Somehow, there are naysayers out there everywhere we go. They may've had their inspiration and optimism stomped on by someone in their past and they can't allow anyone to succeed due to their own insecurities. They rain on your parade in order to keep your light from shining in their face.
I say: tune out. Don't even tune in to that energy. Only tune in to what IS, the people who DO get it- even it's only ONE OTHER PERSON. I'm serious. Focus on the positive. Focus only on the people who resonate with what you are putting out there, those who are hungry for and appreciate what you are doing. Even if there is only a handful of you doing it and meeting up; it doesn't matter how big your group is. When two or more people are gathered together to experience something creative, that is meaningful and it is valuable. It will grow! Keep doing the work, and keep speaking the positive energy into existence! They can't take it away from you. The naysayers cannot negate what you are creating, and they can't stop you, either.
When you encounter someone who appreciates what you are doing, let it soak in. Absorb the appreciation they feel for what you are doing, and let it carry you. Let that be your force field of positive energy, and let that be the guiding force that keeps you moving. Your work matters and you are doing it for the ones who want it, not those who don't.
An important item to remember: It is ok to acknowledge critique, and accept constructive criticism. What you do not want to do though, is internalize negativity, take criticism personally and dwell on any errors. One critical instruction is this: DO NOT engage on negative websites like Topix. Those anonymous sites are cesspools for negativity and there is nothing to gain from a debate on those sites, because it always descends into illogical, unabashed negativity. My strategy is to simply take the high road and not engage. I enjoy letting other members of the community come to the defense of our work, without us having to step in. In extreme cases where false information is being put out there and you find it absolutely necessary to handle, a simple link to an informative article or a short message to refute the assertions will do. In cases of slander, write to Topix and have them remove it for violation of their policy.
Write editorials regularly and have other community members do the same. Be proactive with your positive energy and make sure you are speaking that energy into existence. You'll be surprised how far it can spread.
Focus only on the positive energy. This is the mantra I have lived by, and it is the way we have survived all these years.
The most important piece of all of this is persistence. Being persistent has absolutely been the key to our success. Never give up! Too many people start a project and if it doesn’t succeed right away, they throw up their hands and declare that it’s impossible. They’re missing the point! You’re changing a paradigm—that shift doesn’t happen overnight because you may be challenging decades of an old way of thinking. Every day, your words and actions show people new possibilities. Even when you feel defeated, even when the numbers are underwhelming, even if only one other person “gets it,” be consistent. Keep that good stuff flowing and believe in the power of your dream.
I invite you to reach out to us any time about any of this material (and find more at createyourstate.org). If there is a topic not covered that you’d like to see explored, please let us know and we’ll be happy to create custom content for you. Spark a conversation with us through the website, by phone, Skype, Facebook messenger, or any way you’d like to communicate. We’re here for you as a resource, and we’re cheering you on!
Imagine. Dream. Believe. Together, we can change the world.
by Lori McKinney
Creator and Community Organizer