From the time we are kids in school, we’re conditioned to worry about what people think of us. Kids get bullied for being different or are scared to perform in a talent show for fear of what the audience will think. Our entire lives are wrapped in this idea that we have to care what other people think about us. It’s true for kids in school but it’s also true even as adults. That concern for other people’s opinions doesn’t disappear as we get older, it stays put no matter where we are in life. And I think it does us a lot of harm.
There’s a quote I like that says, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who
mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” It’s just a simple little saying, but the
meaning rings true. Fear of the opinions of others is something that will only hold you back in life. Be who you are confidently and fearlessly--that’s the only way to live.
Think about the people you admire most: singers, actors, artists, entrepreneurs...whoever they are, how did they get to where they are today? Do you think they let their nerves or fears of what people would think get in the way of their dreams? Of course not! They knew what they wanted and they chased after it with everything they had in them. And they became successful, passionate people because of it. If you want something in life, you have to have the confidence to go after it without worrying about what people might think.
So often, we live in fear of judgment from others. We let that fear decide what we do and how we act, when really, it shouldn’t matter to us at all. The person you are inside--strong, talented, beautiful, and passionate--that person doesn’t change based on others’ opinions of you. Don’t get so caught up in that that you forget what you’re capable of. More often than not, the people who are judging your dream are not the type of people who should matter to you. And the ones who do matter? They’re busy pursuing their own dreams!
Take a good look at yourself and ask this question: Am I letting my fear of what people think
stop me from living my dreams? If you are...it’s time to reevaluate. And remember, the people who matter will support you in your pursuits. And the people who don’t? They shouldn’t matter! Keep chasing your dream and doing what makes you come alive...it’s the only way to really live.
I’m sick and tired of you getting in my way. This has gone on for long enough and it’s time I put
a stop to it. Every time I have an idea I want to pursue, a journey I want to take, a goal I want to
reach, you find a way to stop me. Wherever I turn, there you are. You block me at every angle
under the guise of protecting me. You act like you don’t want me to fail and your presence is for
my own good. But deep down inside, I know the truth. You don’t want me to succeed. You’re
getting in the way of my dreams.
It’s been this way for years, but it’s time I took a stand. Fear, I’m not going to put up with you
anymore. You follow me around every corner, waiting for me at every turn. That stops now. I’m
sick of you! So I’m finally doing something about it. From here on out, we’re done. I’m moving
on without you. So get out of my head, get out of my way, and get out of my life! From now on,
things are going to be different. This relationship we have--the toxic, controlling one--is going to
change. From now on, you’ll come into my head only when I need you. Only when you are
genuinely there to protect me.
This is the point I choose to put myself first. You’re not running the show anymore and I’m not
going to live my life under your thumb. You’re through crushing my dreams and keeping me
down. From now on, I’m doing what I want and taking charge of my life. I’m going to pursue my
dreams without you. And if you think you’re going to hold me back any longer, you’re dead
wrong. This time, it’s all about me. I’m not afraid anymore. So fuck you, fear!
For some of us, there’s a feeling burning inside that we were meant to do more. The feeling that
a mediocre life isn’t good enough. The knowledge that a meaningless job won’t be enough to
fulfill us. And no matter what the world says, we know we’re meant for more. It’s a struggle to
ignore that feeling, knowing all that your life could be. And it’s definitely not something that
should be ignored.
Not everyone has the dreamer’s disease. That feeling that presses you on toward something
more. The feeling in your heart that keeps you going even when the world is against you. Some
people are happy to live a life without passion and purpose. But not me. And I’m guessing not
you, either. We’re the dreamer’s. And that’s worth holding onto.
The New Radicals have a song called “You Get What You Give” that really hits home.
Check out some of the lyrics:
But when the night is falling
You cannot find the light (light)
You feel your dreams are dying, hold tight
You've got the music in you
Don't let go, you've got the music in you
One dance left, this world is gonna pull through
Don't give up, you've got a reason to live
Can't forget, we only get what we give
If ever you think your dream isn’t worth holding onto, think about those lyrics. The dreamer’s
disease isn’t a curse...it’s a gift. The thing that separates successful people from the people who
could have been. The thing that sets you apart from the rest of the world. It’s a fire in your belly,
an ache in your soul for something more. That’s what the dreamer’s disease is all about. Do you
have it in you?
If you do, it’s time to set aside your fear and chase after your dreams. If you’re at the end of
your rope thinking your dreams and ambition aren’t worth fighting for, that’s the moment you
have to fight even harder. If you’ve got a spark inside you pushing you toward greatness, you
have no choice but to follow it.
Being a dreamer isn’t easy. It wasn’t meant to be. But it sure as hell is worth it. You’ve got a
light inside that most people couldn’t even imagine. And that’s more important than you might
realize. It’s time to embrace the dream and run straight for it. Whether it’s your reason for living
or just a reason to laugh, whatever it is, your dream matters. And it’s something you should hold
onto tightly. Don’t you want to have the dreamer’s disease, too?