How To Stay Focused On Your Goals With an Unsupportive Family


Article by: Money254

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This article originally appeared on Money254. Money254 helps consumers and business owners to search, compare and apply for financial products in Kenya. 

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Are you serious? Are you crazy? These are some of the reactions that hit you when family members, particularly parents, find that you want to chase a goal that they do not agree with or one that does not fit within the plans they had for you. 

It could be starting your own business, choosing a specific course of study, or leaving a job.

How often do you wish that someone would assist you in achieving your objectives? It's natural to want approval from those you care about, but you can't please everyone. The truth is that your loved ones may not always support your goals. They may even believe you are completely insane. 

Most people want their family members to understand and support their ambitions. Unfortunately, some families oppose their goals and may even seek to undermine them.

It might be difficult to get through the day without being sidetracked by unpleasant voices in your head when you want to do something that you are deeply passionate about.

Do you find it tough to deal with unsupportive family members? If you're having trouble staying focused on your goals, it's time to take action. Today, we are talking about how to stay focused on your goals even when you don't have family support.

Why doesn’t your family support your goals?

There are various reasons why those closest to you may not support your goals or dreams. 

  • They don't want you to go through what they did.

Perhaps your parents or siblings had near or similar ambitions as you now have but failed to achieve them. Seeing you on the same path, they don't want you to have to endure what they had to.

  • They don’t think your goal is attainable.

According to research, 85% of the world's millionaires are first-generation millionaires. This suggests that the vast majority were raised in lower-middle-class, middle-class, or underprivileged families.

That means that for many generations, their families might have lived basically, hand to mouth or paycheck to paycheck. When you go to them with a goal that implies massive possibilities, their initial reaction may not be pleasing to you.

  • They do not believe you have the necessary skills.

How can you expect your family to have faith in your abilities to handle your goals and ambitions without making a mistake if they have never seen you make an informed and independent decision?

Whatever the reason, you can make them believe in you and win them over to your purpose. Here’s how;

1. Share your goals with your objectives

You do not have to tell everyone about your plans at first. However, sit down with the ones you believe aren't offering you the active support you require and have an open discussion with them.

People who really love and care for you would want to help, yet they may have questions. So listen to their concerns and try to understand where they're coming from.

Then, describe why you want to achieve your goals. Assist them in comprehending what you're attempting to accomplish. If they are interested in knowing more, tell them where you are in your objectives. Such as if you are just getting started or have already made progress.

Explain why you require their support. You can even be more precise and tell them what kind of support you need. Are you planning to start a business? How would you like them to help you achieve that goal? It could range from financial, emotional, or even intellectual support.

2. Avoid arguing

If you choose to follow your entrepreneurial ambitions over a good-paying job or a degree in music instead of law, a better-paying career, or a complete change of employment, you will face a lot of questions and criticism not just from family, but friends as well.

When approached in this manner, do not argue. Your family may find it difficult to understand your point of view. Only career paths or things familiar to them will make sense to them.

You may not be able to sway their beliefs, regardless of how much effort and frustration you exert. Even if you are the most convincing speaker in the world, your family might still maintain their own points of view.

Instead of arguing, express your position in terms, they can understand. Share your business's vision with them or the goal you'd want to pursue and assure them that you will make informed choices.

3. Be your most ardent fan

Many people will be unwilling to support your ambitions no matter how hard you try. That doesn't mean that your goals cannot be achieved.

It is difficult to succeed if you are in a scenario where you are always waiting for permission from others to follow your dreams. As a result, while asking for help from your family is normal, they shouldn't be your only hope.

When you don't receive the support you need, it's a good idea to try to be your own support system. If you only wait for people to cheer you on, it could lead to mental and emotional drain, sapping your enthusiasm to work toward your goals.

4. Remember your why

Remember the reasons why you really want to achieve your so desired goal. You needed specific reasons for wanting to establish your own business, move to a new place, start a family, choose one career path over another, go back to school for another diploma, degree, or master's, etc. 

Keep your ‘whys’ in mind! Your purpose is both the fire and the fuel that drives you towards achieving your goals. 

Simon Sinek in his book, Start with Why says,

There are only two ways to influence human behaviour: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.

Very few people can clearly articulate why they do what they do. By ‘why’ I mean your purpose, cause, or belief—why does your company exist? Why do you get out of bed every morning? And why should anyone care?

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Regardless of what we do in our lives, our why—our driving purpose, cause or belief—never changes.

Remember, the greater your ‘why’, the easier the ‘how’ will be.

5. Do you truly believe you can accomplish your goal?

Take a moment to think about your goal. Are you pursuing something unique and realistically attainable, or are you pursuing something truly absurd?

When setting your goals ensure that you use the "SMART" goal-setting technique. That is, make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound.

Your family may fail to show their support for your goals just because they feel like the goals you have are not SMART goals.

Wrapping up

Having an unsupportive family can make it difficult to start a new business or work on a creative idea. However, you should not let that interfere with your relationship with your family.

Family members that aren't encouraging usually don't understand why you're willing to risk failure and disappointment to achieve your dreams. People's opinions frequently change when you take the time to engage them in your journey and explain your purpose.

So stick to your game plan!