When The People Around You Don’t Support You…

How To Handle It When Your Loved Ones Don't Believe In You.

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Photo: Eirian Cohen.

It takes a brave person to go after their dreams. It’s much easier to stay in that safe place, fit in that nice little box, do what’s expected… But that’s not you.

You’ve always known that there was something different about you and now you’ve decided to follow your true path and are willing to do what it takes to get there. You know within yourself that it’s time for you to release that part of you that you’ve been hiding away for so long.

It’s exciting- you are full of energy and enthusiasm. And are absolutely terrified.

You start making progress and finally wake up excited about the day ahead- you want to share that excitement with the people around you.

But come crashing down to earth when your passion is met with apathy, concern or criticism.

It hurts.

All you want is some encouragement. A simple “I believe in you” or even just a “well done” would mean the world. I mean, it’s hard enough as it is, right? Your own brain is giving you enough doubts- what you need is reassurance.

It’s difficult.

But if the people around you don’t support you, remember the following:

1. You can do this without them.

It’s a huge help when the people around you support you- it makes it a lot easier, but you need to know that your success is down to you and you can choose to be held back by other people’s opinions or you can choose to trust in yourself enough to not need other people’s approval.

Work on building yourself up and spend more time with people who DO support you.

2. They see the world in a different way.

If someone is insecure, they may project this onto you. It could be jealousy and bitterness due to you being a reminder that they are not where they want to be or it could be genuine concern due to their beliefs based on the things they have seen, heard and experienced- this doesn’t mean it’s true. Do not let other people’s beliefs become your reality.

3. You can fail at what you don’t want.

When I was 16, I was fired from my job in a wire factory. Spending 10 hours a day cutting wires is definitely not what I aspired to do with my life but I still failed, and I’m really thankful for this because it taught me that I might as well take a chance on what I did really want. 3 weeks later I had moved to Leeds to study dance and drama and had started my (very rocky) journey along my true path.

4. You never know what’s around the corner.

You might tell yourself that they need more time to get their heads around it, you’ll stay in your cozy little box for a little bit longer- just to keep the peace, you’ll definitely do it soon… Once you can get them to understand.

But the thing is- time is the most precious thing in the world and things can change in an instant. Do you really want to risk looking back and wishing you had gone all in and wondering what could have been if you had?

5. You are not responsible for other people’s happiness.

I repeat-


Fast forward 5 years into the future and imagine you held yourself back to keep someone else happy. What is your relationship like now? How do you feel about yourself?

Now switch that and see yourself 5 years in the future having gone all in and achieved your goals. How do people talk to you now? What do they say? What do you say about yourself?

If you hold yourself back to keep other people happy, it will not be good for your relationship in the long term- you will end up resenting them. Ask yourself- will your misery really make them happy anyway? And if it does, then why are they in your life?

If it’s genuine concern that they have for you, you need to get out there and take action anyway- show them what you are capable of. Show them that their beliefs do not have to become your reality. Who knows… You might even inspire them to go after their dreams in the future!

In fact, I’m going to go all out here and say that if you do hold yourself back because of them, you are being pretty damn selfish. Harsh? Yes. True? Decide for yourself…

If you listen to their criticism and negativity, what are you enforcing?

That negativity and criticism get them what they want, training them to use this technique in the future with you and with others? That their beliefs are true meaning that they will carry on spreading them around? Negativity is contagious!

6. You need to set boundaries.

You need to be very open, upfront and honest with people abut how you are feeling and be blunt abut the fact that you are going to carry on with or without their support.

Limit your time around people who are negative and set boundaries around what you will and won’t discuss.

What all of this comes down to is that you are responsible for your own life and are in control of your future. I strongly believe that contrary to what most people think, following your true path is the most unselfish thing you can do because, in the long term, what you achieve will largely benefit those around you and you will inspire them to make the most out of their lives. I’m not saying it’s easy- it’s not and it’s not supposed to be either. You will face obstacles, you will have times where you think nothing is happening, you will wonder if it’s worth it but you know deep down inside yourself that it is.


You weren’t born to be ordinary… You were born to shine!

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