To Every Doubter You're Succeeding Without

To Every Doubter You're Succeeding Without

While you're busy putting me down and making fun of my dreams, I'll be busy making them come true.
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Most everyone has experienced having a dream or a goal that someone you know didn't support.

Maybe you want to be an actor, but your parents want you to go to medical school.

Maybe you want to be a doctor, but your teachers don't think you're smart enough.

Maybe you love to sing, but someone said you didn't sound good.

No matter what the dream or goal, everyone has experienced this at some point. Maybe it was your parents, your teachers, your so-called "friends," even a significant other.

This is a letter to all of those people that doubted you, and you proved them wrong.

* * *

Dear Doubters,

I'm sure you thought you would be right. I'm sure you thought that I wouldn't succeed. But I did. You thought you could laugh at me, make fun, or convince me it would never happen. You couldn't see how much that dream meant to me. You couldn't get past your own personal agenda to support me. Maybe it didn't fit with your life. Maybe you thought I wasn't good enough, or maybe you even thought I could do better. No matter what you thought, I proved you wrong.

Maybe you didn't realize how much your lack of support hurt me, or maybe that was your intention. But it did. In life, you lean on the people around you to lift you up, to support you. That's part of what family, friends, and relationships are for. I depended on you to push me, to support me, and you didn't. You had your own idea of what I would do in life. I couldn't do different, I couldn't do better. But you were wrong.

No matter how much your lack of support or your hurtful words tried to bring me down, I didn't let it. I continued to work for my goals. I continued to chase my dreams. I fought for what I wanted in life. And I'm still fighting. Without your support.

So how does it feel? To put all of your effort into bringing me down, and for it still not to work. To make fun of me, while others admire. To see me achieving all of my goals, while you're too busy bringing others down to even work on yours. I hope it feels like a punch to the gut because that's what it felt like to have someone like you do what you did.

So I'll continue fighting, striving, and achieving. I'll continue accomplishing the things you thought I couldn't, and being admired by the things you made fun of.

I'll use you as motivation. I'll use all the negativity you sent my way as motivation. It will only make victory so much sweeter.

I only hope that you'll finally stop putting others down, and focus on yourself.

Victoriously,

The Winner

Cover Image Credit: Sydney Moore

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Gender Should Not Be The Deciding Factor Of A Friendship

It is possible for a boy and a girl to be JUST FRIENDS!
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In today's society, we refuse to comprehend that a heterosexual relationship can be completely platonic. There is no friendship without the sexual tension, no two people can spend their time together unless they are attracted to one another. If one has a significant other but is also hanging out with someone else, they are cheating, not just hanging out with a friend.

Unfortunately, I have fallen victim in the past to believe the myth that two people of opposite attractions cannot have any type of relationship unless it is sexual.

But I am here to kill this myth and shed some light on why it is simply incorrect.

There are about a billion ways people can meet today. Past, classes, randomly on the street, at the gym, church, work, out, etc. The nice thing about meeting people, especially in a specific social situation or activity is that you most likely have something in common with them.

Believe it or not, you can have something in common with someone and enjoy that person enough to do that activity with them without it meaning anything else besides enjoying that person's company.

Another thing that needs to be made clear besides the sharing of a common hobby or view is the idea that while someone is in a relationship, they are allowed to have friends of the opposite gender and no, that does not mean they are cheating.

Gender has no effect on someone's personality and personality is what brings friend together.

Saying you are not allowed to have friends if they are the opposite gender or sex as you is just cruel.

Assuming that two people are together just because of what they look like is just one of society's huge problems. We make so many assumptions just from a single look and make judgments from those assumptions when many times, there is no basis to go off of. This causes so many problems in relationships and friendships alike that are simply unnecessary. Problems including the start of rumors and lies which are all too common these days and have a tendency to ruin relationships.

There is no truth without cold hard fact but many times if someone has doubt in themselves or has any doubt at all in their mind, the slightest tip-off can get them going and commonly, people take this doubt the wrong way which tears people apart.

Maybe we want someone to blame.

Maybe you’ve had the same best friend for years and all of a sudden someone else comes along and takes some of their attention, perhaps you are in a committed relationship with someone and they make a new friend who you see as a threat.

In either of these cases, would the situation always be worse if that new person was of the opposite gender/sex/attraction? More likely than not the answer is yes. Why? Because we are challenged.

We are shoved in between a rock and a hard place trying to figure out why we are so threatened all of a sudden and the answer is very simple really.

Everyone that is not us, is able to bring something else to the table that we may not and vice versa. When this new person comes along it is almost always a million times worse if they are a hinder to you. You suddenly become angry, jealous and petty over the smallest things you would never care about had this new friend been the same gender as your significant other or best friend etc. We feel so threatened, so unconfident that someone else is able to step in and take what we have that we often end up making things worse for ourselves.

So, my dear audience, take it from someone that learned the hard way, people can have a relationship with someone of the opposite sex/gender without it being sexual.

We can have friends in this world that aren't exactly like us and there is nothing wrong with that, we should not be punished and you should not punish others for who they enjoy the company of. Calm down and see what's really going on if there is truly a worry about infidelity or the loss of friendship. Think about the trust that you have in whatever relations you have currently and remember that being jealous and saying things you don’t mean is never worth losing someone you care about.

Cover Image Credit: Shayna Rosenberg

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I Let Myself Become A Bully When I Gave Into Peer Pressure, And It’s Something I’ll Never Forget

I did something terrible that I'll never let myself forget, but I've learned and grown from it.
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There are certain moments in each person’s life that they’ll never forget, moments that replay in their minds for weeks or months and stick with them for years. Moments that shape the person into who they’ll become, whether that be for better or for worse. No matter how much we regret and want to take these moments back, we can’t. But we can learn from them.

For me, this moment happened in the third grade. It probably isn’t an event that anyone else who was involved in remembers, but I do. In third grade, I ended up in a class without any of my friends, and like anyone else would, I tried to find another group of people I could stay with for the year. I tried to integrate myself into a group of girls I was already slightly acquainted with, and although I never truly felt like I was part of their clique no matter how hard I tried, at least I had people to talk to in class. I wasn’t alone.

When Julie first transferred into our class, I wanted to be her friend. Everyone did. She was pretty, smart, funny and one of the nicest people in the grade. We even talked a few times when I was trying to get to know her. I guess that’s why “my” group of friends started to hate her.

It wasn’t that everyone in the group hated her — it was only one girl, Kira. Everyone else, including me, just followed her like she was some sort of leader, though I’m not too sure why. I guess she hated that everyone else loved Julie so much instead of her.

When you’re in third grade, there isn’t much you can do against a person you dislike, but people always seem to find a way to bully. Kira decided to start a “I hate Julie” club as her form of bullying and expected the rest of the group to join her. She told us we could join if we wanted to, but the look in her eyes made me feel like she didn't mean it. When everyone else agreed tried to convince me, I really felt like I had no choice.

I’m not sure why I didn’t stop them or tell them that what they were doing was wrong. I don’t know why I didn’t tell the teacher but signed my name on their paper instead. Maybe I still wanted to be part of their group, or maybe I didn’t want a “I hate Rida” club starting either.

Julie eventually found out what we were doing when she overheard Kira talking to a few other girls about it and saw the "I hate Julie" sheet signed by Kira, me and the rest of the group. I don't think she hated us after that, but she didn't talk to me again after. She stuck with the rest of the class and avoided our group whenever she could. I felt terrible.

The guilt ate at me every time I saw her, but I was too embarrassed and ashamed to apologize to her until several weeks later.

I’ll never let myself forget what I did. In middle school, years after Julie told me she forgave me and we started talking again, I promised myself I wouldn’t forget the look of hurt and sadness on her face or the disappointment on my teacher’s when she saw my name on the list. A pang of guilt still hits me every time I think about it, just as strong as it was on that day.

This is one of the worst things I’ve ever done. Although I can never take back or fix, I can learn from it. Because that day, I learned that I should never hurt another, that I should stand strong for what I believe in and that I should never give in to peer pressure. I didn’t realize that was what it was at the time, but when you feel like you have to do something because another student says to, that’s peer pressure.

After this, I’ve gone through middle and high school acting cautious of the people I chose to befriend and the things I chose to do.

I now know what peer pressure looks like and that it’s better to be strong and turn away from it, but that’s not the case for many other kids. Peer pressure is strongest in middle and high school, and there are still kids struggling against it. For those who have never had an experience like mine, learn from it. Understand that it’s never worth it, and that you’ll never be happier than when you do the things that you know are right instead of obeying others.

And for those who have been through something similar, I hope you find the faults in your ways and try to right them. Use your wrongdoings as a reminder to keep making the right choices, but don’t punish yourself with them.

I don’t think what I did makes me a horrible person. I think I’m human — I make mistakes, but I learn from them and try to fix myself. And I try to tell others in the hope that they can learn from it without having to go through what I did.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Bruno Cervera

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