To Those Who Think They Can Derail My Dreams

Dreams do not have to be compared. Dreams are not a race. Dreams are not a competition.

I’ve always been taught that you should build others up, not tear them down. I’ve been taught to be supportive, to be happy, and to cheer others on. I’ve been taught another’s success does not degrade your own. Life is not always a competition. It’s about finding your own way, your own path and your own joy.

I feel like some people missed that lesson somewhere.

Working on dreams, especially big one’s, isn’t easy. It’s a rough road, filled with hours of work and countless detours. There are big and small milestones, but the miles are grueling. Still, we chase our wild dreams to uncover our personal trails to happiness.The passion inside and the go-get it work ethic entices us forward. We keep striving for that dream we’ve got inside. We make the decision to go for it, and we just let loose.

But there’s something about going after dreams that makes people suspicious. There’s a constant questioning and a demeaning view of someone chasing something big. In some people, even those who you thought were on your side, a dark, angry jealousy sometimes erupts when you go after your dreams.

I don’t understand why.

I don’t know why people think another person’s dreams ― or achievement of those dreams ― should be viewed as a threat. We’re all just trying to find our way in life. Successes, big or small, on the way to dreams do not diminish anyone else. They simply equate to a realization of one’s purpose and true joy.

Dreams do not have to be compared. Dreams are not a race. Dreams are not a competition.

Unfortunately, many dreamers get hung up on those around them who hope they fail or revealing their jealousy.

How can you not be a little hurt by hurtful comments, cruel gossiping, or even sabotaging acts? Most often, when you’re going after your dream, you’re still working on building confidence in yourself. Sometimes you’re even faking it.

Going after dreams isn’t for the weak. It’s risky and scary. It’s exhausting, and the fear of failure looms close by. So the fact that some people are crossing their fingers that you fail can hurt. The fact that people you thought would be happy for you are secretly trying to derail you is painful.

I’ve come to learn, though, that you can’t focus on those trying to trip you up or knock you off your path. Focus on those who build up and not those who tear down. Focus on those who will share in your journey, good and bad, successes and failures. Focus on the people around you who want you to find your happiness, not take away from it.

Most of all, I’ve come to learn that when you have a dream, you have to buy into it for yourself. You have to find the strength to chase the dream, no matter what. There will always be people who try to stand in your way. There will be people who lie about you, manipulate you, and try to ruin your pathway to your goal. There will be the naysayers and the haters. There will be those who shake your confidence. There will even be those who, when you achieve your dream, try to rip you down and suggest you don’t deserve it.

But you have to believe in yourself more than they believe you will fail. You have to be proud enough of yourself to ignore the jealous hate and bask in the moment you did earn.

You have to be so in-tune with your inner voice and spirit that no one can shake your belief in your dream.

So to those who think you can derail my can’t.

To those who think you can derail anyone from their can’t.

To those who show their jealousy over someone else’s realization of a dream, reevaluate yourself. Why choose to tear down others when you can build them up? Why choose to define yourself by someone else’s realization of a goal?

Why choose to derail others’ dreams and others’ happiness when instead you should focus on your own?

Lindsay Detwiler is a contemporary romance author and high school English teacher. Learn more about her seven novels at