Change Your Mindset,  Love,  Mental Health,  Personal

What To Do When You Don’t Have Support

Today I want to talk about something that is extremely important to me. I haven’t always had support in things that I’ve wanted to do or goals I’ve wanted: from my parents, from my friends, or even from my husband.

I’ve felt the sting when you get really excited about something, tell someone about it, and that someone shuts you down.  Hard.

It’s like you have this glimmer of a flame starting and you’re super excited about it, but then it gets snuffed out.  That person is most likely concerned for you and legitimately does what they’re doing out of love, but to you it feels like the furthest thing.  It feels patronizing.  It feels like they don’t believe in you at all.

In short, it feels terrible.  And, if you’re like me, you use it as an excuse and it becomes the voice in your head telling you why you shouldn’t go for big things or try too hard.

I’m here to tell you today that you don’t need support.  From anyone.  If you can get to a point where your relationship with yourself is strong enough, then you’ll know that you are fully capable of supporting yourself.  

Hear me out.

I’m not saying you don’t need to have strong relationships in your life.  I’m just offering that people can be wrong about you and it doesn’t have to bother you.  It doesn’t have to mean that they’re terrible people.  After all, you can probably see that they really feel like they’re doing the right thing.  They feel like they’re saving you pain.  So you can love them AND let them be wrong about you.

Now don’t get me wrong, support is wonderful and has even been proven to help people, but expecting support from people and needing it to continue is a sure way to see your dreams/goals die.

My personal experience

One of the biggest areas I see people struggle with this in is in trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

I remember when I first started trying to get healthy, my husband was extremely supportive.  It wasn’t until I had been going at it for about a year that he finally broke down and told me that he didn’t think I needed to stress so much.  He thought I was making life so much harder for myself.  He told me that he didn’t believe that eating healthy mattered at all.  He was upset at anyone who would try to tell him that food (in his opinion, one of the only sources of pleasure in this world) had to be boring and taste terrible.

Looking back now, I can see exactly where he was coming from, and why he said these things, but at the time, I felt personally attacked and beaten down.  I used his words as an excuse to stop moving forward in my goals.  I even started to harbor lots of resentment for him, blaming him as the person who was holding me back from my goals.

But I didn’t need to.

Photo by Adam Wyman on Unsplash

You’ve probably heard the analogy of crabs in a bucket.  When fishermen catch them, they simply put them all in a bucket without much supervision while they keep fishing.  They don’t worry about them getting out.

The reason why is that as soon as one of the crabs try to crawl out of the bucket, the other crabs will try to pull him down.  Little courageous crab gets pulled down by his fellow crabs, and so none of them get out.

Life is like this sometimes.  When someone sees you aspiring to greater heights, their natural inclination is to pull you back down.  This is so pervasive in our culture.  We don’t want to believe that our dreams or big goals are reachable because we haven’t yet reached ours.  Or we had someone in our past that told us it wasn’t possible and we started to believe them.

After my husband said these things to me, and after surfing social media every day (which is rife with memes making fun of people who live healthy lifestyles–again, crabs in the bucket), I allowed myself to be pulled back down.  I allowed myself to be controlled by the opinions of others.  I didn’t listen to that voice inside of me that wanted more from life.  And so I got SUPER down.

the kind of support you really need

What I want to offer you today is this: the people in your life who don’t support you in your weight loss or healthy eating goals don’t need to.  You control your thoughts, your emotions, and thus your outcomes in life.

It seems like weight loss would be one of those areas where support from family would be absolutely necessary, but I’m offering to you that it is not.

You can find countless groups of people that believe in what you’re trying to achieve and find support from them.  You can use the internet to find literally thousands of Youtube videos, websites, and blogs written by people whose only desire is to help and support others like them who are trying to go through this process.

But most of all, you have YOU!! Trust and believe in yourself.  If you believe in God, trust in Him and get your support from Him.  Your results start with your thoughts, and those are in your control, so start choosing thoughts that show you how much you believe in you.

how to feel about those who don’t support you

Lastly, I don’t want you to think negatively about anyone in your life who you felt like has “held you back” (unless this person has also physically/emotionally/verbally abused you and you need to separate yourself from them.  Click here if you are in an abusive relationship and would like help).

The truth is, no one is capable of holding you back.  You hold yourself back by choosing thoughts like, “Maybe they’re right about me.  Maybe I can’t do this.”

I PROMISE, you can get to a place where someone can not believe in you and you can think, “That’s okay.  I believe in me.  It’s kind of fun to have people be wrong about me.  Of course they think that way.  I’m okay with them thinking that way, and I love them anyway.  Also, I love ME anyway.”  And then, you can be the courageous crab that shows them what’s possible in this world.

(Again, if you are experiencing ANY kind of abuse, please don’t believe that the abuse is YOUR fault.  It is not.  If you are experiencing abuse, click here for some resources that can help!  There are people out there who are trained to help you on your journey, and you can feel empowered to accept that help.  It can be really confusing to be in an abusive relationship, so I don’t want to add to your pain or confusion.  ABUSE OF ANY KIND IS NOT YOUR FAULT.)

My point is this:  if you wait for others’ approval as permission for you to get started on your goals, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life.

Now, go forth courageous crab!  You’ve got this.  I believe in you.

Do you believe in you?

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