Something that Suebob wrote has stuck with me all this week. Here is a summary of the part that keeps playing in my head:
Imagine that you receive an award. There are friends who will congratulate you, champion you, and motivate you to do more. There are also others who will disappoint you by downplaying the award's significance, knock the wind out of your sails, and demotivate you.
Which of those am I? Which are you?
I have both types of people in my life, although I have decidedly fewer demotivaters around these days than I once did, and the numbers are still dwindling. As my sense of self has begun to incline, so my tolerance for naysayers has declined, because when I am, on rare occasion, tripping along a happy path of successes large and small, the last thing I need is to have someone come along and stick a metaphorical stick in my spokes by saying something along the lines of "Don't get too excited, because they're probably just using you for your ideas" or "That's okaaay, but...".
That sort of thing doesn't just lessen the positive impact of my achievement; it lessens my ability to see my own success, pales it in comparison to a littany of possible failures. Why don't you take away all my toys and ground me for being happy while you're at it?
I am, after three decades of not only hearing but listening to others belittle my dreams and accomplishments, a little bitter about this. The negativity deeply bruised my faith in my own abilities. Now that I am learning when to listen and when to walk away, though, I am slowly finding a voice inside me that can say with a certain amount of confidence I AM ALL THAT.
There is also another gift that has sprouted out of this: I've found that when I take care to seek out the good and nurture my dreams, I am compelled to encourage that spirit in others. Your courage matters to me because my courage matters to me, and, suddenly, we are no longer dreaming alone.