Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
These words by Albert Einstein was what first came to my mind many years ago when I visited the Pastor of Friends of Christ Church at Apapa about 9 years ago. While we were discussing he took me and my friends on a journey of self discovery. By the time we were through with the meeting I was glad I took the bold step against all odds to visit this humble but strong minded man.
Everyone has a dream. A dream to do something, to reach somewhere, or just to be what you have always aspired to become. But do we really follow those dreams? Or we just go with the flow, just do what others are doing? It sounds safe right?! Just do what others tell you to do and be safe, be acknowledged by the society, and be accepted by people because you are one of them.
But what about your dream? What about being the initiator of something really nice, an initiator of a business model through which you can eliminate the problems which persists in the world today? You lose it eventually because people do not believe in your dream. They don’t believe in your idea. Maybe they think that you are just an ordinary person, and you would not be able to achieve the extraordinary.
Life happens to all of us in different shapes and shades. We are all blessed with different gifts by God and how and when such are manifested depends on how and when we discover ourselves and decide to act on it. You see, ideas rule the world and the bold and daring greatly do exploits in the world. God puts in our hearts and minds visions and dreams that could shape our destinies and that of many others and in effect change the world or how we live in it.
The world is full of stories of men and women who did exploits and changed the world. There are hundreds of stories of people who dared to dream. In different fields, from religion to politics, science to technology, arts to fashion and many others. We have seen great inventors, entrepreneurs, religious leaders and politicians. One thing is constant, none of them ever succeeded without meeting one form of opposition to their dreams, goals and plans. Most times, the opposition and discouragement comes from close family members, spouses and friends. You must realize that the vision God placed in your heart is yours and yours alone. It is your sole responsibility to nurture it and see it manifested. You do this by keeping your dreams alive and by identifying those who will support you along the way to see you succeed. You alone can see the true picture of your vision. You are the vision carrier, only you can see it clearly and where it could lead. So do not expect other people who don’t see or understand your vision support you. In fact, the bigger the vision the bigger the opposition.
Cutting ties with family members is one of the hardest decisions we may face in life because we are conditioned to believe that to terminate relationships with “family” is morally and inherently wrong. The facts are that “family members” are just people and not always healthy people, and if these people weren’t family we would never choose them to be a part of our lives due to their poor treatment of us. Therefore, under the ideal of family we spend years sacrificing our mental and emotional health in abusive relationships under the notion that we “have to” because these people are our family. We are conditioned to believe that if we end relationships with them that we are “bad” and no one wants to be or feel like they are an inherently bad person.
Speaking with a friend on this recently his words came with some familiar feeling “It took me 42 years to finally terminate relationships with two close family members. That decision only came after the most irreprehensible emotional abuse launched towards a success of mine. These family members timed their emotional assault to be on my 42nd birthday. This very low blow was what I needed to be pushed over the edge of the cliff I had been standing on for so many years of wanting to jump but being too afraid of how I would be judged by them and others for making this decision. Today, I am free. I do not feel anger or resentment towards them because I took away their power to continually create chaos in my life. I do not wish them harm and in many ways I am thankful for the experience, and I do not want them in my life.”
Ever thought Aliko Dangote, Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, Mark Zuckerberg, Cosmos Maduka, Muhammadu Buhari, Mahatma Gandhi, David Oyedepo, Mitchell Elegbe, Ibukun Awosika and many other successful people had no opposition to their dreams? Ever thought they were not despised, insulted and discouraged by people close to them? Ever thought even their spouses all were supportive of their vision and aspirations? No buddy. It wasn’t all rosy. It’s always a tough deal and this toughness and the ability to weather the storm through good and bad times is what real entrepreneurs and world changers are made of. See, if your dream doesn’t scare you then you are not dreaming well. Dare to dream fellas.
Now, for you to really succeed in the race of life, you don’t have to stop and throw stones at every dog that barks at you. You don’t have to allow nay Sayers and other people’s negative opinion of you be your reality. It is better to be in the midst of people who support and encourage you to succeed no matter the odds. It’s is good to screen your relationships and genuinely share your visions with your confidantes. The moment you share your dreams with such people that’s when you begin to see their reactions. They jeer and gossip behind your back. They try to raise opposition against you. Reality check here is to identify who your confidantes, constituents and comrades are. Go where you are celebrated and encouraged and not where you are merely being tolerated. Have a mentor and submit yourself to guidance.
Now, take the bold step and cut off some people from your life. Hate no one, but give no one any opportunity to belittle you, insult you, undermine you and destroy you. Always remember that if you are a great mind or have great ideas, then mediocre or small minded people will always oppose you. These people do not fit into your inner circle.
Here Are Some Valid Reasons to Terminate Relationships With Some Friends and Family.
1. When the relationship is based in any type of abuse mentally, physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally. When the relationship is based in manipulation, overt or covert, you can be sure you are being used and abused. When you are living in constant anxiety never knowing or being able to predict how any engagement is going to turn out, it is time to love yourself enough to let go.
2. It is time to terminate a relationship when the only contact you have with them is negative. The contact you have with them serves to bring you down, put you down and/or make you feel you are not good enough, or you haven’t done enough for them.
3. When the relationship creates so much stress that it impacts the important areas of your life at work and/or at home. When your emotions are totally caught up in defending yourself and wanting to explain yourself and the chaos of your relationships with these people is all you talk about, it is time to let go.
4. If you find yourself obsessed with the gossip about you and trying to right wrong information, and you are constantly being ostracized to the point you are losing sleep over it you are becoming poisoned with their toxicity. Gossip only serves one family member or friend to get others to gang up on you and you are left defenseless against the false beliefs about you being thrown your way. There is usually a ring leader gathering the troops for the assault and because they are joined together you begin to wonder if it is, in fact, you, that is the problem.
5. When the relationship is completely all about the other person and there is no real reason why the other person cannot make any effort towards the health and maintenance of the relationship with you. One sided relationships are set up for your failure. When you realize there never going to be an “enough” place for you to reach in the relationship, you need to let go and start to focus on your own healing.
6. When and if the relationship is only about borrowing or needing money.
7. When crazy-making, no-win games dominate the relationship such as the silent treatment, blame-games, no-win arguments that spin around on you, there is no point in continuing in this battle. Verbal warfare is never the place you will convince them of anything and these types of verbal interactions are set up to be their way or the highway. If these are the negative consequences you receive each time this person or people don’t get their way it is time to let go.
8. Most people know intuitively when it’s time to cut ties. Sadly, we may have carried this knowing for a long time before we were ever ready to make the jump. You will just need to follow your gut and take the leap.
Not everything is clear cut when it comes to severing long-standing relationships with people because often we have children involved which I will write a follow up article about, but as we heal and we find our value in the eyes of others and in our own achievements and self-love we start to realize that these so called friends or family members accepting or us not, is no longer the defining feature of who we are. As we grow, we can see more clearly the abuse from the past and what is current. We can see that we do not stand a chance in changing these people and that by letting them continue to abuse us also teaches them nothing. It makes them devoid of the natural consequences this kind of treatment should have. So, when you choose to sever ties you not only stand tall in your own health and self-love but you gift them the natural consequences their treatment of you merits.
“When I cut my ties I felt the freedom I had always desired to feel and I also felt a certain aloneness, but I finally accepted they were never going to be able to love and support me in the ways I deserved and I was tired of exhausting myself to be “lovable” in their eyes. Not needing their approval set me strongly into my own sense of self, purpose and into much healthier relationships. The decision took 42 years but when I made it, I was certain I had made the right decision and I still feel that way today. I am finally rid of the all the anxiety, neediness and pleasing I did to fit. I do not hate them, and I do not need them. I happy without them.” As I have grown and experienced adult life I have learned the hard truth about things — about people. People can be inherently self-seeking; not all people have good intentions, even if you are related to them. Not all people want what’s best for you. It’s your job to make your world the best it can be.
Successful people are those who have tried and failed many times until they found their true calling and success. Success is contagious. It comes not with perspiration and inspiration.
So dare to dream and never ever give up hope. Believe in yourself, plan your idea, and jump into something extraordinary. Success is a tough game and if you want to be successful you have to face the ordeals, and implement your idea. But at first – “Be a Dreamer”.
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