I recently had someone close to me lash out at me.

It hurt. It stung.

He wasn’t happy about something I had written and chose to make it personal, insulting me, criticizing my writing, saying how useless my articles were to him, how I wasn’t good at what I do and why I shouldn’t even try to advise others to chase their dreams because I’m still struggling to reach mine.

It was out of the blue, and hard to accept especially since it came from someone I knew for years. But after taking some time to calm down and gather my thoughts, I came to a realization.

You will always have people who hate you for what you do. They won’t like who you are or care about what your dreams or ideals are — they’ll try to stop you from doing what you want to do, simply because one, they don’t know what you have to put up with, and two, they lack the courage themselves to make the change they want in their own lives.

These people will always have an opinion about your decisions and your lifestyle because it’s easier to critique and insult others than it is to reflect and take initiative upon their own. They’re entitled to an opinion of course, but at the end of the day, that’s all it is: just an opinion.

I know it will be tough to confront people who don’t like or believe in what you do. But just believe in yourself and don’t take s*** from anyone — even if it’s your best friend or family.

Your decisions are your decisions. Nobody can take that away from you. As long as you keep pushing towards your ambitions and goals, you’ll eventually get there. But if you doubt yourself once because of something someone said, you’ll always find yourself being held back from doing what you want.

So what will it be?

The life you want or the life your criticizers have?

You make the choice.