Strangers are strangers. Period. But most times, they will become your ‘HEROES’ whereas those you are familiar with turn ‘ZEROES’. As a matter of fact, some of your biggest fans and most genuine supporters might be the people you have never met in person. I’m not trying to be theatrical here. The closer someone is to you, the more likely this rings a bell.
Chances are that your family and friends are not as excited as you expected them to be when you started your own business or creative pursuits. Strangers are always the first to give you the best feedback while your friends and family don’t bother after an initial wave of support. Why is it that complete strangers who have no idea who you are, are so much more likely to help and support your craziest dreams?
The people whom you’d think should be the ones most likely to be in your corner, are actually the ones so quick to shoot down your dreams. Of course, there are expectations. I don’t speak for everybody and it definitely doesn’t mean that you have bad friends or bad family. People close to you tend to be people who’ve known you the longest. The longer they know you, the more they understand your personality and behavior.
They have seen you grow and they have built a specific image of you in their heads. Based on everything they’ve seen of you. That perception is based on who you are but also based on their own insecurities, which is a natural human thing to do. We all form our judgments this way. When you suddenly become an expert, they have difficulty honoring or respecting the radical change. It does not match up to their picture of you in their heads.
Sadly, the ones closet to you find it hard to support you to grow because you all come from the same place. As much as I would like to dismiss this reasoning, there are times when you really get to experience this eerie feeling. The moment you start moving up, they start treating you differently.
They become defensive as if you are looking down on them because they are not doing much themselves. It could be insecurity on their part or the fact they had to give up on their dreams. They expect you to stay with them. And when you don’t, it’s an indicator that you think you are better than them.
Your friends and family might support you emotionally but they may not be the first to believe in your project. They sometimes dismiss your efforts thinking it’s just a fleeting hobby. Mathew 13:55 also tells us about how Jesus was dismissed as a prophet, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
Going forward, both `Heroes` and `Zeroes` are important to us. It all depends on how you comprehend both the negative and positive efforts. Whether they support you or not, do you really want to look back in regret, one day down the line? To not know what could have happened if you tried if you tried to do what you really wanted to. Just follow your heart.
- Joan Atuhwera is a Business Administration Graduate, a Human Rights activist and writer with over five years’ experience in pursuing justice for others via her keyboard. She can also be reached via email: [email protected] or WhatsApp +256774334595
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