“Do you approve of me?” is a question that were never voiced when we talk to our parents, siblings, other family members, and friends regarding our dreams. We seek approval and acceptance but we can’t seem to ask that question directly, perhaps since it will make us sound so destitute for affirmation in the end.
I have spoken with my family and several friends about pursuing my dreams. They, in turn, have numerous questions of their own:
“Is that what you really want to do?”
“How are you going to go after it?”
“Have you mapped out what path to take?”
“What are your plans to succeed in it?”
“Do you have a plan B to achieve your goal?”
Many of them have a realistic view on how I could fulfill it
or how the dream might fail; this perspective is based on the environment they grew up in and their experiences. Any which way they answered my question, my instinct is to check if they have answered the covert question–the question I dare not ask up front:
“Do you accept me and my dreams?”
This is a bizarre situation I placed myself in because I am setting myself up for rejection and even double rejection. Whatever their answer is to the main question, I will always look for meaning and clarity on the concealed question.
As a whole, many have been supportive in my pursuit as long as I always evaluate and re-evaluate the path I need to take to get there—I have to stay focused. There were also many who pushed me to “try things out” because in the end regret for not trying is the real failure. Most of all, there were many who unconsciously answered that they do approve of me and better yet they believe and have faith in me. That at last made me realize that my goal in achieving this dream is truly not to please other people.
Pleasing people is similar to opening a valve that drains you. Depending on who you are trying to please, it could feel seemingly small and totally unnoticeable or a constant overflow from a dam. Perhaps it started as a trickle and now you’re dealing with a downpour. This is still an ongoing battle in my life but it feels wonderful to tell myself that it is not my goal and I could definitely take it off of my goal list. Right now my goal is to maximize my skills to produce wonderful stories and books that would reach out to people, so I should focus on that.
Readers, the main lesson I am learning here is to take responsibility for my life.
I can’t turn to anyone and blame them for leading or pushing me to pursue things nor could I sulk and wait around for life to hand me bags of gold and opportunities. Neither should you. So, this is what it means to move forward:
- Find your dreams and exclusively pursue it
- Undertake it without pleasing other people
- Lastly, it is your responsibility to live your life to the fullest.