Flickr credit: The Italian Voice

Whether you’re embarking upon a new venture into entrepreneurship, deciding to shift gears with a career change, or letting go of some extra baggage in your life, there always seems to be someone trying to pull you down off your motivational high and hold you back from following your hearts desires. We do our best to build a circle of support in the form of likeminded network groups, accountability partners, coaches, and mentors. But, building this circle of support takes time and serious prioritizing, not to mention money. In the mean time some of us constantly are surrounded by people who could care less about our hopes and dreams. They are the ones that tell you that you can’t sing when you’re trying to develop your voice, that you can’t fly when you’re learning how to spread your wings, and that because of your family background, ethnicity, age etc. that you’ll never amount to anything because you smell like a failure, you’re from a family of failures and you’ll never become more than another failure. I know that sounds harsh and drastic but people like that really do exist and most of the time they receive that type of negativity from home, (Antoine Fisher comes to mind).

I have found that there is a middle group between awesome support and straight up “hateraide” where most of us budding entrepreneurs and change evangelists encounter doubts and insecurities that slow down our progress or completely take us out of the game.  This group of influencers isn’t harsh in their criticisms or quick to award you with praise for your small victorious milestones along the way. But you better believe when you hit the jackpot they’ll be one of the first ones wanting a pay off. (Of course, you’ll probably hook ‘em up being the generous and forgiving person that you are.)

These not so obvious naysayers are convinced that they mean well when they say things like “be realistic” and “get a real job” you know, like the one they have, the one that makes them miserable, and hopeless, and feeling stuck. They think you’ve grown boring as you work nights and on the weekends therefore taking up the space you used to go serial clubbing and bar hopping with them. This may sound controversial coming from me; they will be very upset, and even make you feel condemned when you step down from one of your many church positions that you were “called” to (according to their hearing from God on behalf of you). Some of them even feign interest in your projects, but only if you’re progressing according to their definition of success, or so they can steal your ideas and run with them never acknowledging the part you played in their life (feel free to follow and share the work of your influencers).

I stand firm on what I’ve learned early in my own personal quest from purposeful work, you must Believe In Yourself without the expectations that others will do your believing for you. If we waited for everyone to be in agreement with the decisions we need to make, nothing will ever get accomplished as we’ll be forever tap dancing around each other. If you want to sing a tune, or write a new chapter in your life everyone isn’t going to think, “Oh, how courageous” of you.

When you can’t financially escape your special blend of naysayers (many times family members and friends who honestly believe they have your best interest at heart) learn to establish boundaries with them and to do it with love. Time restraints on bonding may need to be established, and you better believe change will be met with resistance. You may learn that some friends were meant only for a certain period, and that season has come and gone. You also have respect the basic requirements of the house hold you live in, especially when the home is not your own but research, network, and take action steps in order map out your escape. Finally, everything ain’t for everybody! Every path of discovery isn’t meant to be shared with certain people. Boundary setting helps you establish healthy relationships which are instrumental in determining the roles people are to play in your life.

Until next time…

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