Don’t listen to dream squashers

Hi ya, chickadee!

One of the many reasons I’m grateful that the Internet came along is the opportunity to discover amazing, inspiring, dreams-achieving people! It’s just so refreshing, especially if you find yourself around a lot Debbie Downer-type, regrets-holding grownups.

Dana Sitar is one of my favorite bloggers! Interested in being a writer or a creator of any kind? Check out her website, DIY Writing. It’s packed with resources, helpful tips and inspiration. And…her soon-to-be-released book, A Writer’s Bucket List, is awesome! It reminds me why I love writing and creating. Dana’s really cool. She decided that her major fear of public speaking wasn’t a good thing so what’d she do? Stand-up comedy! Faced that fear and conquered it. Impressively bold, I know!

I’m so excited that she’s my guest here today to share about dreams. So, little dove, meet my inspiring friend Dana:


author dana sitarThanks to Jody so much for having me! This is such a beautiful community that perks me up whenever I read, and I’m excited to be a part of it with all of you today.

I’m super-pumped 2013 is finally here, because the release of my first ebook for writers, A Writers Bucket List is just around the corner. I’ve been working on this book (and its ginormous launch plan) for about nine months now, and I can’t believe it’s so close!

The biggest message I want to get out through this book (and maybe my whole career) is, “If you want to follow your dreams, you have to get started — try something!”

Everyone has a dream, and as you grow up you’re encouraged to follow your dreams. But as you grow up even more, you realize that youre actually being encouraged to follownormaldreams that everyone else has — you know, be a firefighter, a teacher, a pilot, you can be whatever you want to be, as long as it’s something we’ve already defined as possible.

What if you have an unusual dream? What if you want to be a painter or a writer or a magician? Suddenly people start withdrawing their promises of “you can be whatever you want to be.”

First of all, if you have a so-called unusual dream, consider yourself lucky. You’re creative, you’re unique, you’re an individual, and you’re going to blow people’s minds one day! But, when you have a dream people aren’t used to, there will always be naysayers. People who don’t understand your dream — especially if they don’t understand how you’ll make a living doing it — will encourage you to do something more typical instead.

Why do they do that? Why are they so willing to encourage you to be a teacher but not a novelist?

The simple answer is, They’re afraid.

They love you, and they’re afraid you won’t succeed, and they worry about your well-being. Maybe they’re afraid to follow their own unusual dreams, and they’re jealous of your bravery. Maybe they’ve never met a painter or writer or magician in real life, and they’re simply afraid of the unknown.

The cool part about having an unusual dream and following it is that you’re overcoming your fears. You probably have fears just like theirs, but you’re facing and overcoming them, because you know how important your dream is.

But when people you care about or respect start telling you that your dream isn’t going to work out, that you should try something else, it can get under your skin. It can start to make you worry and wonder if maybe they’re right. It could even make you decide to stop following your dream.

Don’t let that happen!

Your dream is too important to be squashed by silly naysayers and their unfounded fears.

When someone tells you your dream isn’t going to work out, you tell them, It will, too! Help them understand why it’s so important to you and that you can, indeed, succeed. But remember that they’re worried for you because they don’t understand, so try to explain your dream to them in ways that help them understand.

Talk about what they think is important.

If your mom is worried that you can’t make money as a writer, don’t tell her that you have to be a writer because of your passion. Explain to her the ways that new writers make a living and how that fits into your plan. Pick a famous writer she’s heard of, and learn together about the path that person took to success.

Put it into perspective.

If your friends don’t think you can succeed as an actor because they only know about movie stars, whose lives are so far removed from their own, help them understand how complex the industry is. Tell them about a theater troupe in your area or a small web series or successful T.V. commercials, where actors are making a living even if they’re not well-known.

Share your confidence!

If your classmates are jealous of your bravery and self-confidence, share it with them! Become a motivator, and encourage them to face their fears and follow their own unusual dreams.

Positivity is infectious, and once you help them realize that their dreams are possible, they’ll of course understand that yours are, too.

And, remember, if all else fails, the bottom line is you don’t have to listen to naysayers. Your dream doesn’t depend on their approval. Only you can make or break your dreams.

Dana Sitar is a freelance journalist and indie author. Her latest ebook, A Writer’s Bucket List, is a launching point for all of the possibilities of being a writer, a kick-in-the-butt for those who don’t know what to do next, and a simple guide to help writers forge their own unique career/life paths.

From Jody: Amen, Dana, amen. Follow Dana’s adventures and check out her advice via DIY Writing, Facebook and Twitter (@danasitar).


  1. says

    Thanks Jody for introducing us to Dana.

    Interesting points here but it’s not just for unusual dreams when support and enthusiasm can wain. Sometimes, any dream, that goes against society’s expectations can be confronted with negativity by the dream squashers. I could have a much more stable job and earn a lot more but chose not to in order to pursue what’s important to me. Sometimes when the negativity is too much, I just tell people what they want to hear. haha but these tips are good to redirect naysayers

  2. Jeremy or IHeartTravel says

    I had seen the title of this post a couple of days ago and just now got around to reading it. I’m so in love with material like this!!! I’m such an advocate for people living intentionally and dreaming big!

    Thanks for sharing such a great piece of work Jody & Dana : )


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