Have you ever felt good about a decision you’ve made, but then you tell a friend or family member about it and their reaction makes you question everything? They come across as unsupportive and uncaring, shrouding everything in doubt.
Perhaps you have someone in your life who seems to live to pick you apart? Someone who relishes any opportunity to make you feel small?
Having these people in our lives is sometimes unavoidable, especially if they come in the form of family (which sadly they often do). Having this lack of support, this push back from the people who say they love you is tiring and can tear your self-belief to shreds.
When it comes to handling this situation, I believe there are two things that can help. Understanding why they’re doing it and strengthening your own sense of self-belief.
Coming to understand why they act the way they do can help you not take it to heart, while strengthening self-belief acts like a shield. You’ll still feel the knocks, but you’ll live to fight another day.
So, here comes the big question… Why do they do it?
Because they don’t want to see you hurt
Sometimes what seems like a lack of belief in your abilities comes from a place of love and care. They’re scared it’ll all go horribly wrong and you’ll end up hurt.
Of course even though the intention may be good and coming from a place of care, it’s important to remember it’s not their risk to take. And anyway – failing and getting hurt isn’t the worst thing that could happen, this is usually where our biggest learnings stem from.
Because they’re hurting, jealous or want to exert power
In some cases the lack of belief comes from a place of pain. The person may be jealous of what you’re trying to achieve, they might be hurting themselves and subconsciously don’t want to see you succeed. And of course sometimes they’re bullies who like to exert their power and make you feel small.
People often project their crap onto others. The trick is remembering, whether it comes from a place of love or pain, that it’s more about them than it is you.
Because they’re scared of change
If you’re making a big life decision, chances are it means things are going to change and these things might affect your relationship with this person. It might mean you’ll move away or not see them as regularly.
This change can be unsettling for the other person, making them nervous, so they might try and subtly stop the change from happening and show little interest or support.
Talking to them about their fears can help put their mind at ease, sometimes this simple conversation can swing an unsupportive friend/family member to your biggest cheerleader.
Because they don’t understand
Other people don’t always understand what it is you want to do in life. For example, to some the idea of quitting a safe 9-5 job with regular income to go self-employed may seem foolish. This could be because they’ve never experienced it, they don’t know what the market’s like and they simply don’t understand why you would do it.
Doing your best to explain your reasonings is the only way to counter this, but but sometimes the lack of understanding overrules.
When people in our lives show a lack of support, for whatever reason, our confidence takes a hit. Building up our own reservoir of self-belief helps us remain strong in the face of this.
This is why for November’s Blue Jay Monthly Musings newsletter I wanted to look at the topic of building self-belief, especially when it comes to making decisions in your career and life.
In it will be my ‘musings’ on the subject, a list of helpful resources, an activity and free PDF guide to building self-belief. If you haven’t subscribed yet, make sure you do before Sunday 26th November to get this issue.
How do you cope when people in your life don’t show you support?
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