Eyes burning, thoughts boiling, heart full of determination – you excitedly tell your parents, partner or friends about your plans, counting on support and a kind word. But you face criticism and the uncomfortable question, “Why would you do that?” Let’s look at why loved ones may refuse approval and how to go after your dreams without it.
It is important for most people to know that there are those who believe in their crazy dreams, who will always listen to them and give them good advice. But family members are often negative about drastic changes in our lives and sceptical about even more global plans: “You’ll never make it!”, “Get on with normal business!”, “Where are you going? Such reactions can cause us to abandon our own ideas and goals, and then lead to dissatisfaction with our own lives and even depression.
Even well-known figures such as the eminent animator Walt Disney, whose works are still successful around the world, face a lack of support. Walt was born into a large family that was struggling to make ends meet. At an early age the boy showed an interest in drawing, but his parents could not buy even pencils.
At age four, he used sticks and tar to paint his first “picture” on the wall of his parents’ home – punishment was harsh, but it didn’t discourage Disney’s desire for the arts. As a schoolboy, the boy worked part-time as a newspaper deliveryman to buy brushes, paints and pencils.
His father often scolded him for his foolish spending of money, but the boy did not give up the hobby and sold his work to neighbours
Growing up, Walt opened an animation studio with artist Ab Iwerks, but soon failed. That didn’t stop him. Later he and his brother moved to California, where he created The Walt Disney Company. Very soon, in 1924, a series of stories “Alice in Cartoon Land” was released, which brought Walt success and first money. Four years later, the character of Mickey Mouse was born, and in 1937 the animator won seven Oscars for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Such dizzying success Walt Disney has achieved without the support of family and friends, relying only on himself. He firmly believed in his dream. Now the magic of his creations has opened the door to storytelling for children all over the world.
WHY LOVED ONES MAY NOT BE SUPPORTIVE
Parents are always worried about their children: they don’t want them to make a mistake and be disappointed in their own abilities, talents or in people in general. Be prepared that your resignation from a stable job is likely to be met with disbelief. And to the global plans will be sceptical: it is one thing to dream, and another – to have a clear strategy for achieving the goal. Especially if you have already failed once – for example, you opened a shop, but miscalculated and soon closed it, having managed to get into debt.
When it comes to unconstructive criticism (“You can’t do anything!”, “You’re not cut out to be an artist: your hands are in the wrong place”), people can be jealous. It’s unpleasant to realise, but it’s much easier to keep in touch with someone who has no goal than with someone who wants more out of life. Thus, behind the scepticism of friends, acquaintances or colleagues may be a primitive desire for your failure. If this is not recognised immediately, there is a risk of losing confidence over time and becoming bogged down in fears and doubts.
It’s important to note that people often mirror ourselves. Consider whether you are clipping your wings in the endeavours of others by criticising, ridiculing, devaluing their plans and ideas. Changing one link will inevitably affect the whole system. Start with yourself and see how it affects those around you.
HOW NOT TO LOSE FAITH IN YOURSELF
Many people want to succeed in life, but fear of failure and lack of faith in their abilities make you give up the dream. Support of family and friends is not necessary, the main thing – to remain motivated and confident in their abilities. The following rules will help.
1. Don’t wait for approval
Since childhood, we need praise and approval. First from parents, teachers and peers, then from employers and colleagues. The older we get, the wider the circle of people whose approval we need. It is worth asking ourselves the question: “Why is someone else’s opinion more important than mine? Only when you dare to challenge those around you and put it into action can you free yourself from dependence on recognition.
2. Identify your strengths
Look back at your past experiences. Take a piece of paper and write down all the important decisions you’ve once had to make, challenges you’ve faced in one way or another. Think about what qualities and skills have helped you get out of difficult situations.
3. Work through limiting beliefs
Why might the plan not work? Write out everything that comes to mind. Then check each statement to see if it is true. Maybe you have noted that you are not smart enough, but in fact you have a prestigious education and are fluent in a foreign language. You will immediately notice that some of the negative attitudes about yourself have been imposed by parents, teachers, former or present partners. Once you believed their words and built a life in accordance with them.
Replace negative beliefs with supportive ones based on your strengths. Most importantly, find situations in your life that could validate them. They are definitely there, but as long as you were focused on your previous attitudes, your brain only perceived what confirmed them.
4. Look for the benefits of criticism
Don’t dismiss the arguments of those close to you – analyse them. Reasons for skepticism can help point out the weaknesses of an idea. Knowing them makes it easier to work through blind spots, build a clear strategy and succeed. But it is important to distinguish between constructive criticism and devaluation. Anything that contains a transition to personality, criticism of abilities or talents is demeaning. There is no need to be guided by such statements.
5. Find a supportive environment
If those close to you refuse to believe in you, find like-minded people among others. Attend professional events, make acquaintances, network. It is not uncommon for people with similar challenges to have similar problems. Seeing that your situation is not unique and is present in the lives of at least a hundred others who are overcoming it over and over again is very therapeutic.
6. Contact a professional
Find a mentor or coach you can turn to for advice and support in your endeavours. Working with a coach or psychologist will also be effective in building a strong internal base and increasing confidence for the long term.
7. Do an audit of your resources.
Ask yourself, “What do I already have to achieve my goal? Money, contacts, team, experience? Think about what is missing. For example, you are going to open an online language school. To do this you need to create a website, social media accounts, decide on a platform for posting lessons, hire teachers, calculate the budget for advertising, specialist fees. When you have analysed this, it will become clear what else will be needed to make the idea a reality.
The support of loved ones is important: their faith inspires and empowers you. But it is not the only way to get what you need. Moreover, one becomes stronger by dealing with difficult situations on one’s own. Don’t wait for someone else’s acceptance, act on your heart and rely on yourself.