Photography

Blog

Aperture /ˈapərˌCHər,ˈapərˌCHo͝or/ *A space through which light passes in an optical or photographic instrument, especially the variable opening by which light enters a camera

Ignoring the Dream-Killers

If you haven’t attracted naysayers and dream-killers, you haven’t created your own path.
— Amanda Mausner

Dream-killer: A person who chooses not to understand other people's needs and desires as individuals, who injects negativity, fear, and doubt into others, and who lives their life in a black & white vacuum. 

Everybody knows a dream-killer. Everybody has one or two that continue to insert their negative opinions on your ideas, hopes, and dreams. Unfortunately, they tend to be people we can't fully ignore or get rid of. There is usually one or two in your family, one in your group of friends, and potentially a few more scattered throughout your life. It's almost like dream-killers are here to test us, to test our grit and our perseverance in achieving our goals. It's difficult to educate a dream-killer because their brain chemistry and thought processing is completely different in most cases. 

Do you let them bring you down? I use to for so long, really because I hadn't yet figured out what I wanted to do but I still knew I was destined for something big. If you lack any clarity in your goals, dream-killers will pounce on your lack of knowing. Although life is full of these dream-killers and nasayers, it's important to recognize who they are and put up boundaries with them. They aren't going away so it's really up to you if you want to manage their power over you. 

 Forging ahead on a riskier path is sort of like traffic control: proceed with caution, look around, move forward with heightened alert, and be on the lookout for others. 

Forging ahead on a riskier path is sort of like traffic control: proceed with caution, look around, move forward with heightened alert, and be on the lookout for others. 

I first want to make it clear that it's also very important to have reason and logic in all of the decisions that you make in life. There are some dreams that may be so far-fetched and dangerous that having a friend tell you that you are nuts is actually a good thing. There are good people around us to make sure we have clarity in our decisions and choices, and who also make sure we don't end up down a dark alley in the middle of the night. These opinions are critical, yet helpful. On the flip side, dream-killers don't really offer helpful advice or any sort of introspective critique: they quickly jump to conclusions based out of fear. 

But within reason [not winning the lotto], many people have dreams that are achievable [let me also add that I understand this is a statement for socially and economically privileged people who can work at taking control of their lives]. The problem is that we now live in a society where people choose to fully avoid risk and run for the hills when they feel any sense of fear. Fear can actually be a good thing when you are on the verge of something big or creative, it's actually a sign that you are moving in the right direction. Fear doesn't enter the equation if you don't take risks. You can bet your life that Steve Jobs felt fear. But he kept going, despite all of the people that told him his idea was crazy or stupid. 

If you truly believe you have a good idea or want something bigger in life, go for it. Find people who support you and build a systematic approach to getting there. Learn to feel discomfort and learn how to speak about your desires to all types of people, even the dream-killers. They will laugh at you, or misunderstand you, or judge you, so get used to ignoring them! It's not your problem that they don't understand your vision. If you carve out your own path, you will be sure to grow a collection of dream-killers. Dream-killers and unconventional paths go together hand and hand. 

Over the past year as I've developed my new sense of person freedom I was on the lookout for all dream-killers. One conversation I remember:

"I am going to do social documentary projects in Photography." 

"You're never going to make a living doing that." 

"{Smile} Thank you."

That is just one of the examples I can think of, but for any creative, or entrepreneur, or passion pursuit, you will get those responses. How do you put up boundaries with these people? Spend less time with them, speak with them less, or choose to speak about neutral topics that have nothing to do with your projects and dreams. 

Other than completely proving these people wrong, the strongest, most powerful boundary you can create is increasing your confidence and sense of self so that their responses fly over your head. As soon as you learn to laugh at these people, you will really begin to enhance your life and forge ahead on your path. If you truly believe in yourself and what you are doing, their negativity will bounce off your of your strength. 

What are some other dream-killer responses you have received? How do you ignore them? 

Warmly, 

Amanda