“What do you want to do that for?”
“Why do you want to go there?”
“Why can you not just be grateful for what you have?”
Have you ever shared something with someone you thought would be supportive only to get one of the above or similar reactions?
Do people tell you all the reasons why you cant/wont/should not aspire to doing something different with your “best interests” at heart, but it ends up taking the winds out of your sails?
The old saying “safety in numbers” works perfectly well if you are trekking in a forest in the dark. Or walking down a street at night.
But if you want to do something different to your friends/family/colleagues, the best meaning advice can be utterly defeating. It’s not that people don’t want you to do well, be happy, aspire to something great. It can often be that they are afraid for you that it wont work out. But more often than not, your dream, goal, aspiration or big idea can highlight the fact that someone else is stuck.
What is important to you is not the same as what is important to anyone else. Expecting anyone else to understand that can be a very disappointing exercise. If you are feeling vulnerable and lets face it, whenever you try to make big changes, the first thing you feel is excited followed immediately by a whole dose of “vulnerable”…so it wont take much to send us back to the bottom of the mountain where the most people are and we can feel safe. Trapped, hard done by, disappointed but safe.
But what about if you changed who you spoke to about your really special goals? What about if you only shared what is important to you with people who will support you to go for it?
If someone is in the same job as you for the last twenty years they may not be the best person to confide in if you want to move on.
If someone is in a difficult relationship and you want to leave yours, they may also not be best equipped to encourage you to move away to a healthier way to live.
Your dream may, however unintentionally, highlight their loss or sadness.
So, you have to be precious!
If you have something you want to do, be or have, then sharing that is one way of letting people know you would appreciate their support. But only if they are in a place in their own lives where they have demonstrated their own journey to a better place having climbed their own personal mountain.
The you will find a whole lot of encouragement and suggestions, ideas and sharing of information.
Because they are looking at you from the top of their own mountain, not from the bottom of a hill they can never climb. They can see things, pitfalls, shortcuts and most of all the view. And when you get to the top of whatever mountain you want to climb, there is a whole group of people just like you. In short, your tribe.
You don’t have to stop connecting with your friends and family when you want to do something that is deeply personal or important to you, but you do have to be careful about who and what you share. Your dreams are precious, gossip is cheap entertainment. Try not to let your dreams be todays gossip at the water cooler.
Speak about them to people who understand what it is like to want something different.
There you will find your support. There you will find your tribe. There you will find a sense of belonging.
This week, how about asking someone what their own dreams are and make a point of offering encouragement. If you can offer information or suggestions that’s good too. You never know, your positive take on their dream may just be the difference between them taking the first step.
It costs nothing to be positive.
You don’t have to understand why people want what.
But someone, somewhere will appreciate your willingness to understand that this is deeply personal and special to them. And when we are not criticizing why anyone would want to do anything that we don’t feel is of value, we can get on with making our own dream happen….and how cool would that be?