Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.—Pursuit of Happyness
Growing up I had always wanted to be an artist. Unlike most immigrant parents, my mom supported my passion, and never pressured me to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. She firmly believed that there was no point in forcing your child to do something they have no passion in.
Fast forward to the present, and I am a UX designer in the tech industry. I’m still trying to teach her the difference between an “artist” and a “designer,” and what it means to be a “user experience designer.” I confide in my mom about work and my doubts as a designer. My mom, well intentioned, often questions my occupation.
“Why are you doing this to yourself?”
“What’s the point in all this if you aren’t happy?”
“[Your job/occupation] sounds too difficult. Why don’t you look for something easier?”
She always follows it up with a “All I want for you is to be happy… it hurts me to see you miserable.” I’m paraphrasing and loosely translating, but the sentiment is still there. Like I said, she’s well-intentioned, but at the same time it disappoints me that she wants me to hold myself back and not take a risk. When she started questioning my profession, I immediately recalled the scene from Pursuit of Happyness where Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, tells his son who is attempting to shoot hoops that he should give up. Dejected, his son, played by Jaden Smith, throws the ball aside and slumps to his father’s side. Chris encourages his son to always pursue his dream even if everybody else tells him he can’t.
Although those closest to you can unintentionally—or worse, intentionally—degrade your worth and confidence, remember that what they say shouldn’t consume you, and leave you doubting your abilities.
It’s sometimes difficult for me because these external voices feed into my biggest adversary of all: myself, particularly that voice in my head that spews doubts or lies about my “flaws.”
I’m still working on overcoming and conquering this opponent, but whenever I feel insecure and begin doubting whether I’m good enough, I blast a song called NEVER MIND by International KPOP sensation sunshine rainbow traditional transfer USB hub shrimp BTS (if you didn’t get that reference, I recommend watching Bon Voyage Season 2). Min Yoongi, aka SUGA, proclaims in NEVER MIND to continue pushing forward through your mistakes and to never give up on your dreams. As Yoongi says, engrave NEVER MIND on your chest.
This is gonna sound preachy, but if you’re struggling with people questioning you or even if you’re doubting yourself, continue to push forward and go achieve whatever goals or dreams you have. “NEVER MIND” the doubts, the haters, and the fears that may hold you back. You have the capability and power to be to the best you. You can do it 👊