It occurred to me last night as I was pinning at midnight, yeah quality use of my time I know, that there is something more to the people in your life who are holding you back than you may realize. I don’t think people want you to fail because they are miserable or jaded or don’t love you. I think it all comes down to fear. Some people don’t want all your dreams to come true because they’ve already realized your dreams don’t really include them. They don’t want you to realize it too; which you’d inevitably do, once you got on the path headed to that dream. Their behavior is based on insecurity yes, but it’s valid.
Now hear me out, you may believe that your dreams do include them. But let’s be honest with ourselves. Do they? Do they include THAT VERSION of them? If they didn’t change a single thing about themselves would they honestly be part of your dreams? I can guarantee the answer would be no. You might not see it now, but you eventually would. As you grew and they didn’t, it would become apparent. The thing is, they’ve already figured that out and it hasn’t even occurred to you.
If you’re not with me on this so far, I came up with four examples as soon as I had this realization. I am sure you will be able to see yourself in at least one of them, and it will make sense.
1) Parents Who Hold Back Their Kids: I want you to think about the families that you know. I am sure you can think of at least one crazy co-dependent parent that won’t let their kids grow up. They are always bailing them out, saying that they “need” them, doing everything for them, even bribing (or just plain guilt tripping) them into staying at home well past the necessary age.
If you asked that parent if they wanted all their child’s dreams to come true of course they would say yes. What parent wouldn’t? That would just be crazy. But think about it. If they REALLY did, why wouldn’t they be pushing them toward those dreams instead of holding them back from them? It’s because in the dream of college graduate, financially independent, getting married, starting your own family, etc… there is no vision of your parents still being your best friends, your everyday contact, and your go to for everything. They will be all but replaced in most of the roles, and the role they have will change dramatically. How freaking terrifying is that!?!?
For those of you who aren’t having my first example because I don’t have children, that’s okay, I have three more for you :0)
2) Friends Who Hate On Positive Life Changes:
I just let out a big sigh because this one is so prevalent I don’t even know where to start. Luckily it should be the most straightforward. Take a look at what you are doing with your friends now. How have you spent the last few outings together? Did you eat crap, maybe drink too much, rack up the credit cards, sit around and gossip? I highly doubt you sat around knitting sweaters for orphaned kittens 100% of the time, or some other completely benevolent activity.
So when you show up and are like hey I’m going on a diet, or I’m quitting drinking, or hey it’s really time to buckle down and get my finances straight…how do you expect them to react? We say that if they cared about us they would support us, and we are confused that they aren’t happier for us. If you remove yourself from the center of the universe for a second, you might notice the panic all over them. They just saw the picture that you have for your life, and they don’t fit anywhere in there. You completely changed the rules, and blame them for not wanting to still play the game.
You say they are holding you back, and honestly they probably are, but it’s not because they don’t care, it’s because they can see the repercussions on them for your changes, and they are scared. You’ve essentially given them an ultimatum with your actions, get on board or we’re over.
3) My Fiancé Going to Europe:
For those of you who were around last May – July, you remember the huge sh*tshow that was my life when Snow went to Europe for 6 weeks without me. I think it’s safe to say I didn’t handle that very well. What you didn’t see of course was the conversations that happened from the day he got the idea to the day he left. I remember he essentially just told me he was going. He tends to think out loud, so that was his version of asking what I thought. It did not feel that way at all. I remember getting flushed, and nauseous and had the most terrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was terrible. There were a lot of discussions, if I remember correctly we broke up shortly thereafter for a little while. My timeline might be off on that one.
I was a MESS the month before he left. I drank a lot, like old school college drinking. Clearly had some stuff I didn’t want to face. For all intents and purposes him going made a ton of sense, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and incredible cost, and it would get him out of school faster. Logically there was no downside.
The night before he left it all finally hit me, I didn’t think he’d come back. We were lying in bed and I finally made myself spit it out. I think I almost threw up on him. I asked him, “What if you meet your soul mate over there, what if it changes you, what if you come back and the person you are then doesn’t love me anymore?”
Turned out I didn’t really want him to stay, and not have the experience; I just didn’t feel secure in my spot in his dream. Once I said it, and he wonderfully assured me I was safe, it was so much easier to let him go. Easier … not easy 😉
Okay…are you still awake? I have one more if you still aren’t convinced.
4) Spouses that Get Jealous or Resentful of Your New Goals:
Okay ladies, let’s talk. This one is HUGE for so many of my clients and coaches. Women start to get on a fitness journey and the men in their lives freak out. They sabotage, poke-fun, mock and do pretty much everything except support the changes. This is very similar to the friendship changes I mentioned above. Once again, you changed the rules, and blame them for not wanting to still play the game with you.
The major difference here is they actually get jealous when you start to reach your goals. I have literally seen dozens of post transformation divorces. On the surface it makes no sense, you are thinking “What they hell, don’t they want a hot wife?” and wondering what is going on. You are finally feeling confident, sexy and young again, and they are pissed off. You sit there and wonder how someone who claims to love you more than anyone on the planet doesn’t want you to have everything you’ve dreamed of. There is tension, doubt and sadness around something that is supposed to be so positive.
They already know the current version of them isn’t good enough for the new version of you, and they are terrified you are going to figure it out. They get defensive and resentful that this new thing is taking you away from them and it is a horrible slap in the face of reality to look at all their short comings. By creating a new life, you are telling them they also have to change, whether you mean to or not. Let’s face it, they are probably not ready, and don’t intend to be forced into it. The thing is, they might never be.
Mind you, this isn’t the case always. A few of us will get lucky, and have men that will step up. That also want more, that want to grow and change, along with you. They will join the journey and you both get to become the people you want to be. I only discuss it because of how common place it is in my world.
I don’t really have a great way to wrap this one up, as I don’t have a solution for you all. The realization that the people in your life hold you back out of their own fear is good to have, but it isn’t something you can really change. The only thing you can control is you.
Should you be more patient with the people in your life when you make a huge change? Of course you should. Just don’t let them derail you. Understand where they are coming from but don’t put their fears ahead of your passions. Make sure they feel secure in your relationship by talking about this kind of stuff, even if they brush it off and act like it’s weird. Try and look for things for you can to together that don’t take away from your dreams, but include everyone. Understand also, that you will lose some people in your life has you grow and change, you have to, there is really no other way. Don’t worry though, the universe will provide you with new people to connect with through every step of it. Try to get closest with the other people around you that dream big, and are committed to growth, so you don’t have to continually outgrow people, and that you are not held back.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Also, here is a song that I love from Pink that just seemed like a fun way to end this post since I had no clear conclusion. Enjoy! :0)