Have you ever had a great idea or been excited to go a new direction in your life only to have those nearest and dearest to you ... friends, colleagues, family members ... try to discourage you, tell you it can't be done, hold you back?
Looking back, I can honestly say that I am pretty sure that it has happened to me with just about every big change or big step in my life. Yesterday I attended a business women's luncheon and the guest speaker was telling the story of how it happened in her life as she learned and grew and moved to explore a new part of herself. She remarked that she couldn't understand it, she was still the same woman that they had always known and loved, why the resistance?
When this happens I've often thought that the naysayers, the doubters were driven by fear ... fear for me that things wouldn't work out, fear for themselves that our relationship may somehow change as a result of the growth, or just simply fear of something new. When I read this quote it took my breath away for a moment ... "The doubters are just dreamers with broken hearts."
That puts a little different perspective on it doesn't it? My mother was always the biggest doubter in my life. I know she loved me so much (she's been gone 2 years this month), and was so proud of my accomplishments, but her first reaction always to any big change (or even sometimes the small ones) was to doubt, to question, to discourage me. I know she was afraid for me. She was afraid something would go wrong, she was afraid for what she didn't know, she was afraid for the change. I've also come to know that she was a doubter because of her own broken heart, and she wanted to try to protect me from that.
My hope always, what I strive for as a mom, is to encourage my boys to try anything, that they can do anything. I don't want them to feel afraid to try or to feel afraid to fail. It is all just a little bit more experience that will help you to grow and move to the next great experience in your life.
Can we do that for each other too? If I'm growing and moving and doing something different that doesn't somehow mean that you aren't or are less than because you aren't. If you see a colleague trying a new marketing technique that seems silly to you, don't criticize ... bravo to them for trying something new. I hope it works great, and maybe someday I'll be trying it too.
Online forums like this are wonderful ways to connect with others, but our point can also be easily miscommunicated, and sometimes we can just feel way more brave typing it out from behind a computer screen than we ever would saying it in person. The responsibility to treat others with respect goes both ways. If you feel wronged or hurt by another's comments, message them, have a phone conversation, go out for coffee. My guess is that when you do that conversation will go completely differently.
No matter what though, I know for sure that this is true ... the person who is doubting your dreams, the naysayer, the person who is rude, snarky, petty, and just plain mean ... none of anything that you are experiencing from them has anything to do with you. It is most assuredly a result of their feelings, their hurt, their pain, their "not good enough", their fear that is being projected outward.
Because after all, the doubter is just a dreamer with a broken heart.