Haters Gonna Hate

One thing that really brought my husband and I together even as naïve high school kids was our drive to succeed. We are both fiercely competitive in different ways, but always competing with ourselves to be better. We recognized this in one another even as teenagers and, for me, it was the most attractive thing. Ambition is so sexy! Get you a man with big dreams!

My high school flame had a 6-year professional baseball career. When that ended due to injury, he pursued a career in the fire service which was “impossible” because “everyone is trying to be a firefighter.” Harder than becoming a pro athlete? We’ll see.

I had two toddlers at home and worked 2 jobs when I decided to go after the highest degree in my field. My firefighter husband was never home. NO ONE thought the timing was right. Fortunately, I didn’t give a damn what they thought. I got that degree before my son finished preschool and picked up a 3rd job along the way. BOOM.

The term “haters” wasn’t really a thing back in Y2K, I think they were called “naysayers.” But fast forward 20 years – after all we have accomplished – and we still have people close to us saying:

  • Your dreams are not realistic
  • That will be too much for you
  • You can’t handle it
  • This is bad for your kids
  • Self-care is selfish
  •  Stick with safe, certain, and comfortable
  • Don’t challenge the status quo
  • You’re working/exercising too much
  • This is how we’ve always done it
  • Career = Self-worth
  • Don’t let them see you sweat
  • Following your dreams is irresponsible
  • Money = Success
  • You can’t afford to take risks
  • Do you think you’re better than me?

I. could. go. on. Have any of these statements been made to you? Did it come from someone who is supposed to have your back? Why is it that people want to chain you down to stay on their level? They believe your success diminishes theirs. They are SO threatened that you will outshine them as if there isn’t enough light out there to go ‘round?!

Listen up, dear ones. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, BUT YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING. Give up on people pleasing. Quit listening to the critic. Sacrifice your comfort zone.  Don’t give up your ambition. Don’t quit on yourself. Don’t sacrifice your confidence so someone else can have theirs. The haters are gonna hate anyway.

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Navigating Adult Friendships

Navigating adult friendships can be difficult. Like, middle school difficult. 😩 Why is no one talking about this?! It’s something I’ve personally struggled with and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Adult friendships require time and effort – things we aren’t always able to give.

We might suddenly find ourselves in a new city or stage of life where we struggle to meet new people, maintain old friendships, or disengage from unhealthy friendships. Even with all of the technology we have these days, it seems like there is more distance than ever before.

Older millennials like myself can remember the familiar MySpace “Top 8” roster where we straight up told the world who we liked best (while coding cute wallpaper and finding the PERFECT profile song). Eight seemed like an appropriate number of friends…though, admittedly, we struggled over the last few in the lineup. As demented as it was, I miss that commitment and transparency!

The key word to remember with adult friendships is RECIPROCITY. Whatever labels or status we give our friends should be based on whether or not our friendships are reciprocated. This might sound simple enough, but research suggests that up to 50% of our friendships are unreciprocated! This leads to superficial and unfulfilling relationships. As adults, ain’t nobody got time for that!

If you have a friendship that seems unreciprocated, I have some truth to lay on you: [S]HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Let go and let God. Quit wasting your time and energy on people who are not holding space for you and focus on making time for the people who are making time for you.

Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

It’s also important to remember that having a “bestie” is great but having one friend we confide in or turn to for support and another we call for weekend outings is no less special than having one “best friend.” The title doesn’t matter, only the #reciprocity. Diversify your stock options – you’re a grown up now!

Stepping into Your Confidence

Here’s another #realtalk post that hits close to home. Call it confidence or self-esteem, but we either have too little or too much. It’s a catch-22. Like most things in life, there is a continuum between a meek wallflower and arrogant peacock. The wallflower appears weak while the latter is an obnoxious nuisance. So how do we find balance?

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Most people I meet live in the land of insecurity and struggle with feelings of inadequacy. They feel unworthy and unequal. Meanwhile, those who exude confidence are criticized for arrogance – making it safer to live in the security of insecurity.

More often than not, confidence critics are making judgements from a place of envy and inadequacy. They struggle with insecurities and don’t want to be left in the wake of the confident achiever. These opinions don’t matter. Strive for greatness and don’t look to your left or your right. Your only competition is the person you were yesterday.

Your confidence comes from your own success. Set goals that matter, take on challenges that are difficult, and persist when the setbacks come. This is where your confidence will thrive.