- tell you that your dreams are unrealistic or even crazy
- stress that a safe, reliable job is more important
- remind you of past failures and warn against taking future risks
- urge you to consider your dream a hobby, not a serious pursuit
These are common reactions. Because people feel threatened by change and uncertainty. Your new direction can be unsettling and worrisome for your friends and family. It’s not that they don’t want you to succeed; they just don’t want to leave the familiar behind.
Whenever you embark upon something new, skepticism and doubt will follow. It’s inevitable.
But deep inside, you know that God has shown you exactly where He wants you to go, what He wants you to do, and how He wants you to do it. He has placed within you the dream, the VISION, to do that which only you can do.
It’s big. It’s scary. It’s just plain exciting!
It will take tenacity, focus, and determination to keep you from giving up.
Learning to press forward in faith, with God providing the direction, will make you stronger, more committed to succeed, and ultimately, the very person you were always meant to be.
When your favorite people aren’t supportive, moving forward with your plans can feel like trekking the outback with nothing but a rope and a knife on your belt. You’re attempting something you’ve never done before and you’ll face real dangers – possible financial struggles, work/life balance issues, and more. Yet you must press on. You can’t afford to let other people’s good intentions hold you back.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
1. Craft concise responses to questions about what you’re doing. Find simple, clear ways to explain what you do when asked. Create some basic scripts in advance if you have to. It’s great that your family and friends care about you, so tell them that. Give them general updates, but don’t get into a lot of detail. Volunteering too much information can create a slippery slope that invites interference.
2. Choose your confidants wisely. Pray about who would be the right people to ask for help, or just to lend a listening ear. These people will give it to you straight, but also make you feel encouraged and uplifted. They are the few with whom you can confidently share everything – even your fears and failures.
3. Prepare for negativity. If you have a particularly skeptical person in your life, try preparing some kind but firm responses in advance. Something like, “I appreciate your concern, and you’re right, things might be tough for a while, but I have help and a plan, and I’m confident that everything will be alright.”
4. Be on a mission. Keep your goal front and center. Write it down. Memorize it. Get a solid vision and purpose for yourself, strong enough to help you plow through on tough days. Don’t underestimate the importance of your “why”. And don’t be afraid to communicate your mission through everything you do. Passion is contagious and will draw supporters to you.
4. Find good mentors and teachers. Stick close to the people who believe in you and what you’re doing.
6. Find supportive groups and communities. Get involved in a good church. Join a small bible study group. Ask God to show you where you can plug in. Some of the relationships you build will benefit you for years to come.
7. Keep looking for and trying new avenues for learning and growth. You will outgrow learning opportunities. Give yourself permission to move on when you feel a particular person, program, approach or activity is not the right fit for you, or isn’t working any longer. Don’t waste valuable time due to indecision. Don’t feel bad about moving on, either. Keep the good connections you made and lessons you learned, and let go of the rest.
8. Defend your boundaries. Fiercely protect your attitude and your vision. If you can’t avoid vampires (the people who suck the life out of you), be nice to them, but not open or forthcoming. Remember that negative comments can ruin your confidence and mood for hours or even days. You owe it to yourself to avoid such comments so you can do your best work.
9. Take excellent care of yourself. Get enough sleep, revive that exercise routine, and be sure to eat healthily. Your physical and emotional state will benefit, and it’ll be great for your outlook and stamina.
10. Help someone else. Reach out to others, either through your work or otherwise. Unexpected blessings come when you put aside self-interest and focus on those who need you.
11. Pray. Be in the Word. Spend time with our loving Father who wants above all else for you to succeed.
When you shake things up in your own life, the people around you are bound to react. Don’t let their fears and frustrations hold you back from achieving your dreams. Persistence in the face of skepticism will strengthen you, and as you continue on the journey to your dreams.
The world needs your contribution. For every person who feels threatened when you step up your game, 20 to 100 others will likely be inspired.
Maybe, like me, you are blessed with family and friends who are on board with your vision. If that’s the case, stop right now and thank God for those wonderful people in your life. They are rare.