By Eryka T. Johnson
Do you have loved ones in your life whose criticism and disapproval often crush your dreams without them knowing it? You had high hopes of landing that huge client, changing your career, or even visiting Italy for a week. Yet, those around you don’t have the same perspective as you so can’t quite understand “why in the world” you want to do something like that. Well, in today’s article we are discussing how to deal with the criticism and disapproval of loved ones as it relates to your dreams.
Last week, I got a unique opportunity to volunteer for “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.” This experience is ideal to inspire and encourage young girls to pursue careers in math and science. 8th grade girls from the local middle schools visit for an entire day our engineering office and learn about what engineers do, solve real-life problems, and see engineering at work in their everyday life.
As I sat across the table from 3 friends, I asked what they wanted to do when graduating from high school. One girl named Clarissa said she wanted to be a forensics detective because she loved getting to the bottom of things as well as the research. But, her dad told her she would not be going to school for forensics science or to the police academy for training rather she would get an engineering degree and work for a chemical plant.
Her eyes quickly went from lighting up the room to nearly teary. I can only imagine how difficult it is to deal with her father’s criticism and disapproval of her dreams as a middle schooler. Can you guess the reason why he wants her to go into engineering? The money! He insisted that she needs to follow the money rather than what she loves doing.
This experience bought to mind that as mothers, our goal is to raise our kids in the way they should go and in alignment with their gifts so that they are successful. But in our “mother knows best” attitude, we only see what we want for them and stop at nothing to ensure our kids do exactly as we say.
In fact, Elena auditioned to attend a week-long acting event in Hollywood this past weekend. As we were rehearsing a cold read for a Kellogg’s Pop tarts commercial, I offered here a suggestion on body language. She quickly reminded me that I should support her and allow her to do the commercial in her own style. I agreed.
Support. That’s really what we look for when trying to achieve our dream no matter how big or how small. Everyone needs someone to encourage them and allow them to test drive their dreams. Not all dreams come true as we plan but this should not stop you from doing what you love.
How to Deal With Your Critics
Dealing with your critics may be easier than you think. Instead of immediately taking their opinion into consideration, explain that in the confines of your dreams, you are creating with God. God has given you a paint brush and full authority to create the life we desire. Although, you love them, their disapproval is a non-factor and will not play a role in your decision making process. Of course, all is said in love. Then, move on with creating the life of your dreams.
So, how do you deal with criticism and disapproval from loved ones when it comes to your dreams? I would love to hear.