“Most people around me do not, one bit, understand what I am doing and why…
Because of the discouragement, I tend to lock myself in my house or do everything alone instead, but I actually start to feel pretty lonely… When I mention this to friends and family their response is: you are always welcome to hang out/join us for dinner/what not. They don’t understand it is emotional loneliness.”
When I read this question in one of my groups, my heart sank.
My courageous and gorgeous client (we’ll call her N) had just made the decision to finally start her online business.
She’s been through so much in her life. Way more than anyone her age should have to experience. But she’s so resilient and strong that you can’t help but to admire her. Personally, I can’t wait to see how her powerful ideas and business transform her life.
And I’m sure that it feels good to her knowing that people like us (who are also entrepreneurs) not only understand her – but are rooting for her.
The problem is that the people who she believes should understand her the most (like friends and family) aren’t very supportive… and that hurts. Not only can it hurt 一 it can also be damaging.
She would share things she was excited about and would get discouraging responses.
When she told them about taking an online course, they’d say:
“But you don’t even get a certificate?!” “Who is this lady anyway?!” “They just want money!”
When she would talk about how she was trying to shift limiting beliefs, they’d say:
“Abracadabra, such nonsense!” “Yeah, that might work for some people.”
When she shared that she was starting her own business, they’d say:
“Yeah, that can be a nice side job/hobby.”
All of the negativity and doubts were getting to her. She wanted it to stop, but didn’t want to lose her relationships. So, one day she asked me:
How do I keep the connection with those around me, whilst at the same time focussing on myself, my health and my business?
She’s not alone! So many of us experience this and it can be so rough to deal with. Can you relate?
If so, here are three pieces of insight for dealing with people who don’t understand you when you’re trying to transform your life:
1. Realise that it’s ok if that can’t see your vision, idea, or dream.
Your vision came to you for a reason – it’s yours and yours alone. If someone can’t understand or get on board with it, it’s simply because they’re not you. In fact, you should view your vision as that much more special because it’s private and special.
2. Sometimes when we dream big and then actually chase our dreams, that can trigger other people’s limiting beliefs.
When we’re kids, we believe that we can do anything we set our minds to. If we tell ourselves that we’re going to grow up to be a doctor, an astronaut, or a rich Youtuber, there’s nothing anyone can say that will make us believe otherwise. But, somewhere along the way of becoming adults, this belief that anything is possible is tainted by doubts and fears. And, eventually, it’s almost completely obscured by limiting beliefs.
So, when a fellow adult dares to believe, the people they talk to often feel like they need to hit them with a dose of reality. And it’s not (always) because they’re being mean-spirited. It’s because they’ve been conditioned to live by their own set of limiting beliefs. Continue doing what you do and show them what is possible when you believe in yourself.
3. Protect your (unborn) vision. Be mindful about who you share it with.
When you’re carrying your vision inside you, it’s vulnerable… and so are you. So, you’ve gotta protect yourself and your vision by being really mindful about who you let in on it and how much you share with them. By all means, share the ins and outs of your dreams with people who share your growth mindset and will encourage you on your path. With everyone else, just share what’s going well and keep it moving.
Now, don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t mean that you have to stop hanging out with your friends… or even feel like they’re not your friends if they aren’t your biggest cheerleaders. As I mentioned before, they just don’t get your vision and may have their own limiting beliefs. But when you’re hanging out with them, don’t talk about your business, the courses you’re investing in, or how much you’re paying your coach. Just have fun hanging out and doing the things you usually do with them!
Speaking of friends… it might be time to open the doors for new ones who are a bit more on your wavelength when it comes to the goals you’re pursuing.
Create a new community of like-minded people who can empower you, lift you up, and support you when you need it.
My question to you:
Do you have people around you who don’t understand what you do? How do you deal with it? Does it hold you back in any way?