As many people who have pursued self-employment know, it is not necessarily an easy feat. There are ups and downs and, during tough economic times, the downs can (but not always!) outweigh the ups. The same is true when you embark on any adventure, whether it is related to career or a more personal endeavor that is even closer to the heart than work might be. Choosing your support system is critical.
The unfortunate fact of life is that there will always be naysayers in this world. Devil’s advocates may line up at your door. There will always be people who will try to take you down or try to “help” you in a way that is less than constructive. Sometimes the naysayers are the people who you were SURE would be on your side. Sometimes your biggest supporters are the people you never would have expected. It seems that, with everything else in life, your support system may be unpredictable. Maybe you have even experienced this in your life.
Over the past two years, I have been pursuing some of my life’s biggest dreams and, in all honesty, my support system has been very eye-opening. Dreams can be fragile and I am slowly learning, perhaps more slowly than I should be, that I can only share my most important wishes and desires with a select group of people. To keep your dreams alive, I would recommend that you do the same thing. Protect them and hold them close to you. Choose your support system wisely. Seek out the people who are going to boost you up and not knock you down.
Time and time again, I have seen a certain Will Smith quote pass through my News Feed on Facebook. It has resonated with me and I want to share it with you now:
“If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.”
I think that this quote is a little exclusive because it does not appear to leave much grey area. It essentially says that you are either with someone or you are not. I am not sure that my own thinking is so black and white but the way that I am forming my supportive circle is somewhat based on this quote because I want the best chance as I possibly can for having a consistently positive and supportive network. I am not sure that the people who are not there for me during any struggles should be there for me during my successes.
Can you or I afford to allow people who choose to be absent or negative during certain phases to be a part of events at their convenience? Is that healthy for you or me? Is that what we want? What DO we need (aside from complete conviction of the heart) for our dreams to stay afloat?
I would love to hear from you in the comments. How do you create your support system? What kinds of feedback and energy do you like hearing and feeling from your advocates and cheerleaders?