We all have small minds around us. I mean let’s face it, not everybody can be an out-of-the-box thinker.
Now, picture this. You’re seated, excitedly sharing your dreams with a friend or a family member and the next thing you hear is, “Why?” Confused you ask, “Why what?” And they launch into an almost rehearsed tearing down of your dreams.
Oh boy! You get questions like;
“Why do you need to go to a fashion school, why don’t you just do what every other person is doing ?”
“Everybody is doing it, so why should your own be different or better.”
The really mean ones will go all out and tell you,
“It will not work.”
“Better just keep it small and forget about all that big dream.”
Then they will call you names like, “I too know” or “over sabi.”
If you’re someone really nice, you’ll probably spend time trying to explain to people who cannot see beyond the small scale. These people can’t see why your dream is not only feasible but a sure thing.
The ones that sadden me the most are those who hide their disbelief small minds and even jealousy behind religious excuses. I’ve heard them all,
“Money is evil, your plans are not ‘godly'”
“Christians cannot go into fashion, or cosmetics or modelling.”
As entrepreneurs and ladies, we sometimes have to battle negative feedback from those around us. Those who project their fear of taking the risks on us. Don’t get me wrong, not all of them mean harm. For some, it’s just they way they are, the way they have always thought. They can’t see outside the box.
Evidently, that is not you, you see beyond that. You have probably gone through the SLA website and have seen what young African women are doing and you get ‘gingered’. Your dreams are forming, you’re redefining your plans, you expand your horizons, you go back to the board and re-evaluate. Oh, the excitement. You want to share the good news!
But it’s straight back to the earth when somebody hits you with the dead weight of their own reality. You are shaken, you take a critical look at the economy and, uh oh, doubts are creeping in. Listen you don’t need all that. What you need to do is…
Change your sounding boards
Don’t worry, they will come around later.
For now, at the early, fragile state of your dreams, you need a support team of like-minded peers, people who can see from your point of view and push you along.
Know that that you’re not the only one
Nothing is new under the sun. Everyday, someone gets a new idea, (well not entirely new but you get the gist). And each day, someone gives up on their dreams.
Probably because somebody, anybody around them just couldn’t believe in the dream to be supportive enough. Don’t be that one who gives up at the end of the day.
Don’t explain your self
Popular Nigerian artiste, Olamide sang, “who you epp?”. I think that’s self-explanatory.
Let the dissuasion push you
There are several versions of this statement but grow with the adversity, anyway. Learn to use the attacks or negative words to grow.
Remember the story of the donkey? Yeah.
Be wise and picky
The only consideration I take into account is from the Holy Spirit. Others, even my mum’s, are subject to scrutiny and probable discard.
As much as I love my family and friends, we’re not all on the same wavelength.
Realize that it will be hard
And don’t let it discourage you or make you believe your small-minded crew.
Initially, it’ll be hard and for some, harder than others. On some days, there may be virtually no results and you may run at a loss. But your first victory is always sweet.
They are your dreams, yeah? Good. Then be convinced about them. It will take all the conviction you have to stay on track and not veer off when those around you are taking apart your well-laid plans with their words.
You will second-guess yourself, you will be tempted to concur. You might just as well throw up your hands and give up. Nah, that’s not an option.
Focus. Centered. Same thing. Keep your eyes on the goal. Don’t reduce your goal down to your power. Instead, match up your goal with your faith. Think up.
The best athletes know not to look at the other athletes when running. But to keep their eyes on the finish line.
It’s all for the love
Remember, it may all be for the love. Those that care about you, don’t want you making mistakes.
Still, you should filter. While I am tempted to say zone out, I’ve come to realise that sometimes listening to the not-so-toxic criticisms can inspire you to tweak your plans. It can also open your eyes to loopholes.
Above all, start on the dream and keep going forward. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.