How to Trust Your Vision, Even When Others Don’t

When I made the decision to blog about living life against the status quo, I knew I would receive some feedback that would be less than positive. In fact, I had my fair share of warnings.  Every blogger that writes about lifestyle design has said that when you try to encourage people to think outside the box, some people will freak out. Then they will speak out. And sometimes what they have to say will be pretty nasty.

Well, this weekend I received some criticism about this blog that wasn’t nasty, but it still took me by surprise. One of my friends (who is a great, delightful person) said she thought the pace of my writing is slow, and that the blog reads more like a letter than a blog.  I’m always open to feedback, so I took her comments in stride. In fact, I’m glad she said what she did.

Because now I get to write this post about the three things I think you should remember when people start questioning your vision.  *Drum roll, please*

1. When you keep a laser-like focus on your vision everything else will fall away.

So many people spend every day worrying about what others think of them.  They fear speaking their mind, or making any moves because they are terrified about what the masses will say.  But you know what?  Life is short, so why waste your time trying to mold yourself to be someone you are not?

Remembering who you are trying to reach will always keep you focused and centered. You can’t be everything to everybody. And that is the way that it should be. The Fab Life Project isn’t for everyone. It’s really not for practical people. Or even people who totally risk averse.  It’s really not for people who believe that they CAN’T. It’s for the people who question if they CAN. Big difference.

2. When people try to box you in (and they will) RUN!

Doing something unconventional is scary. Whether that be quitting your job because you never did like it anyway, or starting a new business venture, branching out into the unknown is a little terrifying. And the funny thing about this is, not only are YOU scared, your notions of being big and bold  start scaring other people!

Folks freak out when they see others wanting to try something new. I believe this is because we have been so programmed to believe something is wrong with us if we don’t want to fit into the traditional, limited definition of success.  And most of the time their reaction will be to try to find someway to put you back in the box, cage, or cube.

The comments my friend made, while well intended, were stifling.  But I received her comments with glee. Why? Because anytime someone tells you that your project doesn’t look like the typical something you expect to see, you are doing something right. Rock on!

3. Finally, and most important, remember YOU define your own rules.

The number one reason I created this blog is because I want to encourage people who don’t believe in living a mediocre existence to break through convention to get to their true self.

I reminded myself of this after I spoke to my friend because I decided to veto her opinion. Why?
Well, I think the  beauty of a blog is that it can be anything you want it to be. Blogs take on so many shapes and forms (kind of like people) that it is hard to define exactly what a blog should sound like. This applies to pretty much any project with the exception of filling out your tax forms.

Don’t let anyone trick you into thinking there are “set rules” you should follow. Just because something has always been done in a traditional way, does not make it automatically right.  The fabulous thing about your project might be the way you do everything WRONG, according to the powers that like to spit modern “wisdom”.

Next time you start a new project, or are redefining your vision, remember this: There are the kind of rules that keep us safe (look both ways before you cross the street), and then there are the rules that are just limitations set up by others. Learn to distinguish between the two. Then follow the path less taken, not the path of least resistance.

Tell me, have you ever had someone question your vision? How did you deal?

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Holla!

16 comments

  1. Vanessa says:

    Hey Amber! Just stumbled on your blog. I recently decided I wanted to be a screenwriter and told my parents. My mom was really skeptical because she thinks I chose to do something with a very low success rate – she doesn’t want me to be disappointed. It feels like she doesn’t believe in me but she isn’t the only protective parent out there that reacts like that.

    The most profound thing she warned me of is that I keep chasing “doing what I love” because I think it will me joyful everyday when she thinks I should chase “loving who I am” instead. I think she is right, but that doing what I love is the next most important thing to life long happiness. But if you don’t believe in yourself, you probably won’t take those risks.

    • Amber J. says:

      Hey Vanessa!

      Parents mean well…they really do. They only want to protect us, but sometimes they go about it all wrong. I’m glad that you are able to see that she is just trying to protect you. Sometimes it can be hard for us to see that our parents mean well, even if the way they are going about it is wonky.

      I think chasing “loving who you are” is an interesting concept. Perhaps it can be combined with chasing what you love? After all, what you love has something to do with who you are as a person (values system ect). And you are right, it is all about believing in yourself. That’s so hard for young people to do.

  2. yola says:

    “when people try and box you in, RUN!” I love that. Im planning on moving to New York this fall and its refreshing to hear a young positive voice be uplifting and optimistic about breaking out of the conventional career cookie cutter path for our generation and into a life that’s fulfilling and of course fabulous while being true to ourselves. keep up the words of wisdom.

    • Amber J. says:

      Moving to NYC is hard, but it is not impossible! Go forth and be fabulous! And if times get hard, you remember to go harder!

  3. dee jay says:

    I was so disappointed to discover that the people I thought would understand and support my quiting my job which I didn’t lilke to focus on my business were very discouraging sometimes even rude! I realised that their reaction was because they knew deep down that they wished they had the courage to do something interesting with their lives. Its still early days but I can remember when last I was this happy. This business has also gained so much interest in the last few months even I can’t believe it. I’m glad I came across your blog!

    • amberinnyc says:

      Jay, I feel you. Fear makes people do crazy things-both good and bad. I’m glad you came across my blog, too! It sounds like you probably have some good stories. I know I’m turning to for new business advice!

  4. Really great post. I experienced some push back and criticism when I decided to go back to school to learn more about color theory and graphic design. My parents were horrified since my bachelor’s is in marketing and I’ve been raised to stay in the practical field of business. Creativity isn’t big in my family. I got past it by showing them that I wasn’t trading one for another. I simply wanted to do something that sparked my creativity. They came around to understanding this, but at the end of the day I knew it was my life and I would do what made me happy. I can totally relate to your experience with naysayers.

    BTW – I don’t think that the blog reads like a letter at all and even if it did it doesn’t matter since it’s your blog and your POV. The beauty of a blog. It’s your corner of the internet. 🙂

    • amberinnyc says:

      Thanks Amanda!

      Wow, I can’t even imagine having to put up a fight to express your creative side! I’m glad you pushed forward. You are right: it is your life!

      OAN: I love colors. Graphic design is one of my secret careers in my mind 🙂

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