In her book, If You Want to Write, Barbara Ueland states, “Families are great murderers of the creative impulse…” This statement is bold, but unfortunately true for many. Many have had family members shoot down great ideas as too good to be true, too difficult or maybe even stupid.
Do you want to start a business, go back to school, tackle debt, save for a house or some other goal? Can you count on your family to support your idea? Many times family members mean well when they try to discourage you from pursuing an idea or question your sanity, but it still hurts.
There are ways to avoid this, or at the very least, soften the blow of such situations and still keep on track to achieve your goals.
Have a plan. One of the best ways to confront a naysayer is to talk with them about it. Give them your best pitch for your idea. Explain to them how you have thought out your idea and plan to tackle it. Show them possible roadblocks and problems you expect to encounter. Elaborate on how you are aware of the risks and are prepared for them. You can help win the skeptical over with a detailed map of the road you are about to travel.
Make a deal. Convince them to back you up by setting timelines and benchmarks. Just make very sure you hit each one to show them you were right.
Look at it from their side. Maybe they have failed to reach their goals and resent your trying. Their past failures may drive them to try to keep you from making their same mistakes. They could also have ideas of their own but have never acted on them, causing jealousy. Understanding where they are coming from may help you convince them you know what you are doing.
Find support. Not everyone will necessarily be critical. Find those family and friends who are supportive. They may help convince others to give you a chance. And they will supply the support you need to keep you going.
Keep your eye on the prize. Do not lose your focus on your dreams. Sometimes we have to just grit our teeth and persevere despite criticism thrown our way. Make it a goal to prove them wrong.
Silence is everything. Sometimes the best option is to keep your ideas to yourself, especially in the beginning when you are just getting started. Once you get things going, then you can slowly introduce them to what you have in mind and show them the progress you have made with a detailed plan of what you will be doing next. One exception to this is if you are using resources of a family member, you should probably let them know. Sneaking around with their money will break their trust in you and severely hamper your chances to gain their understanding and support.
Image courtesy of swissrolli