This post was inspired by recent conversations with my husband, as we learn to grow and transition between life seasons. Thankful for his willingness to learn and desire to succeed.
Lately, I have been reminded in so many ways of my gratitude for my husband and others in my life who are encouragers of my dreams. The importance of finding a husband or wife who supports your goals is of unparalleled significance. It should be at the top of that all-important checklist of must-have character traits when considering marriage (and friendship!).
Why is this so important? I mean, I am pretty self-motivated alone. The truth is, when we marry, we take on our spouse's identity to some degree and they take on yours. The individual identity of each person is the thread that makes up the fabric of your identity as a couple. When part of that thread is weak and faded, the tapestry isn't as beautiful and robust as it could be.... and someone is suffering inside.
What does this have to do with my dreams and goals? There is only one you in the entire world, and there will never be another that can accomplish the purpose for which you are created. Knowing and accepting your identity is the very lifeblood of your purpose. From there, acceptance turns into action. Having someone at your side that believes in you and your success every step of the way is essential to a healthy relationship, and then propels you further toward your dreams and goals. This life is meant to be shared. No person is meant to thrive in a completely solitary state.
Setting one another up to win
I have learned (the hard way) how imperative for a marriage relationship it is to be able to free your partner from your involvement in their own personal goals. You must be willing to support their ambitions without them having any dependency on you (aside from your encouragement). When we are allowed to relish in our own respective goals, we become stronger individuals by way of self-motivation, resilience, learning new things, and taking on new challenges. How this translates into your marriage is of incomparable value. The benefit to your identity as a couple is worth its weight in gold. When you release your partner to run after their purpose, your capacity to trust one another is also strengthened.
Release someone into their purpose, in turn, you will also be released to pursue yours.
Don't share your big dreams with small minds
Ladies from my weekly leadership group will remember this topic from one of our studies last month. I would take a risk and say that, I feel as though most everyone will learn this the hard way at some point in their life. You know, when you casually share that "one" idea with a few friends, not expecting them to run off with it. Some length of time after, you find out someone from said group has hijacked your idea, as if they thought of it on their own? and let's be real- if it's just as unique as you stated, then offense really sets in! Imagine such a vexing occurrence of "idea theft" and being left with the feeling of having been taken advantage of for your great idea. Am I the only one? I hope I'm not revealing too much of my own struggles!
Your dreams and purpose are to be protected as a valuable heirloom. This is why it so so important to not only know who your friends are, but who your dream keepers are. In a recent conversation with my husband about the importance of having mentors in your life, we agreed that it is difficult to find that one mentor that has it all. I will refrain from saying that it's impossible, because someone reading this might have! But from my perspective, having multiple mentors in your life enriches the development of your career, marriage, education, spiritual and personal life, and more with varying viewpoints to glean from. Again, as I mentioned earlier, we are meant to share this life. To me, that also entails learning from others expertise that exceeds yours in certain areas, and extending your knowledge to those who can benefit from it. Commit to someone else's success, and you in turn will also find it.
I don't actually think that any one particular person is "small-minded". I am uncomfortable labeling anyone that way. Compared to the level of development and the nature of your goals, some may be to you, though. And it's important to identify them and appreciate the fact that they are meant to share dreams with someone else, perhaps. Simply put, some people just will not understand your goals and where you are going. If they were there for you at one time, be thankful that they were there for that season of your life, and be open to seeking out new friends that know exactly where you've been and more importantly, where you are going in relation to where you are now. I asked one of my friends to give me her initial thoughts when we discussed this topic in our leadership group, and she had a great perspective. Obviously, you cannot simply exclude people from your life because they are not supportive (family, anyone?). So, the important key here is to "know the company you're in". Just because you are among certain people that will not support your dream, simply engage in other edifying conversation!
Let's explore another scenario. You have a dream in your heart that you are ready to pursue. Excitedly, you share it with someone, expecting to receive support and encouragement that will likely propel you further toward making that first step of bravery toward your dream. What you receive instead, is rejection. Ahh, rejection. Let me introduce to you, your new travel companion. Rejection is such an intrinsic part of the process. Determine from the beginning that rejection does not serve as an agent of hinderance, but rather, to prove how passionately you believe in what you're doing. Rejection is a not a wall built to keep you out, but to prove how inventive you can be to get past it. Sadly, rejection comes from people (of all things)! This is why it is undeniably essential to seek out trustworthy, seasoned mentors and friends. These are your dream keepers. They will not approve of your every move, or make you feel like you are incapable of making mistakes; but they will ask the imperative, yet hard questions. They are willing to challenge you because they know it'll help you grow and develop. They also know how to celebrate your success even if you surpass them in some way; as opposed to those who cannot due to the fact that they want you to stay on their level at the cost of you forsaking your innate dreams.
As your purpose unfolds, make new friends. Keep your focus steadfastly fixed on your end goal, but be willing to explore new things to learn along the way. Remember- There is only one you in the entire world, and there will never be another that can accomplish the purpose for which you are created.
Thanks for reading, friends.