Find Your Village
I was recently asked what advice I have for those who do not have a support system at home or in the workplace. I did not know how to respond immediately - my stomach tightened and I wanted to scream, "Surround yourself with people who lift you up!" The idea seems so simple: People come and go in our lives, both willingly and unwillingly, and we should be the ones who dictate who stays. We should be dumping the anchors and grabbing ahold of the big balloons, people who constantly lift us up. But it's hard to build your village when you are flushed with negativity and people are constantly shedding negative light on your goals.
I can tell you that I have big dreams, ones so big that I wholeheartedly believe my power of persistence and hard work will get Dwayne Johnson to purchase and promote my children's book. I can't tell you how many people think that I am bananas. I took months to perfect the text of my book and work with an illustrator to ensure each picture exactly portrayed what my imagination thought up. I believed in myself so much that I bought copies of my book to sell to friends, family, and any Instagram follower that was looking to support a good cause. And do you think every single person that I love offered me overwhelming love and support? The answer is no.
Some had the audacity to ask me, "What are you going to do with all of those copies? Will you walk down the street with the books in a paper bag and hand them to anyone who will take them?" or "You bought HOW MANY copies?". I have had to tell myself that these people are insecure. I have had to refrain from celebrating my successes with them. I have learned to ignore their comments and continue to push forward past the tears and keep telling myself, "You just do you and you will succeed.". To be clear, this does not mean that I do not accept constructive criticism - but there is a difference between feedback and people just being mean.
I have had people come out of the woodwork, telling me how great they think my cause is. I have had people buy multiple books and hand them out to friends as they made a road trip across the United States. I have had people that I haven't heard from in 15 years reach out to me and extend their support for my book. I have had young professionals tell me how helpful my business discussions have been. Every time a book is purchased or I write a killer poem or I see that one of The Rock's brands has watched my Instagram story, I do a little dance (ok, fine, I run around the house screaming trying to tell my husband through my excitement what happened).
I know it isn't easy to find; however, surviving in this world without a positive mindset and an army of people that love you and want to see you succeed is even harder. Whether you have a spouse who is unsupportive or colleagues who put you down, my only piece of advice is: change your setting or look elsewhere for that village.
First and foremost, you have to be your own cheerleader. You have to believe in whatever goals you have set for yourself and allow your excitement to infect those around you. If you believe enough in yourself then you won’t need the validation of others to continue on your journey. I can’t tell you exactly how to find that village, but I can tell you that you need it. If you are constantly feeling weighed down by the comments of those around you then I would encourage you to reassess the toxic environment that you are in as well as the type of people you let into your life. Work towards finding your village, even if it means you find yourself alone at first.
if you enjoy my blog, please consider purchasing one of our children’s books: A stay-at-home dad?