For me there is nothing more inspirational than watching somebody pursue what they are passionate about with gusto. However not everyone in our lives necessarily embrace or are supportive of our dreams.
Whether that change is a new career, lifestyle choice, health change or 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 questioning our decision.
Not only can someone's lack of enthusiasm take the wind out of our sails but it also allows doubts to creep in and spoil what once excited and inspired us.
The truth is that change in one person often illicits feelings of uncomfortableness in another. Clearly they were quite happy with what you did and how you lived your life before you decided to go and change on them.
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 are bandied about. Suggestions that you need to come back to the "real world" 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 and confronting. Particularly if it's in front of people who've known you to be a certain person, living a certain way for a long period of time.
You've changed the rules on them. All of a sudden your salad makes their burger and chips look unhealthy. Your nights spent creating, 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 or how much they love you.
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 to get onboard.
Most of us have experienced uncomfortableness in our own lives when people or situations have changed around us. Perhaps we didn't want them to or weren't expecting 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 completely and with kindness. Including why this is something so important to you that you must pursue it. Then give them the time and space they need to grow into the idea.
Put simply, take their comments and advice with a huge 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 full and rounded version of who you are or could be. 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 had hoped for.
Carla Da Costa is a life coach, writer and creative living in Perth, Western Australia. She is also the co-owner of LifestyleBoom, a Reformer Pilates Studio as well as being Mum to two beautiful daughters. Carla works with women guiding them to live their most vibrant and fulfilling life possible. Purpose, passion and self-care are the reasons behind everything that she writes, creates and shares.