How Ignoring Others’ Doubts Helped Me Reach My Dreams


Throughout my life, many people have told me that my dreams were “unacceptable.”

My biggest aspiration was to be a photographer, designer, and artist — but I didn’t achieve it. A big reason that my dream failed is that others told me that it was unrealistic and wouldn’t get me anywhere in life. Hearing my loved ones say I needed to choose a “realistic” career path instead of following my dreams really hurt.

My family members have careers in the financial industry, the medical field, and the government, and they expected me to pursue a career in one of those fields as well. But even when I tried to attend my dream school to study finance, my family still told me that my dreams were “unrealistic” because of the cost of the school that I chose. This frustrated me because not only did I have to pursue someone else’s dreams, but when I tried to please my family, they still wouldn’t support my decisions.

I ended up pursuing degrees in international criminal justice and English.

I graduated with a degree but no prospects and worked several odd jobs. Once again, I had to figure out what I wanted to do next and how I planned to accomplish my goals. I still wanted to be an artist but felt like it wasn’t feasible.

My parents used my lack of job prospects and direction against me.

I felt like life defeated me, like everyone expected me to adhere to their expectations instead of letting me chase my own. I felt like my parents’ ideologies would always keep me behind in life. Could being a woman in a South Asian family have contributed to my ongoing struggle to figure out my career? If I listened to my heart, would I be happy with my life and career?

However, I took some additional training, and these courses allowed me to start a successful career in tech.

Not only did this approach support my newfound interests, but it also helped me land a job with a great salary and an amazing company culture.

This time, without listening to anyone’s doubt, I decided to find a path in tech — and I did. I was able to pivot and become a project and program manager in the tech field. For the first time in my life, where I took the reins, and moved ahead, and listened to my heart. I found something I enjoyed — and something I could succeed in.

When I started my tech career, not only did I face a large learning curve, but I also heard family members give a lot of negative feedback about my choices. My family constantly told me that this path was unrealistic or wasn’t worthy of even a bare minimum salary. I still heard that I didn’t have any prospects. However, I knew that if I gave in and listened to them, I would never be OK with myself. I haven’t given up on my new dreams, and I know that I never will.

It took me facing sadness, unhappiness, and dissatisfaction to realize that I needed to stop listening to everyone else and choose a career path that I love. Today, I enjoy being a photographer and artist in my own time and have made peace with not directly using my degree. No matter what, I constantly strive for bigger goals. My journey to find a career I love taught me to listen to myself and never stop pursuing my dreams.

Featured Photo by Alexander Ramsey on Unsplash.


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