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How To Succeed When Your Loved Ones Don’t Believe In You

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How To Succeed When Your Loved Ones Don’t Believe In You

The sad truth is that the people who are supposed to support you the most often don’t believe in your crazy dreams.

Your eyes are filled with wonder, your mind with potential, your heart full of daring. You approach your loved ones and tell them what you want to do.

This isn’t always the standard response, but their response could go a little something like this:

Parents: they hear your idea and are still for a moment. They sneak a glance at one another and try to communicate between their looks. They’re saying to each other:

“What do we say? Quick!

“I don’t know — you talk first.”

Then, as gently as they can, they start their spiel.

“OK dear/son/honey, that’s great! It sounds like an amazing idea.” They try to muster up the enthusiasm, but the statement falls flat.

Friends: you get an opportunity to talk about what you have been up to. Depending on how close they are to you, they’ll tell you outright, “what are you on?”

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If they’re not as close, they might just stare at you and try to figure out what to say to you. Like your parents, they might feign interest. They may be skeptical and say, “riight. And how exactly are you going to do that?”

This response actually isn’t that bad. They’re challenging you and forces you to come up with legitimate reasons and responses to their questions.

Spouse: they are your life partner. They love you for who you are and should learn to understand you as you grow and change… right?

It depends on their risk appetite. If you’re anything like my wife and I, one of us prefers stability and predictability. The other thrives in the unknown and acknowledges that stability and predictability are a facade that society creates.

Mentioning your dream can be awkward. Like your parents, they might try to be supportive of you. In the back of their mind, they know that as long as you persevere, you’re in it for the long haul.

No matter who it is, they have their reasons for not supporting you — at least not at the beginning.

maybe you’ve got a history of starting things and not going the distance, or starting and giving up as soon as the fire fizzles out,
perhaps they think you’re being naive and don’t want to see you get hurt or waste your time,
they believe that the best thing for you to do is settle and do what everyone else is doing. Wake up, force down breakfast, commute, 9–5 commute, force down dinner, sleep x 40 years.

Here are the key truths for you to understand if you are to succeed without the support of your loved ones:

#1 — you don’t need their approval to succeed

From an early age, our identity is molded by the need of approval and acknowledgement from others. First, it starts with our parents, then our friends at school, before moving out into the “real” world.

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Do you notice that the older we get, we seem to require more and more approval? This endlessly expanding web of insecurity binds us to the opinions of others, strangling our clarity of thought.

Ask yourself this:

What makes their approval more important than your own?

Sometimes the authority is self-appointed. Sometimes, it’s bequeathed by someone else. We are only accountable to ourselves. The moment you decide to strike out and do something that’s unique, you divorce yourself from the need for approval.

If you’re doing something for that approval, stop. You’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

#2 — you are different to them, but in a good way

Have you ever felt that the world you perceive is separate from the world that you live in? Like the world everyone you care about is a bubble and you’re right on the edge of it?

Or have you felt a greater sense of self beyond being caught up in hype and trends? Do you watch Game of Thrones? Do you play Candy Crush? Do you subject yourself to banal talk at the water cooler and pretend to like people?

It’s OK if you do — but the question is, are you aware that you’re doing it? Or do you do these things because you have given up and self medicate to detach yourself from reality?

The world around us is beautiful and if you want to do something crazy, you see this beauty. The beauty lies in animals, in friendly gestures, in humanity that’s still human. It lies in arts where dancers, painters, coders and entrepreneurs that turn lead into gold every day.

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If you see this beauty, you’re different. Embrace this. It might be hard to, especially if you like the comfort of the herd. But once you see this beauty, the seed has been planted.

You cannot go back.

#3 — you are responsible for them

You have acknowledged that you’re different. You have realized that you don’t need other people’s approval to proceed and succeed. The last step is realizing that you are responsible for them all.

They see you as being a bit crazy. You should feel sorry that they can’t see the world that you see. But don’t look down on them — it’s not their fault that they’re like this. Some people are just blessed with the gift of vision. Maybe something happened to you along the way that made you like this.

If your heart is in the right place, whatever you want to do will help many people. It will help your parents, your friends and your husband or wife. It will impact people on an emotional level and scratch an itch that they have had for years.

It might even help millions of people. Other non-believers like the ones you care about. All self-medicating and waiting for someone to come along and sweep them off their feet.

That person is you.

You’re responsible for everyone. Everyone will say you can’t do it. You have to look beyond this, look beyond their words and stare right into the sun on the horizon. It’s blazing and hurts to look at. But as your vision firms and you look through the mirage, you start emitting your own light. One that rivals the sun.

As you move closer to it, it’s not as big and powerful as it was when you were young. You have moved past your parents, friends and partner. They’re behind you, part of the crowd. They’ve seen with their very own eyes what you can do. They now support you.

You smile, not because of this change of heart, but because you feel the same way about yourself. You never let the faith in yourself waver. This has changed the behaviors of all the non-believers. Changing someone’s thinking and behavior is one of the hardest things to do —

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and you have just done it.

Once upon a time, there was a boy. In school, he was bullied — a lot. He was beaten and up came home bruised often. His parents broke up too, to compound the pain.

He was brilliant. He received his first computer at 9 years old and three years later, made $500 by selling a game he had coded himself.

17 years old: he had just graduated from high school and — without the support of his parents — decided to pursue the American Dream. From his home in Pretoria, South Africa he departed for USA. It would be three years before he would be allowed to set foot on her shores.

In the University of Pennsylvania, he realized that humanity had to expand the limits of its consciousness to ask the right questions. He also realized that wanted to be involved in things that would change the world.

Over the next 20 years, he held himself to this goal. He created PayPal and Tesla Motors. He recently landed rockets on platforms out in the middle of the ocean — something that had never been done before. He wants to save humanity by creating the first colonies on Mars.

You might know of this man as Elon Musk.

You might not believe it yet, but we are all Elon Musk. We have too much to live for, too many people to be responsible for and too many problems to solve.

That’s why if more of us realize that we are him, our parents, friends and spouses not believing in us will be the least of our concerns on the path to greatness.

What if you had the courage to only do the work you love?

How much happier would you be? What separates the people who have the courage and those who don’t? Vulnerability. Accepting that they’re good enough to do the work that gives their life meaning.

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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