“They are not supporting me!” I often hear when I work with people on their vision.
They refer to a loved one who won’t agree with a significant change they want to make.
When you want to embark on a new endeavor, it’s natural to expect support from the people close to you. However, you may find that they are less than enthusiastic.
This is common, and I have seen it create bitterness and resentment in my clients.
It is important to understand why your loved ones might be demonstrating resistance and lack of support when it comes to your new vision:
1. They Reflect Back Your Own Insecurities
This is the most common reason and the less obvious one. Often, when we discuss our new vision with our people, we are still unsure about it ourselves.
The path to your vision is unclear. It is a destination unique to you, so you must create the way there step by step.
Your friends and family will pick up on your doubts and reflect them back to you.
That is also the reason why their remarks cut deep. Because, at some level, they reflect your own fears.
When you are sure about your next steps, you don’t mind if your loved ones disagree. You simply say: “Thank you for your concern, don’t worry, I got this.”
I remember complaining to my coach about my mum and husband not being supportive of me dropping a client contract. They wanted me to keep it as it brought consistent work to my business.
I only needed their approval because I was unsure about the decision myself.
When I became certain, I simply told the client that the particular contract had to end. To my delight, we came up with a new one that was much more exciting and lucrative for both sides.
Once I became more confident in my decision, I did not need my loved ones’ approval; I simply moved forward. And they are happy because I am happy.
When you share what you want to do without a shadow of a doubt, you will find a lot less resistance.
And if you are bothered by other people’s lack of support, look within. Are they reflecting your own fears?
2. They Want You To Be Safe
Loved ones often want to keep you safe, and they can get overprotective. When I wanted to leave Google to start my own coaching business, neither my dad nor my husband were supportive. They kept pointing out the potential risks to me.
I even remember a friend saying that my coaching clients were hiring me because I was a Google employee. And I would struggle to find coaching clients after I left my employer.
Of course, this proved wrong, as my business grew exponentially when I dedicated myself to it full-time.
Humans are programmed to fear loss more than desire gain. Your family and friends can see the potential loss clearly (loss of stability, salary, benefits, etc). They do not share your desire for what you want to create; this is yours.
They want to protect you from failure and may not back your risky plan.
Remember that nobody knows what is best for you better than you do.
Once I embarked on the entrepreneurship path, my family supported me with all they had, but not before.
3. They Fear How The Change Will Affect Them
Changes in your life might affect your loved ones.
Suppose you plan to become a full-time artist. Your spouse may fear the impact on your family finances and their workload.
They might also fear the changes this new lifestyle could bring to your relationship. They might even wonder if there is still a place for them in your new life.
People naturally fear change, especially if they are comfortable with the status quo.
It would be best to discuss with your people how your new life will affect them.
4. It Challenges Their Choices
Your new vision can stir up other people’s regrets.
Imagine your friends settled for regular jobs while you aim to travel and write. Your daring choice might remind them of their unrealised dreams.
If they are afraid to take risks or step out of their comfort zone, they might discourage you from doing the same.
If they thought something was impossible for them, they might project their own limited beliefs to you.
5. They Do Not Share Your Values or Understand Your Vision
Your loved ones might not understand or share your vision. They may have a different idea of what constitutes success or fulfilment.
For example, if you wish to leave a high-paying job for a non-profit cause, they might struggle to see why. They may value security over altruism, causing them to question your decision.
Your loved ones’ lack of support usually comes from a place of care and concern, though it may not feel that way.
Try to understand their point of view, communicate your choice effectively, and assure them of your commitment to your new vision.
Once you get better at setting a vision and making it happen, you will notice less resistance from the people around you. People will be able to feel your confidence.
They will also see evidence that when you say you will do something, you simply do it.
In the meantime, do not expect your loved ones to support your new vision. They likely won’t. Not because they don’t love you but because they do.
Your family and friends don’t have to play the role of a cheerleader or a coach.
Find people who have already achieved what you want to achieve. Mentors, masterminds, meet-ups and groups. In those circles, what you want to do is considered normal.