As I explore new things, I’m careful with whom I discuss my future direction. I’m lucky to have a group of people who are supportive of me, regardless of what I choose to do. We discuss our goals, dreams, and where we see ourselves years down the line.

Guided by honest, gentle criticism, I want to nurture a mindset of openness. I want to see opportunities where I before saw potential failures.

I’m still learning to shrug off bad criticism. The kind that makes you shrivel up with shame, wondering why you even wanted to try.

“You can’t do it.”

I leapt to defend myself. “I’m going to do it anyway. I won’t know unless I try.”

But underneath my defiance, I felt self-doubt resurface. What if it’s too difficult? What if I’m not good enough? What if I burn out?

I turned back to my support system. I calmed down and realised – I don’t have to react. I don’t have to course correct because of anyone’s feedback

For the one time I was told to give up, five people wished me luck. And there are countless more people who are in between, who could not care less what I do with my life.

Find someone you can share your dreams with. And keep them safe together.