What Do You Do if Someone You Admired Discouraged You from Doing What You Love?

Are you talking about my mom?

Hi mommy!

How are you?

I miss you! <33333

When I was younger, my mommy used to always tell me, “Don’t do that. You can’t do it. It’s stupid. It won’t work.”

Then I would get sad and think, “This sucks. My mommy doesn’t love me or believe in me. She thinks I’m stupid and a waste of space. Why do I exist again? I must be the biggest loser in the world. So much of a loser, that my own blood relative and mother doesn’t believe in me.”

Later, I came to reflect back on those moments, seeing them through the eyes of a spectator, as if I was watching a movie.

My mommy wasn’t telling me that I couldn’t do it nor make it work. What she was really trying to say was, “I tried this myself. I failed and was extremely bitter about the whole experience. I don’t want you to do it because I want to protect you from failing, because it has made such a huge negative impact in my life. I don’t want you to go through the same thing.”

However, she just didn’t know how to communicate the message properly, so the words came out wrong. I took them personally and it affected my confidence and who I was, when they were meant to have good intentions of protecting me from eminent failure.

Nonetheless, being the stubborn kid I was, I did try to do it regardless. I did end up failing. However, I was able to finally differentiate the words my mommy had told me. Even though the words that came from her mouth said, “You’re going to fail”, she truly meant from her heart, “Please don’t try because you might experience, first hand, the exact pain I did. I want to protect you from that.”

So, sometimes people say what they do. However, their intent is completely different from what they say. It takes age, perspective and wisdom to understand the truth behind words. Some of us never figure this out, while others do. I hope you are able to one day understand the true intent of the words that were stated to you, as they may not have been directed to you, but could be caused by their own shortcomings in life.

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim consults startups and writes books like The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media

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