I’ve always done things a bit differently in my life and I think people have often struggled to figure me out.
Despite coming from a family of tax professionals and winning awards for my accounting grades in school, I went on to study journalism and writing.
Despite thinking children are amazing little beings and loving being an aunt to so many awesome nieces and nephews, I’ve never wanted kids of my own. I knew that as young as 15 years old when everyone told me I’d change my mind when I got older. I never did.
Admittedly, I also never wanted to be married, but that did end up changing. Damn you, Melissa!
And speaking of which, we were one of the first same-sex couples to be married in the United States. To this day (16 years later), guests still tell us they felt like they were attending an historical event. Which I guess they were, but to us, it was just our wedding day.
Despite buying a beautiful home in a coveted, seaside community which we loved and enjoyed for a handful of years, we decided to sell it to build a tiny house. (Most people in our lives still can’t wrap their head around this one.)
Yup, doing things differently.
Through all of these life events and pursuits, we had to seek out our fellow trailblazers. Although we have friends and family whom we love, most can’t understand why we choose to live the way we live or do what we do (or don’t do). And that’s okay. We can still love them while knowing they’re not our BHAG crew.
I share all of this with you because chances are, since you’re a member of my email family, you have some unique and big plans, too. You probably often feel misunderstood or alone. And I know how uncomfortable that is and how it can make you doubt your ideas. To that, I pass along a brilliant piece of wisdom my friend Debbie shared with me:
Don’t doubt the dream, doubt the action.
Just because someone tells you what you want isn’t possible or points out all the holes in your plan, keep going.
Just because your first 5 (or 50 attempts) failed miserably, find a new way. (Remember the cleaning product Formula 409 failed 408 times!)
Just because you feel like you’re always going back to the drawing board, you’re not. You can never be where you once were. You know too much now.
As we approach the end of the year (feeling both like “already?” and “finally!” because… 2020), reflect back on who you felt uplifted and supported by versus who drained you.
If the drainers outnumber the uplifters, make a plan to find your BHAG people.
And a plan to set boundaries with the drainers.
Spend time with people (in person or virtually) who aren’t afraid to dream big.
People who don’t let the “how” stop them in their tracks.
People who are creative and resourceful.
And people who celebrate others’ successes instead of tearing down or judging them.
Support is key when it comes to going after your BHAGs.
Negative Nellies haven’t earned the right to hear about the moves you’re going to make. You might want so desperately for them to show up for you in the way you need, but some are just not capable of doing so.
You are not in this alone, my friend. There are lots of us out here quietly (and not so quietly) dreaming big while building the foundations underneath, brick-by-brick. And many are also hungry for connection with fellow trailblazers.
Step out of your circle. Talk to new people. Find new online communities. Even if you start by simply lurking, being around similar energy can be a big boost.
I think everyone is desperate for the clean slate of January 2021. There is a lot to leave behind in 2020, which ain’t so bad because doing so gives you lots of space in which to create come the new year.
Let’s use it to our advantage!