That moment you decide to follow a dream is magical.
It’s so exciting. Not everyone finds a dream they truly believe in. Even less people take action to pursue them.
There’s no doubt it’s a risk, but what dreams come easy?
Besides you’d rather go for it and fail than let it pass you by without even trying.
You set your plans and goals to accomplish and head out on your way. Everything is going great.
That is, until you tell the people close to you.
Your friends and family aren’t as supportive as you’d thought they would be. You expected a few questions and concerns, but the feedback you get surprises you.
A few are doubtful, but many of them are outright unsupportive.
For some reason, they want you to give up on this dream. They might think it’s too risky or that the odds are completely against you. Whatever their concern is, the message is clear: they’re against it.
Interacting with Unsupportive People
Does this scenario sound familiar? There’s nothing worse than finding a dream you want to pursue only to find those around you discourage it.
Under normal circumstances, it’s hard to take action towards a dream. When those around you keep telling you to quit, it just makes it even harder.
It takes a strong person to follow their dreams without support from a loved one. Those times when you’re feeling down and distressed, it’s good to know that you can turn to someone who is supportive.
That’s why it’s so important to be surrounded by supportive people.
But when they’re not supportive, they can fill your head with fear and doubt. This just makes it all the harder.
But what can you do if most people around you are unsupportive?
1. Persuade and convince them
People are often afraid of things they don’t understand. They get an idea in their head of what they think it’s all about without truly comprehending the whole picture.
This could be why the people around you are unsupportive. Perhaps you just need to explain your decisions to them. Once they understand your decision they might think differently.
Sit down and talk with them to clear up any misconceptions. Be honest with them about why you want to pursue this dream.
Be upfront about any potential drawbacks to pursuing this path. Most dreams are risky so you don’t want to gloss over that. Make sure they realize how carefully you’ve considered this decision.
You also want to share what makes you so excited about this dream. Excitement is infectious and can bring them over to your side.
2. Come to a compromise they support
If persuasion doesn’t work, you can always compromise with them.
This is kind of the midway point between going 100% to your dream and giving up on it. Instead of dropping everything to pursue your dream, you can do it on a part-time basis.
An example of this would be someone who wants to be a professional actor, but doesn’t drop out of business school to do it. They act in the evenings and on weekends, but have their classes to fall back on.
This arrangement can make your family feel better about your decision because if acting doesn’t work out, you’ll still have a degree so you can earn money. It works out for you too because you still get to follow your dream – although not as hard as you might like.
3. Block their negative influence
If you can’t convince them and there is no way you can come to a compromise, you will have to block all their unsupportive behavior. They might not like your decision, but they don’t have to remind you of that every time you’re around.
Don’t talk about it with them more than you need to. And if they say something negative about it, don’t argue back. Getting into arguments won’t solve anything and might make things worse.
If you’re overwhelmed by their negative influence and unsupportive behavior, you might want to spend less time with them. This isn’t a decision to take lightly. But hanging out with people who constantly put doubts into your head will make reaching your dreams much harder than it needs to be.
Finding the Way to Your Dream
Following your dream is hard enough. There’s no reason why you should do it while everyone around you is telling you to stop. It’s like trying to run a marathon with a pocket full of rocks. It’s unnecessarily difficult.
When people aren’t as supportive as you’d like, your dreams don’t feel as magical. Make sure those dreams don’t turn into nightmares.
photo credit: Chris Devers