you. You look around and you see ambitious young men and women who have amazing goals, who are passionate but fearful to take the first step due to what people will say. First question, who are the people? Why do you care what strangers say? Why does it matter? Why should what they will think or how they will react stop you? And if you consider these people ‘friends,’ then something is wrong somewhere.
As young people, our circles of friends play an important role in our lives. They make or break you. Show me your friends, I will tell you where you’re headed to. Jim Rohn says “You are the sum of the five people you move with.” Last year, I wrote on post on “What kind of people do you have in your inner circle?” Make you sure you check out this post! Friends are there for a reason, to support and motivate you to become the best ‘you,’ if they’re falling short of this; they are not friends…maybe acquaintances.
One of the reasons why you might not have got to the level you want to reach in your life whether it’s spiritually, academically, financially might be the lack of a good network- people who challenge you to dream big and set no limits, people who are willing to stick through thick and thin until your goal comes into fruition. You need friends who are creative, innovative, optimistic and this doesn’t mean you all will have perfect times; certainly not! But you guys will stick around for each other no matter what- unconditional love for one another. And anyone who is not happy for you should be off your wagon. Like Steve Harvey gave the illustration, we are on all a wagon called life, you are the driver and all the other passengers must be adding some sort of value. They might be moving the stumbling blocks or thinking of solutions or cheering you on because success is not a straight path. It has all the turnings, stop signs, traffic jams and you need people who are willing to assist you on this journey.
People’s opinions do not matter because we are all different. What works for A might not work for B. We have different paths and we should respect this fact. This means helping one another, when we see a fellow stuck, we pull them up with words of encouragement not our negative or ugly opinions. Maya Angelou says “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is so true. Consider this. Are you an agent of encouragement or discouragement? Do people love and enjoy your company or are you filled with negativity, fear and doubt?
Young people, we are the future. We are champions. I’m here to re-echo again ‘People’s opinions do not matter.’ Dream BIG, set no limits but be prepared to hustle hard and harder….because you got them haters. Haters gon’ hate. You keep hustling! Be you, do you…for you!