Beating The Dream-Busters

Our long-cherished dreams are certainly worth their weight in gold, but when friends and family members decide to add their two cents, the price of pursuing our dreams can suddenly seem too high to pay. While our spouse, parents, relatives, and best friends may be capable of encouraging us with our dreams, they are also the ones capable of discouraging us.

Timberly Whitfield has always wanted to be a broadcast journalist. Even when she was working behind the camera at A&E, she decided to leave her job in pursuit of her dream.

Immediately, close friends and family members were telling her she was “silly” to leave her “cushy job” of seven-and-a-half years to venture into the unknown.

According to Debrena Jackson Gandy, author and motivational speaker, Whitfield had the right attitude despite being surrounded by naysayers. “Our words can part the Red Sea of our reality and make room for action to follow,” explains Gandy.

She suggests that when people in our lives are unsupportive or extremely critical, we should try the following tips:

Listen to what they have to say, but have your own plan. Block out the criticism that trips us up, even when it comes from our friends and family members. Gandy suggests that when loved ones offer well-meaning but discouraging advice, you listen to their comments but simply reply: “I’ll take your suggestion under advisement.”

Keep your cherished dreams safe. “You want to protect your dreams like a baby,” says Gandy. “To do that, you don’t expose the baby to those who have arrows in the first place.” You should carefully pick and choose who you decide to share your dreams with. Don’t share them with people who may not even have their own lives together.

Keep your inner resources strong. After reading The Game of Life and How to Play It, by Florence Scovel Shinn (The C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.; $9.99), Whitfield began changing her perception. She stopped saying things like: “This is a tough nut to crack,” “There aren’t a lot of jobs out there,” or “I’m black and a woman, too.” Start thinking in terms of “Yes, I will get this job” and “Yes, I will succeed at this.” “Daily prayer and meditation can better help us to follow our own North Star,” says Gandy.

Talk to people who are doing what you want to do. By reaching out to people who are in the industry of our dreams, we help create a visual representation, like a “dream map” that helps us to move toward our dream and goal.

Today, Whitfield is the host of New Morning, a program airing on the Hallmark Channel. It’s an award-winning, daily, spiritual program about ordinary people making a difference in the world.

Achieving any cherished dream is hard enough, but it can be nearly impossible when you are bombarded with negative energy from supposedly well-meaning friends, family, or professional contacts. Living other people’s expectations of you can be very difficult to deal with, but Francine Ward, author of Esteemable Acts (Broadway Books; $23.95),