Negativity can seep into your life from family, friends, lovers, and co-workers.
Sometimes it comes from people who aren’t aiming for anything other than surviving day to day. Sometimes it comes from people who gave up on talent to get a paycheck.
You may not want to see it that way. But sometimes you have to face tough truths about the people in your circle so they don’t become your downfall.
Those Who Don’t Want Better
Do you have people around you who seem embrace the struggle?
Maybe it’s someone who has been your best friend since childhood. She grew up on welfare. She’s always lived on welfare, and for her, that’s just how the world works.
Or maybe it’s that brother, boyfriend, or cousin who work a dead-end job and is always broke. He spends a lot of time borrowing and owing. But in his opinion that’s life and he’s never done anything to make his situation better.
In either case, these people are using negativity to create a comfort zone.
They accept that life is what it is so they don’t have to try any harder. They’re the type that tell you nothing will change without trying to make changes.
Do you really expect people like this to have the mental capacity to support your creative efforts? Do you think people who live below their potential are going to encourage you to live up to yours?
Do you know how many excuses they would have to make to themselves about their own choices?
What, they’re going to say, Yes I believe in you. Me, I don’t have what it takes. But I really want to see you make it, so anything you need just let me know.
When people live hopelessly, their hopelessness extends to everybody within their view. They don’t view what they go through as personal. For them, the whole system is rigged. No of us are going anywhere.
Those Who “Sacrificed”
Do you know how many people—some of them probably very close to you—who would like to be doing something other than what they’re currently doing?
I meet people all the time who claim they wanted to be or tried being a writer, photographer, DJ, etc.
The details vary but most of these stories boil down to them claiming that they sacrificed their “dream” to get “a real job.”
A lot of them tell me the things they rely on their real job for. Yeah, I gave freelancing a try. Then, my wife got pregnant. We had to move out of our apartment, and now we have a mortgage.
Translation: I gave up and I have these good reasons not to try again.
Conversations like this are meant to create a negative perception of creative careers while putting a positive spin on jobs.
The underlying message is that marriages, mortgages, and children require you to work for someone else. Creative endeavors are for when you’re young or don’t have any real responsibilities.
That’s a lie. And if strangers to try to cast doubt in my mind about a lifestyle I’m living, I can only imagine if these individuals are your father, husband, or friends.
But think of it this way, people will sacrifice creative endeavors at the first sign of hardship to be employees. Yet they’ll work one shitty job after the next, struggling the whole time.
Many employees are drowning in debt and they can’t afford things they really want, like vacations or random shopping trips.
Some of them can’t even afford the things they have, like their mortgages and car payments. Furthermore, their kids and lovers are a lot less satisfied than they’ll tell you.
So, giving up the creative life for the common life wasn’t such a savvy sacrifice after all. It was more like a trade-off– an easier path that provided quicker access to cash, which often comes with a miserable existence.
And that’s if these people even truly made that choice. Some people swear you can’t make a decent living as a freelancer or creative entrepreneur, but they’ve never been in the arena, nor did they have any real intention of getting in.
Don’t listen to them. They don’t know what you can do. They don’t even know what they can do. It’s easier to blame the game than to play it.
That’s why when you’re either trying or planning to try your hand at a creative career, they use soft negativity to discourage you.
If you give up, they’ll never have to face up to your positive results versus their lackluster decisions. And we’ll have to keep hearing stories about their noble sacrifices.
Shut’em down with proof.