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The Negative Impact of "Basement People"

The Negative Impact of "Basement People"

Have you ever shared an idea or dream with someone who responds with something like:

"Are you crazy? How could you afford to do that?"

"Who are you kidding? You could never pull that off!"

"You'll never be able to do that! Remember what happened the last time you had a great idea?"

These are the comments of "basement people"*!   Who are basement people? Often, they are people very close to us: parents, family members, teachers, pastors or even best friends.  While these individuals may say that they are only trying to be "realistic," their comments have a negative impact on us by pointing out their perceptions of potential risks or of our limitations, faults and past mistakes.  Their mission seems to be one of pulling us-and our dreams-down to their level.

"Balcony people*," however, are the opposite of basement people.  Balcony people are those individuals in your life who encourage you, cheer you on, support you when you fail, and are a champion of your hopes and dreams.   Balcony people also are willing to hold you accountable and ask you questions that can help you better achieve your goals.

Our hopes, dreams and callings from God are often fragile when we are first stepping out towards achieving them.  That's why it is so important to have at least one balcony person in your life at that point who can help nurture that new pursuit.  Even better, find a balcony person who has expertise related to your dream and calling; a person who can help you discern the steps to take that will lead to success in making your dream a reality. 

You are the one who chooses which voices you hear. If you let the negativity of basement people color your thoughts, you will feel less capable and your vision of how God wants to use you will tend to shrink and grow dim.  Instead, listen to the voices of your balcony people and of the One who tells you in His Word that you are "fearfully and wonderfully made," you have been "created in Christ Jesus to do good works," and that He "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." Stay connected with the Source of your calling and those balcony people who walk alongside of you as you seek to live your calling.

 *Joyce Landorf Heatherly used the terms "basement people" and "balcony people" in her book, Balcony People (Word, 1985).

(adapted from Live Your Calling)


© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors, and  All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.