“No” – a word that is so simple, yet so powerful when used in answering a question. This two-lettered word can create a world of hurt for someone who has big ambitions and is denied the opportunity to see their goals flourish.
We all hear this word so many times throughout our lives that many of us become immune, in a way, to the results of the simplistic, yet straight-forward answer.
Often times the negating starts whenever we are very young; most of us can remember a time whenever we wanted to do something, be someone, or participate in something that we strongly desired to do, to be, or to help with and we were shot down.
Maybe it was your parent, a friend, a teacher or someone else that you admired and looked up to who told you that you might want to rethink your goals and/or “try something else.”
I knew from a very early age that one day, when I grew up, I wanted to become a doctor. I had a little doctor’s kit that good, old Santa Claus brought me one Christmas and since then, it was only brought out for very special occasions.
Every now and then, whenever either of my parents became ill and had to stay home for the day, “Dr. Bishop’s” doctor’s kit got to come out of the toy box and make an appearance for the sickly.
I took my job as Dr. Bishop extremely seriously because I knew with all my heart that if Momma or Daddy was sick, my doctor’s kit and I could get them all fixed up and better again.
From the shot (that had to hurt in order to work) to the mallet/hammer (that was a “customized addition” to the kit thanks to another toy set), I knew that I would have my Momma or Daddy feeling better in no time!
After they had endured as much treatment/torture as they could stand, they finally decided that Dr. Bishop’s medical kit needed to go into hiding for some time. I was distraught and felt like a bird without its wings whenever it came time to “practice” medicine and I had no tools to actually treat my patients with.
I was angry! Furious! Everything in my little four-year-old world had fallen apart because my dreams of becoming a doctor were ruined now that I could no longer practice.
Looking back, I thank God that my parents said “no more” to getting beat up on by a four-year-old playing doctor because they truly did not deserve that kind of punishment!
I am also thankful that they found other ways to inspire me to continue on with my dreams of becoming a doctor; I was encouraged to set my sights high and my parents were the best at coming home from long work days to help me on homework.
Later on during grade school, I was constantly reminded of my weakness in math by struggling grades and teachers who did not seem to understand why I was struggling so much in that particular subject.
I was a straight “A” student in every other subject but math and I remember being told more than once that “doctors have to be good at math.” What was probably intended to be constructive criticism by many of those people was actually very crushing for me to hear.
I was a hard-worker and if I did not understand a lesson the first time it had been taught to me, I would go back over and over the lesson until it finally made sense. Math was different because it seemed to be a foreign language since regardless of how many times I practiced problems and went back over lessons, it just did not seem to click.
I can remember feeling defeated and as if I would never accomplish my dream. I felt inferior and thought that maybe I should start thinking about a different path for my future.
Luckily, we are always provided with those special angels who help us whenever we need it the most. My Talented and Gifted teacher found very creative ways for me to better understand the math lessons that I had problems with and if it were not for her, I would still struggle significantly to this day. My dreams of becoming a doctor were restored.
I am now a Pre-Med student at Texas Christian University and although the journey is a difficult one, I am confident in following through with the plan that is laid out for me. We are not meant to accomplish our wildest dreams in the blink of an eye; the path is supposed to be a winding and curving one so that we prove to ourselves that our ultimate goals really are worth fighting for.
It seems that most of the academic advisors that I have encountered along my journey as a college student have tried to steer me away from the path towards medical school. I have been reminded time and time again to “have a really good Plan B.”
And as discouraging as that may sound, I have grown to enjoy those types of encounters because it only fuels my fire to follow through with my dream.
“No” is an inevitable word. We will hear it in its many different forms from those that we seek advice, relationships, and opportunities from. Some of the people that we rely on most to keep us going for our goals can be the same people who discourage us at certain points in our life.
This is okay. As a matter of fact, we need those counteractive forces telling us that we cannot do something so that we give it 150% instead of just the standard, old 100%.
Whether you want to become a celebrity, professional athlete, astronaut, or anything else for that matter, I say “let your dreams give you wings” and GO FOR IT!
Expect that you will have obstacles to overcome and certainly expect that you will have people there along the way questioning your goals and discouraging you from accomplishing them; let that be the fuel to your fire, or should I say, “let that be the extra wind under your wings?”
Whichever you choose, just remember that if you want something badly enough, you can do it. Your success is not dependent upon other peoples’ approval or satisfaction. And if you need an extra little spark of encouragement: I believe in you and your abilities like I believe that the sun will set at the end of the day.
Until next time,
Sterling Bishop is Miss Hunt County 2014.