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You know who they are. You walk in a room and they light you up. You speak to them and you feel like you can do anything you want to. You tell them an idea or problem you have and they give you more ideas or ask questions that lead to a solution. They are helpful, supportive and make you feel great about you.
You know who they are. You walk into a room and your heart sinks. You speak to them and they present the negative and moan about everything. You tell them an idea or problem and they collude with you and lead you to more fear and doubt. They are scared, exhausting and unhelpful, even when it comes from a place of love.
If you are making changes in your life it is important to find people who understand why you want to make these changes, and even if they don't understand it, they will stand on the sidelines and cheer lead you to success.
Sometimes, the people you love the most can be the people who hold you back.
A good example, can be if someone is trying to start a healthy eating lifestyle. A partner, can complain about the food choices. This makes mealtimes exhausting. If they won't eat what has been prepared, it can be a marathon preparation once two/three meals are being made to accommodate everyone. (Personally, if it was that bad I'd tell them to cook for themselves, but that's just me) You know you want to eat less process and sugary food but the resistance from the rest of the family is incredible.
First things first, only you can change you. You can encourage the children to make good food choices and as, more often than not, you prepare the meals, they have little choice over what you give them. Although they can give you lots of grief to change those choices, it's whether you cave under the pressure! However, the love of your life is a different matter. They may not be ready to change their way of eating and consequently, you will have resistance. They may even try to sabotage. "You look tired, let's get a takeaway." They may bring in food choices you are trying to avoid. "Who bought all this chocolate and the bags of crisps?"
They may say things that aren't helpful. "I love you the way you are, you don't need to lose weight."
Errm, I wasn't trying to lose weight. I just want to eat healthily!
It sounds helpful. It is sort of loving, but it isn't helpful when you have decided to make a change in your life.
You've got a friend who's been yo yo dieting for years and they make comments like, "Yes, I've tried this diet and that diet and it didn't work." "You know it's really expensive buying all that fresh food, can you afford it?" Again, coming from a place of love, but it's not helpful and it's coming from their disappointment and negative experience.
Perhaps the other person is scared of the change that you are trying to make. Perhaps they think you will change and move away from them or that you will achieve something they would love to, but haven't managed to do themselves.
In these cases, you need to make clear boundaries. With partners it's explaining why you want to do what it is you want to change and how you are going to do it. If the response is negative and unhelpful, even when it appears loving, you have to work out how to accept that they may not want this change to happen and how to manage your communication without giving up on what you want to achieve. If there are attempts to sabotage you. You need to be ready for them and reinforce your motivation.
If it's a friend or family member that brings you down about the changes you are going to make, have clear boundaries. Choose carefully what you are going to share with them. If you don't want them to talk down what you are trying to do, don't bring it to them. You know who will support you. You know who will be encouraging. You know who won't so just don't engage them in what you are doing. I know it's not easy. But it's not easy to come back from their negative opinions and sabotaging behaviour. They may not mean to do it. They may be trying to protect you because they love you, but they aren't helping.
So who can help?
Well, you already know those people in your life. Seek them out. Talk to them. Bounce your ideas off them. They will support, they will cheer lead you. They will kick you up the arse or hold your hand when you need it. I'm lucky that I have lots of people like this in my life. People I know will enjoy supporting me in my mission to support women to make positive change and define success and live it. I hope they'd say I return that favour.
But, I also pro-actively seek these people out. I agreed to host Bizmums in my local area, as this would help me meet women in business with the same work life pressures, they would get what I want to do. I set up a Mastermind group. Ladies who are running small businesses locally that want more out of their businesses and want a group to keep them accountable and problem solve new ideas and ventures. I've joined several fantastic On line communities and appreciate the 'virtual friendships' I have made. I found my coach there and got the kick up the jacksie I needed.
More recently, I am loving Periscope. It's an addictive medium for me. Connecting with people from all over the world, live chat any time of the day. I'm loving the diversity, the attitudes, the experiences. If you've not been on yet you can follow me @wfttcoaching on Twitter and Periscope.
By connecting with a fantastic lady called Laura Husson, @totally laura, I'll soon be bringing some of my archived 'scopes' to you via my newsletter and this blog in a gorgeous format. So watch this space.
It's why I'm launching the Solution Focused Sisterhood membership club this month and relaunching my 15 Day Think Different Challenge in August. Getting like minded women to work together to bring out the best in them is my passion in life.
So, the top and bottom of this is that you have a choice. You have a choice in who you share your hopes and dreams with. You have a choice in what boundaries you set up in order to maintain loving relationships and not have them keep you stuck. You have a choice in where you seek out people who understand what you want in your life, bring out the best in you and encourage you to do it. Don't have a life of regret that you didn't make the changes you wanted because someone negative held you back. Don't use that as your excuse. If you want something to change in your life, do it. If you are struggling to create those boundaries and or block out those negative voices, come and work with me and we'll have you sorted in no time.
Be kind to you. xx
Let me know where you find people who lift you up in the comments below.