Part of being a visionary is, by default in this day and age, being misunderstood.
Being a visionary means seeing things other people can’t or don’t want to see. So, when you present your visions to the world around you, it is inevitable that there will be some resistance.
Some will label you arrogant for being self-confident and self-aware. Thankfully, self-awareness allows you to be strong in who you are no matter how others label you.
Don’t get me wrong. Unless you’re on a level higher than I am, people’s condemning words can still sting.
But stinging is okay.
It’s better than what people’s words used to do to me.
Resistance to me used to fuel my anger and unrest to the point that I’d de-rail and escalatingly act out. At a certain point of acting out, my intentions have been muddied and I’ve put myself in situations that require a great deal of analysis and empathy for the average person to understand.
It took practice, reflection, analysis, and application to get to a point where people’s negative perceptions of me only sting, instead of send me off into a spiral of validation-seeking and acting out as used to be the case.
Being a visionary works best when you can love your detractors.
Imagine if Will and Orville Wright had pushed to make airplanes illegal for everyone who said that humans would never fly. All the detractors and their descendants.
The Wrights just kept doing their thing until it was done. And that’s the essence of what it means to be a visionary.
They had one advantage over me, in that they didn’t have the Internet, which would have enabled their detractors to make their opinions ubiquitously known. Anyone who wanted to bitch at them, had to send them letters or actually get off their butts and go speak with them directly.
(Most of my detractors are too lazy and socially awkward to do that, and so probably are most of yours).
But, honestly. If you have a vision, and your vision is more genuine than all the barriers around you that stand in the way of its fruition….
Then, it’s up to you to protect that. It’s up to you to nurture it. It’s up to you to protect and nurture yourself, so that you can be fortified in standing up for your vision against the cascading tides of resistance from a brainwashed society.
Even as a visionary, you are brainwashed, too. But you see through the conditioning. You see a path to change.
The more you talk about it, the more likely someone will say you have delusions of grandeur. Or a messiah complex. Or that you sound like a cult leader.
That’s a bunch of small-time bullshit. Keep going anyway.
If you let the insults get to you to the point of throwing you off-track, then you’re obviously not ready yet.
But that’s OK. You will be.
Keep living and keep learning. Keep striving to be the person you know deep down you were meant to be.
Let trolls be trolls.
And when you can, take every opportunity to empower the trolls.
The truth is, the trolls are going to be the best supporters of your vision, once you establish your credibility beyond reproach.
They are waiting for you to show them the way…
They are waiting for you to be the one to love them no matter how impossible they are…
So, be the one.
Be the visionary you were born to be, and the one that the world needs.
Also published on Medium.