Let’s get one thing straight. Your real friends, your real nest, and your real support do not want to see you fail. Being able to tell the difference between cautious care and toxic negativity is critical. Before considering how to solidify your nest of support, remember that it is absolutely necessary to cut people out of your life if their motivations aren’t in your best interest; there’s no room for people trying to keep you down. There are and certainly will be enough unsolicited obstacles in life to address without it coming from home.
So let’s get started. Your loved ones don’t want to see you go bankrupt, take high stake financial risks, or experience the loneliness of hard work with no promise of success. Parents want to protect their children from the pains of the real world; from disappointment, from hardship, and from big risks. Keep this in mind before you start resenting your loved ones or taking their cautions personally.
When your dreams are beyond traditional and even farfetched, nothing hurts as much as hearing the people you love discourage you from pursuing what keeps you moving forward. Instead of taking their lack of faith personally, consider their motivations for discouraging you.
Prove your validity through action
The first person you should be proving your value to is yourself. You know what you’re capable of, you know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. The key is to apply your talents and discipline yourself. In other words, do. Talk is great and conceptualizing is critical, but a plan is only a plan until it’s executed.
If your talents limit you, place your external assets on the starting line. Ask for help (from someone who believes in you!) and compensate for it properly, even if it means a joint ownership at the expense of a joint risk.
Where you lack skill, LEARN
The Internet has made it possible to learn virtually (pun intended!) anything online for free or close to it. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo offer tons of tutorials on almost everything, CodeAcademy teaches you various computer languages, and Skillshare is great for career and creative topics.
Investing in yourself first is crucial for setting yourself up success. Invest the time, money, and action needed for you to reach your goals. This initiative is a great first step in convincing your loved ones to have faith in you and your dreams by ensuring them that you’re willing to do the work.
Surround yourself with people who have achieved their dreams
Vladimir Lenin famously said, “Show me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” By surrounding yourself with people who have actually done what you aspire to, you recognize your dreams as attainable and actual instead of distant and abstract. Finding a mentor or inspiration to either form a real relationship with or by reading/ watching their work you’ll be able to emulate (not copy) their process, see what works for you and what doesn’t.
Growth requires some discomfort. Surrounding yourself with loved ones who nurture you while pushing you to improve and work harder is crucial. When you’re around people who inspire you instead of distract you, nurture you instead of discourage you, and teach you instead of take from you, you begin to really manifest your growth. Life is about giving and taking. Be the kind of person that givers want to be around by being a giver yourself, but constructively, choosing who you invest in carefully and thoughtfully.
While it’s important to be pushed, nurtured and encouraged by your circle, you also need people who will call you on your bull when you need it. If you’re going off course or just flat blowing it, you need people who will let you know in the interest of growth and improvement, not discouragement and negativity.
Work hard. Like, really hard
If you have something to prove, set goals and work hard to achieve them. If that means working more than forty hours a week, do that. If it means getting up earlier or going to bed later, so be it. If it means saying no to an activity or skipping drinks with friends, let it happen. If achieving your dream is a priority, you’ll put in the work.
That being said, I don’t believe the notion that if you don’t achieve something, you didn’t really want it. There are hurdles to get past, but with the right amount of discipline and grit, you’ll achieve your goals. Just don’t expect achieving something arguably far fetched will be easy. You’ll need to work hard. Don’t worry, it will be worth it. AND, it will get easier.
While getting from point A to point B won’t always be a straight line (it rarely will) you can’t judge your efforts on your greatest L’s. By pushing through difficult times you show your resilience. By not giving up you actually have a shot of overcoming your obstacles. By not letting go you have a leg up on those who will. By not giving up you are supporting yourself in a way that your loved ones will be inspired to watch; if you don’t believe in what you’re doing, why should they?
Decide on some affirmations to remember when you feel like throwing in the towel.
Remind yourself: I am not a victim. I am as powerful as I allow myself to be. I am the only person in my way. When there is a will, there is a way.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
You’re going to be prematurely disappointed if you don’t set achievable and reasonable goals. You should be able to see your ultimate dream as the light at the end of the tunnel, but define and achieve reasonable landmarks on the way. Think of your pursuit as a cross country road trip. You’ll overwhelm yourself focusing too much on the other coast… think of the places you’ll go in between, and find pleasure in them. If your dream is to lose weight, it’s not reasonable to expect (and be disappointed when) your weight to drop drastically in the first week or two. Set reasonable goals that are flexible but still solid. Track your progress and always keep your eye on the prize, but know you have critical stops along the way. The journey is the best part.
Don’t be pessimistic, but keep in mind that things may not always work out the way that you expect, and that’s okay. Your dreams can change, and you may discover that the thing you thought you wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or it’s not worth it, but this other thing you discovered is actually more your style. Don’t choose what’s easier.
Choose what brings you the most amount of joy. Sometimes (and it’s lovely when it’s the case!) those things coincide. But this brings us back to not giving up. Don’t give up on your dream of losing weight because you don’t believe you can stop eating donuts. It wouldn’t be your dream if the donuts were most important.
On That Note, Ensure Your Plan B
While it’s important to move forward, there are elements of life that don’t necessarily stop just because you have a dream. You still have to pay your bills, eat, and be housed. You may still have obligations that you have to complete. While it’s important to be reasonable, it’s also important to have a plan b. Your plan b doesn’t always have to be totally solid, and shouldn’t be worked as hard on as plan A, but don’t leave yourself high and dry if things don’t work out. From setting aside a small savings account if you’re investing in a project to working a side job to trying alternative methods, having a plan b or backup is reassuring and allows you to focus on your dreams without stressing (as much) about the risk of failure or process.
Presence is a Present
A dear friend of mine achieved one of his lifelong dreams of racing (and finishing) the Dakar rally in Argentina. The Dakar rally for many is the pinnacle of motorsport races, certainly in the world of rally and adventure racing. Simply participating is a gigantic achievement. Actually finishing the race is an even greater one. I asked my friend how he felt when he reached the finish line. Was he relieved, on top of the world, on cloud nine He told me he was tired, mostly, but that he was also lonely, and when I asked him why, he told me it was because through all of the sweat and blood and tears, at the end of the day he was physically alone at the podium. Competing racers were met by spouses, family members and friends. In other words, they were supported. When my friend reached the end of the race, he was met by spectators and strangers. They supported him, but it wasn’t the same as meeting the arms of loved ones.
Support Your Loved Ones, Too
Believe in your family and friends. Encourage their happiness and their dreams. By showing you support someone else and believe in what they want you may catalyze something amazing. Support should be mutual in healthy, growth-minded relationships. People are a lot more likely to want to support you and see you succeed when they see that kind of energy coming from you, too. When you don’t feel supported, contributing the energy you want to see you in your life into the world around you has an incredible effect.
Be ok with being your #1 fan for a while…
At the end of the day, sometimes you’ll be in a place where you’re lonely and people really don’t support your dreams. We’ve all heard it’s lonely at the top, but it’s lonely on the ladder, too. You have to believe in yourself and trust your own resilience. You wake up every morning in the company of yourself; you owe it to yourself to nurture, love and support yourself. Do that in whatever manner you need to by practicing self-love and care while also holding yourself accountable. When you set your goals, promise yourself out of love and