Don’t Let Dissuaders Keep You from Your Dream!

Has anyone tried to dissuade you from pursuing your dream? Here are just a few dissuading arguments: 1) it is time for you to grow up and be responsible, 2) if it were such a good idea, someone would have done it already, 3) you should have done that when you were younger, 4) you shouldn’t push yourself so hard, and 5) you could mess up your life if it does not work out.

The next time someone tries to dissuade you from your dream, consider the Greek meaning of dissuade–to cause someone to lose heart or to deprive someone of the will to persist toward something–and then remember the following story by Jenny Laster of Cincinnati, OH.

The reality is that so many of us have been beat down and laughed at for having dreams that we have learned to shut off that most creative and wonderful part of being ourselves. We have learned–experience has taught us–that dreams only come true in fables. We have been taught to believe that dreams come true for the lucky, but not for most of us.

I am proof that dreams do come true. For years, I thought and dreamed about getting my Ph.D. and then, the dissuaders stepped forth. My dissuaders told me I was too old; my career was complete, so why bother. My dissuaders even told me that I would be out-of-place and out of step. The funny thing was all of the dissuaders were in my brain. I discussed my decision to get my Ph.D. with my sister; I told her I worried about being seventy-three at graduation. My sister’s response was, “Guess what? You’re going to be seventy-three whether you graduate or not.” At the age of sixty-nine, I enrolled in a Ph.D. program. After the first semester, I suffered the loss of my sister and decided I didn’t need to continue. The Associate Dean convinced me to become a part-time student and stay with the program. I am now seventh-three and have completed my classwork. This summer I will take my comprehensive exam. The next step will be writing my dissertation. My expected date of graduation is October 2014 (note I said expected, not hoped for or maybe). I will be seventy-four. Don’t listen to dissuaders. I have learned that self-doubt is one of the biggest killers of dreams.

What has been most astounding as I have lived my dream has been the number of women, both young and old, who have told me that I have encouraged them to go back to school and to live out their dream. This is my legacy: not what I did, but what I have encouraged other women to do.

Read the rest of Jenny’s story in the foreword of Are You Riding in the Back Seat of Your Dream?

Subscribe to this blog and share your story of silencing dissuaders in pursuit of your dream.

My very best to you, Diane


About Diane Jordan-Grizzard

Diane's mission is to serve as midwife to the birth of men and women's dreams and possibilities. Diane lived in Liberia, served as a midwife, owned a business, and witnessed the military coup. These experiences and her formal studies inform her approach to executive coaching, large and small group facilitation, writing and speaking. She has 20 years experience in organizational leadership and effectiveness.
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