Nowadays, we are constantly being bombarded with messages telling us what to wear, what to drive, what job to have, where to bank or what to buy. With social media, those messages are being proliferated at such a rapid pace that it can be challenging to figure out who you are and love yourself exactly for who you are and who you aren’t.

Society and social media is one thing but it can be painful when those closest to you don’t accept you or better yet, want you to change to fit a mold that they want you to have for your life. You may be on a quest to be the first in your family to break the mold. Because your loved ones don’t understand, they reject the idea, tell you to do something “safe” or ask you questions like, “Are you sure you want to do that?”

You’re not alone. I come from a Latino household where success looks only one way. It’s to get a good, safe job with benefits, make sure to collect a paycheck every two weeks and the only season to look forward to is income tax refund time. I come from a world where living on purpose isn’t encouraged, it’s actually frowned upon.

I struggled for years before I decided to pursue my purpose because I was paralyzed by the fear of their rejection. But then I realized that what I have been called for, I have been gifted for and so are you!

People will impose their own fears and lack of understanding onto you and you must be aware of when that’s happening. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself living to please the opinion of others. In this life, you can’t make everyone happy all the time. The only happiness that matters is yours.

Lies tell us that we’re not good enough to pursue the life we truly yearn for. We then compare our lives to our counterparts and what we begin to feel are another set of lying thoughts that usually go a little something like –

“I don’t come from much. How can I ever make this happen?”
“I’m not as gifted as she is, there’s no way I can do that.”
“____________ wants me to become a doctor because of the safe income, so that’s what I’m going to be.”
“I’m not as beautiful as she is, so there’s no way I can find a good man and get married. Besides, all men are no good anyway.”

All of these thoughts are rooted in internal fears like the fear of rejection, the fear of failure and the fear of the unknown.  If you’re not careful, you’ll allow these fears to deceive you from becoming who you have been called to be and from doing what you have been created to do.

You were created with a purpose and you have your own talents, gifts and abilities. I cannot do what you’ve been called to do; only you can. Think about that – only you can do what you have been called to do, no one else!

I know it can be painful to go outside the box and pursue what makes you happy when loved ones don’t understand but it’s your life and not theirs. You have to garner the courage to go after what makes sense for you because only you can do what you can do. The world is waiting for you to step into your purpose!

Some people will never understand and that’s fine. Their opinion of you shouldn’t change your opinion of yourself. Trust that when it’s time for them to understand they will.

As for now, focus all your energy on you and not them.


Maria I. Melendez