When four of my children decided that they wanted to move from our home in Ohio to Texas, the momma in me wanted to try to stop them from going. I worried about their safety and wondered when I was going to see my grandsons. I thought to myself, why in the world would you move in the middle of a pandemic. I had a whole host of reasons why they should not move, but I did not share one of them. Not, because I was selfless but because I know how it feels when the people who love you do not support your dreams.
Growing up I dreamt of becoming a dancer and a model. I studied ballet and modern dance. I couldn’t always afford dance classes, so a lot of what I learned was self-taught. I got modeling gigs in local department stores and had convinced myself that after high school, I was going to move to New York and try my luck. My mother and grandmother hit the roof. My mother said I was too short to model. At 5’6″, I thought she may be right. It was the same reaction I got when I won a summer scholarship to M.I.T. My grandmother told my mother she should not let me go, and my mom worried about my safety and not wanting to be separated from her only daughter would not sign the parental consent forms for me to go. I let my dreams go way too quickly. I did not trust that I would make the right decision, and I didn’t have anyone in my corner to push me out of my comfort zone.
Consider this your kick to move out of your comfort zone. You have decided to finally create a plan to reach that goal that has been nudging at your heart. You have packed up your kids and your belongings and decided to end a relationship that is long past its due date. Your doctor has just diagnosed you with a chronic illness, curable, but it will require that you make some drastic lifestyle changes. Would you agree with me that these are all positive endeavors? Yes! They are, you have decided to become proactive and take control of your life.
With all this positive action, you would think that the people you love would jump on the bandwagon and become your biggest cheerleaders. Sadly, that is not always the case. So, what do you do when the people who love you do not support you? If you find that finding support for your dream is few and far between. It may be time to eliminate the dead weight in your life and start fresh, filling your circle with folks who love and support you.
When I start to work with a new client, one of the first things I like for them to identify is their support system. When you try to do something that you have never done before, you do not need to be pulled away from your focus by family and friends who do not support your vision for your life.
That is not to say that they must agree with you completely, but they should refrain from throwing water on your dreams by reminding you of all the times you did not quite hit the mark in the past. Sometimes, they might think they are helpful with comments like:
“You can lose the weight on your own.”
“You left him before, remember.”
“Are you even trying? Try harder.”
“He is a good provider. Are you sure you cannot work it out? No one will blame you if you stay.”
“Just eat less and work out more.”
“Shouldn’t you be thinking of retiring instead of starting a new career?”.
“People your age don’t run marathons.”
“Is the pain that bad or is it in your head.”
“Your time has passed; it’s time to let the younger folks have a turn.
These are just a few of the comments my clients and I have heard when we confided to our closest confidants about our plans to make changes in our lives. Unfortunately, when they recall these conversations, many clients break down in tears. Because the truth is it can be heartbreaking to find that the foundation you have built your life on will not support the new you.
Whether it is losing weight, ending a relationship, starting a new career path, or pursuing your purpose, and maybe like me, your new career path is your purpose. You must create a support system that supports you unconditionally, holds you accountable when you do not believe you can do it and loves you no matter how many times you must start over.
If you have found yourself facing this type of resistance, you have probably asked why? Why wouldn’t the people who claimed to love me not want me to do better, be better, live better? The answer is fear. They could be afraid that you will reach a goal and realize that you have outgrown them, or they might be worried that they will lose you to a new group of friends. It could be that they are afraid that you might fail, and they want to spare you the pain of failing. But failure is a lesson in itself. That is a lesson for another day.
Whatever their fear, you cannot let it stop you from moving forward. It is time to create a new inner circle. Anyone who does not fall in step with your plans is dead weight, and you should eliminate them immediately. I know that deadweight is a harsh term. I am using it on purpose to trigger just how dire this situation is for your success. This will probably be one of the most challenging tasks you will ever have to do, but ask yourself how you will feel next week, next month, or next year if you are in the same spot you are in now.
If it makes you feel better, you do not have to cut them out of your life entirely; just keep them out of your inner circle. I love this quote by fellow blogger Jeri Clay, host of the “Shine your Life-Make your Life Shine Blog. “With like-minded people, you feel comfortable in sharing your dreams without judgment. You can express ideas freely with others who understand the hustle. Everyone will have different dreams and goals but will have the same drive towards the achievement.”
Ready to get started: Make a list of three people you can count on to support your journey towards a new you. It is time to create your village. These folks can be professional supports such as a pastor, coach or therapist, or natural supports, including your mom, sister, cousin, best friend, or favorite church member.
If you want real success in your life, you must surround yourself with like-minded people who will help you empower your mindset and lend you the emotional fuel you need to keep going when you feel like you are running on empty. You can do this; I believe in you.
With Peace and Love,
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