Do you feel as though your goals have been hijacked by an unsupportive family? Are you tempted to walk away from your plans because your friends reacted with mocking jeers or unhelpful ‘words of advice’?
Words can hurt.
When you share your dreams and goals with others, and they respond with criticism, scoffing and a complete rejection of your ideas, it seems easier to give up on your ideas. Before you toss your idea notebook, however, take a hard look at what is happening.
Why Might People be Unsupportive?
Often, people are most critical of things they don’t understand. Anytime someone takes an alternative path, it is easy to dismiss it, using phrases such as ‘not going to work’, ‘not likely to succeed’ or ‘worst decision possible’.
Additionally, your friends and family are the ones most likely to be concerned about you and your future. Often, those concerns are expressed in ways that seem unsupportive, but are sign of a deeper concern. Your family, for example, may worry about how you will feel if you don’t succeed. Your friends may worry that you will become so focused on your goal that you will no longer be available for social activities.
Before you dismiss their concerns, identify why the people who are closest to you seem to be unsupportive.
How Can You Address Unsupportive People?
Once you’ve identified the true reason they don’t appear supportive, address their concerns. Are your parents worried for your health? Are you making changes that go against their own beliefs? Whatever their concerns, address them in a healthy, positive manner.
Don’t argue. Avoid confrontation with your family and friends. Explain your dreams and goals in the best way you can, without passing judgement on their decision to support you. As hard as it may be to accept, you may never win them over, despite your efforts to convince them of your passion. Let them know that their support is important to you, but not required for you to reach success. You may not want to mention the last part, just keep it to yourself.
Seek out support. If your friends and family don’t provide you with the positive support you need, find others who will. Look for connections and groups in your community (including online) that can become a source of encouragement and motivation.
Can You Still Succeed?
In spite of the lack of support, it is possible to reach your goals. To move past what seems to be a setback, there are three distinct steps to take.
#1. Identify the purpose
What was the motivation for setting the goal? To better yourself? To be healthier? In some part, the motivation for your goal should be yourself. When the goal is about you, other’s support would be nice, but isn’t necessary. Gather the resources you already have that will help you reach your goal and get to work.
#2. Monitor your progress
Track your successes, no matter how small, in a way that helps keep you motivated. Make visual progress charts that you see regularly to help encourage yourself to keep pushing forward. Not only will it help keep you working on your goal, it will help your family and friends see that you are succeeding, and may help convince them of the worthiness of your goal.
#3. Build yourself up
Working on personal goals can be mentally (as well as physically) exhausting. When you don’t have support, it can be even more draining than usual. Take care to ensure you are staying healthy by eating properly, getting adequate rest, and using self-care techniques. Stay connected spiritually and emotionally to those who build you up.
One of the secrets to success is learning how to deal with naysayers. While it is disappointing when they are in your most trusted circle, it does not have to deter you from reaching your goals. Dig deep and find success.
Michele Bailey is the Founder of My Big Idea™. The My Big Idea™ Personal and Professional workshops will introduce you to others who are committed to making positive change in their life by setting and achieving their goals. Find out when our next workshop is offered. Or, book your own by contacting us.