When it Feels Like the Naysayers are Everywhere, Rise UP!

I am “Ms. Positive” all the time. In public, I project confidence and determination. But behind closed doors, no one is harder on themselves than me.

Yes, me. The one who preaches daily about blocking out the noise and pursuing your dreams against all odds.

I just released my Kayla series, the most ambitious dream I’ve ever had. Facebook ads are running 24 hours a day to spread the word. The series is beautiful. Not just the illustrations, but the message too.

These books are about the importance of family, inclusion, acceptance, and following your dreams, and the ads say this. Somehow, the overwhelming comments on these posts have been negative.
I felt defeated. I felt like, why am I doing this again? I know what I am doing is beautiful. I know what I am doing is needed. I know what I’m doing is important, but do you remember when I told you before that the negative is always louder than the positive? In this case, for some reason, the negative was all there was. Those who had positive responses to the ads just thought, oh, that’s nice and moved on, but the negatives never miss a chance to strike. And strike they did.

In response to defining my series as “the importance of family, inclusion, acceptance, and following your dreams,” some negative Nancy wrote “BS.” Except, she did not write BS, she spelled out the whole thing.

Someone else literally stopped and took the time to write: “Not one thing a child needs to know.”

I’m serious. That’s what was written. Just mean, pointless words because they likely have nothing productive to do.

Just think about that. Asserting that a child does not benefit from learning about “the importance of family, inclusion, acceptance, and following your dreams” is not only heartbreaking, but I also suspect these sorts of comments come from a place of trauma, fear, and even, hate.

For me, this was an example of a wounded person who wore their ignorance like a badge of honor, so it deserves no reply from me. As an author and business owner, you learn to identify the comments from folks who are genuinely looking for answers, from those who are just looking for a fight. And for those who are looking for a fight, I choose to delete them and move on.

But here’s the problem. It made me sad and affected my esteem more than I care to admit. Their stank attitude wafted into my spirit like bad body odor. And I was down. And depressed. And I went to bed feeling bad. I woke up feeling bad, but I am determined to shake it off and not let these naysayers have power over my life, my goals, or my dreams.

I am not naive. I know that nastiness exists in the world- especially on social media. I also know that I am not the only author of diverse books for kids that have had to deal with this nasty and selfish pushback on social media. But still, the sheer ignorance continues to blow my mind.

Instead of giving this topic more energy, I shifted gears and asked myself, how do you address this? How do you combat this? Because I never want me, or anyone else who is trying to do good work, slowed down like this again.

Right on time, I received the physical copy of the first Kayla book just this week. I immediately went to grab it because I hadn’t had a chance to really look at the final book the day it came.

I read the whole book and came to this page which stopped me in my tracks:

“Always believe and know how special you are. People will be mean sometimes, and they will try to tell you differently. Don’t you pay them any mind! Do you hear me?”

And just like that, I heard my mother’s voice delivering this message to me. Right on time. Just when I needed it the most. And with that new surge of determination, sadness was snapped.

This is why books, and journaling, and little messages you write to yourself on sticky notes are so powerful. Because you will forget the lessons, the teachable moments, that you have learned along the way. You need to be reminded of things you already know. We all need this.

People are just mean sometimes. There are good forces in the world, and there are bad forces in the world. I choose to be a good force, but these destructive forces make it their daily mission to bring good to a halt. I am not going to listen. I am not going to pay it any mind.

I hear you. I hear the good, and I delete the negative. And I am so grateful that I saw that message from the Kayla book, the one that I knew was powerful enough to be shared with kids all over the world. It was the refocusing I needed.

So when it feels like the naysayers are everywhere, ignore them. Do not let their messages infiltrate your mind, body, and spirit. Go quickly to find the reminders and the anchors you need to stay on track. Stay true to who you are and own the beautiful work that you’ve done. Rise UP!

Thanks, mom.

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Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess Series Book One in this amazing FIVE BOOK series is HERE!

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: is a heartwarming story about family, role models, dreams, and discovering a determination for growth. This five-part diverse picture book series shines the spotlight on a little brown girl who loves musical theatre and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. It seems that everyone else has an idea for who she should be, but in the end, she discovers that she is the one who gets to decide.

Grab your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess (Book One) in the Make A Way Media Bookstore or on Amazon in paperback form or for Kindle.

The story also reveals the very special family dynamic that Kayla shares with her mom- a hard-working woman who struggles with the guilt of not being as available for her young daughter as she would like. But as the story progresses, Kayla and her mom realize the impact of valuing the time they have together as well as the importance of seeing each other acknowledge (and pursue) their individual dreams. {ages 4 to 8}

GO HERE to order your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by veteran author, Deedee Cummings, the Kayla: Modern-Day Princess series is inspired by her own real-life princess and Broadway actress, Kayla Pecchioni.

Grab your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess (Book One) in the Make A Way Media Bookstore or on Amazon in paperback form or for Kindle.


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 15 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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