“Quit now, you’ll never make it. If you disregard this advice, you’ll be halfway there.” – David Zucker
We’ve all seen somebody cover their ears and start singing “La-la-la-la-la, I’m not listening!”. If not, I hope you at least know what I’m talking about. At any rate, I’m here to tell you that this is a completely acceptable way to handle things when somebody tells you to give up pursuing your dreams.
If you’ve been pursuing your dreams, or even talking about it, you’ve probably also had the unpleasant experience of someone telling you to give up or not even bother trying. When someone tells you to give up, it can be tempting to take their advice. After all, giving up is easy and painless right? It might especially seem that way when things don’t seem to be working out for us.
Giving Up Your Dreams is Painful
The problem is that giving up on your goals and dreams isn’t painless. Sure, you could learn to be content with the way things are, but I can promise you that your dreams will continue to gnaw away at you for your entire life. You’ll never be completely happy, something will always feel like it’s missing or incomplete, until finally one day you’re on your deathbed, full of regret, and wondering what your life could have been had you not given up.
Okay, so maybe that’s a pretty bleak picture to paint, but in many ways it’s true. Close your eyes for a moment and get your imagination going. Fast forward your life and imagine you’re in your final years on this planet. Do you think you will be glad that you spent your life playing it safe and taking the easy route? Do you think you’ll be glad you stayed in career you hated instead of pursuing your dreams? Do you think you’ll be glad you decided to take the easy way out and watched television every night instead of taking some small daily actions to make your dream a reality?
Giving up on your goals and dreams is not painless, and it won’t make your life any easier or better in the long run. But if that’s true, why would people tell you to give up?
The Two Types of Naysayers and How To Handle Them
Why in the world would somebody tell you to give up on your goals and dreams? There are two main reasons why someone might give you this flawed piece of advice.
- They genuinely care about you and don’t want to see you suffer failure.
- They aren’t currently pursuing their dreams, and the fact that you are is making them feel threatened by you.
1. The People Who Genuinely Care About You
If someone that genuinely cares about you tells you to give up on your goals, it’s probably because they don’t want to see you end up being hurt or disappointed. They worry that things won’t work out for you, and it can be hard for loved ones to watch us go through difficult times.
The way to handle this type of situation is to gently thank these people for caring enough to try to protect you from suffering. But you also need to let them know that you will also suffer pain and regret if you don’t try to succeed, and that you would appreciate it if they could try to encourage and support you instead. If they really do care about you, they will respect your wishes.
2. The People That Are Threatened By You
The other type of person that will try to discourage you are the ones that feels threatened by your ambitions. They might feel threatened for a couple of reasons, and both of them are very selfish ones!
- When they see you going after their dreams, it reminds them of how they have given up and settled in life. This reminder can be painful. So instead of being inspired by you and following your example, they instead try to get you to give up so that they don’t have to suffer being reminded anymore. To deal with these types of people, feel entirely free to use the hand over your ears method and ignore them.
- The second type of threatened person is worried that you’re going to leave them behind. They worry that as you move on, you’ll forget about them, or won’t have time for them anymore. To deal with situations like this, gently remind the person that they are being selfish and that if your relationship with them is truly important, you will both make time for each other no matter how much your life changes.
Stay strong, don’t give up, stay true to yourself and your dreams. Listen to the wise advice of David Zucker…
“Quit now, you’ll never make it. If you disregard this advice, you’ll be halfway there.”
And feel free to throw in a quick cover of your ears and a “La-la-la-la-la, I’m not listening!” just for fun.