For me there is nothing more inspirational that somebody pursuing what they are passionate about. However not everyone in our lives necessarily embrace or are supportive of our dreams. Whether that be a new career, lifestyle choice, health change, relationship decision. Sometimes we don’t receive the full support, encouragement or level of understanding that we hoped for or needed from the one’s that we love. Leaving us feeling disappointed, unenthusiastic and flat. And then doubt creeps in.
The truth is that change in one person can often illicit feelings of uncomfortableness in another. Obviously they were pretty happy with what you did and how you lived your life before. In relation to their own life and self of course. When feelings like that arise in people so follow the negative, less than helpful comments. “Who do you think you are?” “You will never be any good at that!” “You’ve lost too much weight. All I ever see you eat is salad now!” “Sounds more like a hobby not a job to me.” Accusations of big noting yourself. Suggestions that you need to come back to the “real world” (baby I’m living in it) begin to get thrown around.
“The problem with friends and family is that they know us as we are. They are invested in maintaining us as we are.” Steven Prossfield.
TRUTH. Changing and growing in front of others can be tricky. Particularly if it’s in front of people who’ve known you to be a certain person, living a certain way for a long time. You’ve changed the rules on them. All of a sudden your salad makes their burger and chips look unhealthy. Your nights spent making, studying, working or at the gym now make their evenings spent sitting on the couch going between their iPhone and the TV look lazy. Sad but true. Your behaviour is not always going to be a positive motivator for them, regardless of how much you love them.
What to do?
1. Ask yourself am I being realistic in my pursuits?
Is this possible for myself? and more to the point do I want this bad enough to make it happen? If your answer to both of these questions is a “yes” then brilliant. Because really does the opinion of others actually matter? Nobody knows your own potential and possibilities as well as you do. Only you understand your vision or how badly you want something for yourself.
Trust in your own motivation. Believe in yourself. Do the work. Consider their negative comments and lack of support as fuel for growth. Prove them wrong.
2. Give them a chance get onboard.
We have all experienced uncomfortableness in our own lives when people or situations have changed around us. When we perhaps didn’t want them to, or weren’t ready for them to. Now the shoe is simply on the other foot, so be patient with them.
It’s quite possible they may not understand what it is you are actually doing or why. So explain it to them fully. Including why this is something so important to you that you must pursue it. Then give them time and space to grow into the idea.
Put simply, take their comments and advice with one huge big cup of salt. Remind yourself of your own vision. Allow them to keep their own opinion, but choose to not let it affect what you do or don’t do. Think water of a ducks back.
4. Find a tribe or support team who get what you do.
It could be one person. It could be an in-person support group or online community. Surround yourself with people who are doing what you are doing. Who encourage you, offer helpful advice and even better, are already successful at what you are trying to achieve.
Ultimately, remind yourself that staying true to yourself and your dream will make you feel like the real rounded version of who you are. A person who lives a life that reflects how they feel on the inside. And by doing so, you may inspire someone else to do what they love. To follow their own dreams. Maybe even that person who right now isn’t offering you the kind of support you hoped for.