How to deal with negative friends and family when you have new goals
When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I had to face a wall of negative and unfavorable comments from the people around me:
“Why do you need to do this? ”
“Who do you think you are?”
“Most businesses fail.
“It’s too risky.”
“Don’t you need a degree for that?”
“You have no experience.”
“Life is not a Hollywood story.”
“Can’t you be like everyone else?”
“It’s arrogant to think so big.”
“Come on, stop dreaming and come back to reality.”
“Oh really, are you planning on making a living on this, seriously?” “
In the age of Covid, it’s harder than ever to be positive, stay motivated, and make real connections with like-minded people. Here are my top tips, validated by over a decade of entrepreneurial successes and failures:
- A friend may disappoint you but a book never will
When I started growing up and having bigger goals – running a marathon, building my business, and learning English (I’m French) – a lot of people didn’t understand me.
I found my first refuge in inspiring, motivating and practical practical books. Make sure you have at least one inspirational author that you can listen to or read when you have some spare time. It can keep you from giving up.
2. If you need gardening advice, don’t ask your taxi driver
Many people looking for support and advice, especially millennials, will talk about their project to anyone who wants to listen. While everyone can give you their opinion, not everyone has the skills, experience and wisdom in your field. Make sure to filter out unwanted or irrelevant opinions. Listen to those who have accomplished what they said they would do. Lots of people talk about their goals, few do the work necessary to achieve them, and fewer get the results they want. Therefore, selecting the right person to talk to is essential.
Before considering the advice given to you, ask yourself these questions: Is this person speaking from their own experience? Is this person part of a successful group that has achieved what I am trying to do? Do his values resonate with mine? If the answer is no, maybe you should ask someone else.
3. Everything is just a test
When I studied Napoleon’s winning attitude, I noticed how his perseverance took him to where no one in French history has managed to go.
Your personal beliefs – whether true or false – are irrelevant. If you think life is testing you to make sure you truly deserve your success, you will work harder / smarter than if you think your project is not for you.
Walk with faith in whatever you choose to do. You don’t need external approval or validation to have faith. When you believe in your project, you create the faith to continue. Each obstacle becomes an opportunity to move closer to achieving your goal.
4.Real friends will appear
In France we say “In need you recognize true friends” (It is in need that we recognize true friends). We’ve all had friends who laughed at our ambitions. Were they really our friends?
Make a list of the people around you who influence you on a regular basis. Write down how you feel after talking to each of your projects. If they don’t support you, stop sharing your precious ambitions. Protect yourself from negative energies.
There is no point in cultivating a toxic model. If someone doesn’t understand your motivation, ambition, and goal, just share it with someone who understands. With over 7 billion people on the planet, don’t tell me you can’t find a few who support you. I won’t buy this.
5. Fight together
Perhaps Alexandre Dumas said it best: The pain we share is a stronger bond than love.
We can all relate to and feel sympathy for people who have had the same issues as we have. When starting a new project, one of the easiest ways not to feel alone is to join a tribe: a group of people who have the same ambition and find a way to make it happen.
Motivation and willpower are limited. When you’re alone or tired, it’s easy to just postpone important tasks. But when you belong to a supportive community, they will be watching you. You can let yourself down, but they won’t!
Have at least one growth partner who has the same goal as you. It could be starting your first business, your first Youtube channel, your first book, or learning a new language… whatever your next big goal is, make sure you don’t pursue it alone. If you don’t have such friends, read my next point.
6. Make a list of places where you can meet new inspiring friends.
Despite negative accounts in most media, there are still many opportunities that even kings did not have access to a century ago. Internet and new technologies allow us to connect with people who share almost any goal.
Online forums, conferences, workshops, associations and charities can be wonderful opportunities to virtually meet and make new friends with like-minded people. Covid is no excuse.
7. Study social dynamics
How to meet friends and influence people, Never eat alone, and The relational cure are all classics that I love and recommend. The point is, social and emotional intelligence, and being able to make and maintain amazing friendships, are skills that can be learned.
If you don’t like reading, that’s fine too. Feel free to study networking in your preferred format.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how you studied it, but if you acted on it. Social skills are like driving a car, they are learned and it is up to you to learn and practice them.
8. Set limits
People will respect you for the level of self-esteem you have. When someone crosses a line,
it is your responsibility to show him how to treat you.
Moreover, what may seem crazy and unrealistic to some, will be normal to others. While their intentions might not be to hurt or demotivate you, the fastest way to stop is to tell them. Dr. Brad Blanton offers some excellent ideas on this topic in his book, Radical honesty.
When weeds spread through your garden, be sure to cut off their roots. Otherwise, they will quickly ruin everything. The same goes for the relationships in your life.
Markus Spiske on Unsplash