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What to Do When Someone Laughs at Your Dreams (Or at least the grown-up method my father suggests)

The worst but most wonderful thing happened to me two weeks ago.

You see, I did something that I didn’t think was in me. I announced publicly on my social media channels that I had started my own Lifestyle and Wellness Coaching business. Super exciting, and super scary. You would’ve picked that up from my last couple of blog posts: Don't Let Fear Run Your Life (and 10 Ways to Ensure it Doesn't) and The Most Important Lesson in Life – According to Albert So anyways, I thought I would check the status of the post and see if I had any takers on my recent offer for a clarity call in return for a 30 minute “market-research” type interview.

Pleasantly surprised, I saw a number of new messages in my inbox. I also saw a notification for one comment on the post. Immediately, I felt uneasy.

I clicked on the notification and scrolled down to see eight simple letters that completely changed me and altered the course of my path for the next two weeks, and potentially the rest of my life. (Big props to this guy.)

The 8 simple letters were: “Hahahaha”.

Someone was literally and very publicly laughing at me. At my business. At my ‘big picture’. At my vulnerability.

So, I just sort of sat there in shock and let the feeling of embarrassment and fear set in. You see, when I started this journey one year ago, I was absolutely terrified. I still am, every single day. Scared of being vulnerable, scared of living outside of my comfort zone, scared of following a new (and very non-traditional) career path, and of course (and I think above all else) scared of being laughed at.

Isn’t it wild how much power a complete stranger’s opinion can have over your belief in yourself?

And now, all of my fears that were building up for the last year around creating a blog, sharing a side of me I often kept private, registering in a life coaching course with the amazing Beautiful You Coaching Academy, and publicly announcing what I wanted to do with my future regardless of how terrifying it was (and wanting to help others do the same) finally came to fruition in the form of eight, simple, meaningless letters.

“Hahahaha”.

It’s funny when your fears of being laughed at finally happen, you begin to realize it’s actually not that big of a deal. This was what almost held me back from going in the direction that every ounce of my body was telling me to pursue. Further, this was the exact area with which I wanted to help other women. The ones that felt like they were being pulled in a certain direction but fear of failure, self-doubt and most commonly – judgment from others - held them back. A new career, a new business, a new direction in its entirety. I wanted to speak to anyone and EVERYONE who ever let someone else hold them back from pursuing any massive and exciting risks they wanted to take in their life. What a waste of an existence would we all live, if we altered our decisions based on the judgement and criticisms of others?

Now, at this point in time, I very carefully weighed my options. I could either respond, give him the satisfaction of showing it bothered me, say something most likely non-adult like at all in a very unsophisticated manner, head downstairs to the convenience store around the corner to purchase a carton of Ben and Jerry's Half Baked ice cream - a staple of mine in situations such as these, or, I could use it as motivation and fuel to show myself that I was capable of making this thing a reality.

They all seemed like solid options. So, as most mature and sophisticated twenty-seven year old women do, I called my dad for his opinion. As I suspected, he suggested I opt for the more mature, grown-up method. I deleted the comment, I deleted him and then in the span of seven days I did the following:

  • Finalized my logo with my designer
  • Updated my social media channels to share my recently launched business
  • Purchased my domain name and continued designing my website (stay tuned – it’s coming soon!)
  • Incorporated my business
  • Opened a business bank account
  • Received 22 messages from beautiful, amazing and inspiring women who wanted to speak to me based on the Facebook post, that rendered the public laughter
  • Proceeded to do 16 of the 22 interviews so far, from beautiful, amazing and inspiring women (still working on time slots with the rest and loving every second of it! (Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you still want to see what it’s all about!))
  • Had some of those amazing women sign up for my full coaching series
  • Spent the entire weekend and week getting clear, setting goals and reminding other incredible women to step out of fear and uncertainty and begin to take action towards incredible and massive changes in their lives (regardless of what anyone says about them)
  • To top it all off, I went to Hawaii with my best friend to celebrate

So, this one is going to be a short post this week, partly, because I am on the plane blissfully awaiting my arrival in Honolulu AND my reunion with my bestie who I get to see maybe twice a year if I am lucky, and also, because I want to remind each and every one of you of three incredibly crucial things:

1. There will ALWAYS be people that laugh at your dreams, your vision, your big picture, or something that you feel you were born and meant to do. You can’t control that, or them. Likely, they were/or are unable or are even fearful of committing to their own big vision or goal. What you can do is use them as motivation to prove to them, others and most importantly yourself that you can absolutely create a life that wholeheartedly lights you up, every. single. day. However, that life will always come with people that put you down, criticize you and make you feel small since they aren’t achieving their big picture in their lives. Sometimes, it is quite literally painful for others to see you succeed and build a life that you love, while they are quietly wasting their life away. Get used to it, it will never stop.

2. We will ALWAYS be naturally inclined to take the easier path, but that doesn’t mean we have to take it. We much prefer a life that’s comfortable (I do, anyways), safe, easy to navigate and one that doesn’t cause any friction in our lives. That’s totally normal. But before you decide to choose that path, project your life many, many, many healthy years from now when you are lying on your death bed (morbid as it sounds). When I try to envision that moment, I think to myself – will I ever, ever, EVER be in a place where I might say to myself with my last dying breath, “Wow, Sarah.. good work, excellent choice, I am so happy that you played it safe all those years ago. I’m happy that you stayed in a life that didn’t make you happy, that you didn’t pursue your idea, your ‘big picture’ a new career or your dream business that made you light up and excited to get out of bed in the morning, because other people laughed at you. If we ever get the chance, let’s do that again”.

No, likely not. As the saying goes, you regret more in life the things you didn’t do than the things you did do. I like to believe that the universe simply throws critics in our path for the sole purpose of asking:

“How badly do you really want this?”

3. Be grateful of your critics, because they are the ones that remind us that we should never have to settle for a life of mediocrity. A life where you are so unsatisfied and unfulfilled in your life, you get pleasure from laughing at others. When we are pursuing our passions and completely and utterly totally blissed out from our own life and existence, our mindset changes dramatically. You no longer compare yourself to others, laugh at others, or are envious of others. You begin to be happy and excited for them instead because you're so excited about your own path, you don’t have space for anything else. So, I just want to send out a big, heart-felt thank-you to my first ever critic (as I expect that will be the first of many) for giving me that extra little motivation to push through all the scary and fearful moments, and of course to show how important it is to keep doing what I am doing so I can continue to work with other women who experience the same thing.

Lastly, I would like to throw out the offer to any other gorgeous women who have a massively exciting idea in the back of their mind but the fear of failure, uncertainty and judgement from others keeps popping up in their mind, to please reach out to me if you want to do a clarity call! There is absolutely nothing that inspires, excites me and that I love more, than to see other women living their full potential. Head on over to my Instagram or Facebook page where you can share your thoughts or reach out to me in a welcoming and supportive space where laughing at your dreams is prohibited.