It is so hard to grow personally when you are surrounded by people who don’t support you.

I’ve said this dozens of times before – you know who you are and what you need. No one else knows you like you know yourself.  You don’t want to let anyone take that away from you.

One of my clients disliked attending family functions. She told me that her family members would get into fights with each other, they were critical of her and often ridiculed her. She said that someone always got upset and they generally were not happy occasions.  It got to the point where she would feel stress and anxiety days before the family event.

She told me that she didn’t agree with the way they treated each other. When I asked her why she continued to attend, she said she was expected to – it’s her family.

Through our conversations, she recognized that her family all felt that their dynamic was fine – it was the way they have always been.  It’s just who they are and she shouldn’t be so sensitive.

Personally, she was trying to become more assertive and build her strength. When she tried to speak up, she was bullied by her family. They were not supportive of her personal growth.

There are so many examples like this that I have heard from different clients over the years. The conclusions that we have come to as to why people don’t support each other are:

They don’t understand our situation

They cannot relate

They are afraid of change

Behavioural patterns are well entrenched

One party does not want to give up control

One person is not strong enough to change and wants the other person to stay down with them

People may feel that their approach is the only one that matters

The main reason, I believe, is:

People don’t know how to listen to each other with a spirit of curiosity to truly understand what they are feeling and experiencing. They judge and dismiss others’ perspectives.

So, we want to change, try something new, transform a part of our lives – then we may want to find our own support team.  Who do we need on our team?

Here are some considerations – find someone who is:

  • Willing and capable of listening and truly hearing us
  • Genuinely interested in our success
  • Experienced in the change we are attempting to go through
  • Aligned with our beliefs and personal values
  • Open minded and non-judgemental
  • Able to help us to grow

Where to find these people:

  • Do a Google search online looking for groups who focus on the change you are working through (Examples: confidence building group, public speaking group)
  • Life or business coach
  • Therapist
  • Authors, books, resources on your topic
  • Meet-up groups in your area

How to get started:

  • Define your intention – what are you trying to accomplish (become more assertive, be able to speak up in a crowd, etc.).
  • Do a search online – how to become more assertive, how to speak up in a crowd, etc.
  • Start exploring and select the resources that work best for you
  • Make sure you build a regular routine to connect with groups, people, and resources that support what you are trying to do and avoid those who do not – or at the very least, avoid conversation about your change with those who do not support you. Once you have built your strength and confidence in your change, it may then be easier to share with others

Don’t waste your time putting yourself in the line of fire with those who will try to pull you down. Be selective about who you will let into your inner circle.

Being around like-minded people is a great source of strength, knowledge, and support.

Follow your heart and surround yourself with the right support.

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