This One’s for the Trailblazers.

“Don’t go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This one’s for the trailblazers — The ones who break away from the trampled path, to go the undiscovered, uninhabited way.

How do you know you’re a trailblazer?

The trailblazers use their ticket for admission to live. They shake hands with the bouncer of life, fear. They look him straight in the eyes, shake his hand, and enter the gate. They are willing to embark on an untapped journey in spite of being scared. They hold hands with fear because they are willing to risk adventuring into the unknown, rather than remaining comfortable in the knowing, the predictable.

Here are four wisdoms, which encouraged me to go the other direction, straight into the forest of fear.

  1. When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself. ~Wayne Dyre

Gossip is born from boredom and insecurity. Negativity will always surround the base of the trailhead. It’s inevitable. The base of the trailhead is the congregating zone for all of the people too scared to do what you are doing. They are bored, so what do they do? They sit there and talk about everyone who walks by. Who’s walking by? The trailblazers.

Remember, the other trailblazers are not the ones gossiping or judging you. It is the people who are too insecure to stand up and trust they have the strength to forge ahead in their own direction, too.

I’ve learned not to devote a moment of concern or energy to the side-liners. They will always be there, with their pebble sized opinions and judgments that can only be thrown up and down in their own hands. Their words are not words about you, but about themselves – gossip and judgment are blatant symptoms of insecurity.

Loving, supportive, happy and self – confident people don’t gossip, and they certainly won’t judge you for the decisions you make.

So, don’t waste your time paying the judgers any attention. Turn around and walk on because in just a few steps you won’t be able to hear them, they’ll still be back there.

  1. What other people think of you is none of your business. ~Paulo Coelho

Exactly. It’s none of my business what you think of me whether it’s good or bad. Life is much simpler and more productive once this truth sinks in.

If the creators of the world spent their energy focused on what other people thought of them, nothing would get done – there would be no music, or books, or movies, or paintings, or buildings, or a civil rights act, or gay rights, etc.

The only person I am responsible for is myself – my thoughts, feeling and actions are mine and mine alone. Therefore, it is none of my business what your thoughts and feelings are about me: that’s your business. I’ll be over here, minding my own business — creating and blazing.

  1. If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection. ~Lacrae

If I live for everyone else’s acceptance, I will die without ever knowing myself. In that case, I might as well never have been born.

I’ve recognized a trend with the relationships of a trailblazer, which I like to call, glorification and vilification:

They love you then they hate you.
Or, they just plain hate you.
Or, they just plain love you.
There is no in between.

A trailblazer has no time to rest his or her worth in the hands of another, whether it is filled with love or hate. Self – acceptance is the only way to do this life and the work we are impassioned by.

Treat the haters and the lovers the same: neither of them are capable of lifting you up or taking you down — that’s an inside job, your job and yours alone.

  1. You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better. ~Anne Lamott

This one’s for the writer trailblazers. Our material is found in our daily lives. Our characters are the people we know. The moral of the stories are the lessons we learn from the material and the characters we encounter. I own my experiences and I have every right to write them as I see them, as I feel them, as I hear them.

My friend passed on a wisdom her professor gave her, “To be a writer, you have to be brutal.”

To be a trailblazer you have to be brutal, too —

Brutally courageous
Brutally sensitive
Brutally open
Brutally protective
Brutally intuitive
Brutally aware
Brutally honest
Brutally ambitious
Brutally fallible and imperfect —
You have to be brutally yourself.

Trailblazers are always brutally, unapologetically themselves. ~Rebecca

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