Keep Away From People Who Belittle Your Ambitions

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”  -Mark Twain

I love that quote and I totally agree with it. So much of what you will accomplish in life is influenced by the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with people who lift you up and encourage you to put yourself out there, to try, to make the attempt, even if it’s scary…if you surround yourself with those type of people then chances are you will do just that.

On the flip side if you surround yourself with people who tell you that you can’t, or that it’s impossible, or that you will likely fail…well then chances are you will avoid ever making the attempts…and that would be sad…

Many friends or family may point out the negative as a way to “keep you from getting hurt” because they love you and think they are doing you a favor. Don’t hesitate to tell them right up front that you realize there is a chance you may fail or that you may get hurt but that it’s important to you to at least try….then ask them to become your biggest cheerleaders…having a family that supports you can make the biggest difference of all.

Be careful not to confuse honest and constructive feedback that could help guide you along the way versus people who are belittling your ambitions. Seek out the constructive feedback as it can help you get where you want to go and always take the feedback graciously and with appreciation, even if you disagree with it. You never want to discourage advice that could prove to be most helpful so be careful not to push those people away.

Life is going to be challenging enough all on its own without layering on a group of people who try to belittle your ambitions.  There is no need for that added layer of complexity. So be sure to choose your friends wisely. Choose mentors who tell you that you can. Choose to associate with coworkers who focus on the positive and avoid the negative. Look for those really great people that make you feel that you too can become great!




  • Jan Kirkham says:

    Dear Amy,
    I read your post every day, it starts me off feeling good and reminds me to be all I can be. Thanks for the great thoughts. You are amazing!

    We are doing great, have a year down and stil going strong.
    Love to your whole family,

  • Joan L says:

    Hi Amy,

    What will be your next public event? I would love to hear you speak in person. Can you post on your Events or News tab?


  • Mike says:

    Excellent words. If you don’t mind, I’m going to pass your exact words to someone that I know that struggles in this area. Thanks

  • ATSU ISRAEL says:


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