When your loved ones don’t support you, starting your own business is a bit of a mind fuck, isn’t it?
We are socialized and educated from a young age to be followers. Taught how to think, how to follow directions, how to dress, how to act, the steps we should be taking in our lives and when we should have these accomplished by. In many cases, we never really grow up. We go from being directed at home to being directed at school to being directed at work. Taking full responsibilities of our lives is a rather foreign concept and frankly, it’s a little terrifying.
To our loved ones, it’s bad enough when we don’t have certain boxes ticked off by a certain age.
Those of us that choose an independent career path are viewed as strange and abnormal. And not smart. Why are you walking away from stability?? In many cases, it’s more terrifying for them than it is for us. We are constantly questioned about our choices, possibly even after we have built our business and live lives that most people would consider very successful. In many cases, the people we thought we could count on to support us while we build our dream are often the ones that are the first to project their insecurities onto us. Repeatedly.
This can do quite a number on our psyche. The doubt sets in… “What if they’re right?” “Am I being unrealistic?” “Maybe this isn’t smart” “Who do I think I am?” “Who’s really going to buy from me?” “I’m a fraud that doesn’t know what I’m doing”
The confidence and optimism we felt as we told our loved ones or friends spiral into doubt, indecision, and paralyzing fear.
We think of the alternative of going back to the life that was killing us slowly – the smarter choice – and that fear grows. Which is the lesser evil: trying and possibly failing or never trying and dying slowly but in a more socially acceptable way? After all, it worked for our parents and grandparents, right? You have to sacrifice happiness to be on a material track with parental and societal expectations. That’s what they did and it worked. That’s what they know. And they know you. Right?
And that’s part of their problem with you being on this journey. They want the comfortable image they have always had of you to remain comfortable. You were following the path they understood, with all its acceptable limitations. Now, you’re moving into unfamiliar territory with your life. You’ve become unfamiliar and strange and it’s making them uncomfortable. So, they’re going to make you uncomfortable in the hopes that you’ll go back to being comfortable and predictable.
It can be really challenging to break free of the limits inflicted on us by our loved ones. For many of us, it’s the first and biggest hurdle we face on this journey. Choosing yourself and your dreams can feel really selfish, at times. But, ultimately, your life is your life. Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to realize your dreams, including overcoming the discomfort of parental doubt? I plan to. How about you?
Keziah “Keyz” Arsenault