Talking to loved ones about your dream can feel vulnerable.
We want them to tell us that our idea is amazing and that we can do anything we put our mind to.
What happens when they don't?
We can shut down and stop pursuing our dreams altogether.
In this episode, you'll learn:
- how to prep for a conversation with loved ones about your dream
- what it means when they question your dream
- what you need to do to keep the fires of your dream burning
Listen in to get what you need to keep going after your desires.
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Talking to Loved Ones About Your Dream
I wanted to devote this episode to talking to your loved ones about your dreams because there’s several misunderstandings I see over and over that keep people from going after their dreams because of words their loved ones say to them.
They give up before they’ve even started.
I’ve seen that happen with myself and with other lawyers, and I never want to see that happen to you.
Sharing our dreams with someone can feel vulnerable. We’re sharing our deepest desires.
When we share them with people we love, we may NOT get the reaction we want. That can hurt.
What most of us do — and what I did in two stories I’m about to share with you — is enter a conversation with our loved ones expecting them to believe in us. To tell us that our idea is great, tell us we can do anything we set our minds to. Remember when we were told that when we were kids.
We expect them to validate our dreams.
Our new dreams are like embers. We need to protect them and cultivate them into a full blown fire.
When we talk to our loved ones expecting them to validate our dreams and desires then they don’t, it can be like pouring a bucket of water on the embers if we’re not prepared for the experience.
We extinguish the fire before it’s even got a chance.
This is how I’ll see this issue come up.
Lawyers who come to me sometimes come to a Strategy Session on a secret mission to change their lives or follow a passion. They haven’t told their partner yet what they want to do.
When I uncover this secret mission, I can have the conversation I’m about to have with you, but sometimes I don’t uncover it. Then they go into a conversation about their dreams unprepared for what their partner will say to them. And they’re unprepared for what their brain will do and the doubts that will come up when they hear their partner say words.
What I’m going to share in this episode applies no matter who you’re talking about your dreams with. Whether it’s your partner or your closest friends.
I want to start with a couple stories about times I’ve shared my dreams with family and friends, and I was triggered by their words.
When I was a kid, I saw that happen in my family, and I’ve observed my brain hear words people said about my dream. I let those words limit me when I didn’t know better. I made it wrong that I wanted what I wanted.
The first thing to know is that words people say are a reflection of THEIR THOUGHTS NOT reality.
Their words have nothing to do with what’s possible for you. When we believe words, we take on those beliefs. If those thoughts are limited thoughts, we take on those limiting beliefs.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an actor. I told my parents I had this great idea, and there was this program that helped kids become actors. My dad told me outright no, and I had a big argument. But I gave up. Later when I was attending undergrad at UCLA I had the opportunity to apply to the film department for graduate school. I saw my brain tell me stories that prevented me from going for it, which were stories I got told as a kid.
“It’s not practical.”
“Actors hit the genetic lottery.”
“You should go to school, get an education, then do a real job.”
“The people in that industry are bad.”
“It’s going to be really hard.”
“It’s one in a million to be a real actor.”
By believing those stories, I successfully talked myself into not applying.
As an adult, while I was practicing law and just started my coaching business, I told my best friend about my goal to leave the DA’s office and make money as a life coach.
My friend looked at me like I was crazy. He said, “Are you sure you want to do that? You have it really good. I don’t know.”
I got really defensive. I was angry and had thoughts like, “You should support me. You shouldn’t say those things to me. How could you say something to me like that?” I probably said some of those things out loud too. Then I stopped talking to him about it for a while until I built belief in myself that I was doing it. At that point I didn’t realize how fragile my belief was in myself, and I felt a lot of shame that I had shared it, and I got the response I did.
This time I was resolved enough in what I wanted to do already that I didn’t let his response kill my goal.
Years later after I started making money as a life coach, I talked to him about it, and he saw that I was doing it. He says beautiful things to me now about how amazing I am and how I did it.
I wanted my friend to tell me, “Oh, you’ll be so good at that. This is a great idea. You should totally go for it. I know you can do it.”
In reality I heard something very different.
My clients can have this same experience when they share their dreams with their friends and loved ones.
Before I go into what my clients experience, I want to tell you something important.
If your friends and family say anything you interpret as doubt about your abilities, know that it does NOT mean that they don’t love you or support you.
Their words simply reflect their thoughts.
They are likely thinking things like,
- “I don’t want her to feel disappointed or hurt.”
- “I don’t want her to experience something that feels hard.”
- “I don’t want her to spend time away from me.”
- “I want her to be happy.” (But it’s their interpretation of happy)
- “I’m afraid she may grow away from me.”
They still love you. They just have different thoughts than you do.
They have the limiting beliefs 100% of humans b/c we all have our own limiting beliefs. Their thoughts aren’t telling you anything about what’s possible in reality.
So here are some of the things my clients hear from their loved ones when they share what they want to do:
- “Are you sure you really want to do that?”
- “Is that really a good idea?”
- “Do you want to put in all that work?”
- “Is that really how you want to spend your time and money?”
- “Shouldn’t we be saving for our kids’ college fund?” [it doesn’t have to be all or nothing]
If we don’t yet 100% believe in ourselves, we will feel something in our body that feels triggered. We may feel shame, disappointment, hurt or angry.
Looking back I felt hurt in both situations I told you about.
Now, if you’re like me, and you think, “But that first story you were just a kid and didn’t have control.”
I want to share another story with you about a woman who describes her parents as raised very logical and practical.
Her dad worked for Meryl Lynch if that gives you any idea.
When she made tips from playing music in cafes, her dad told her she needed to save it or invest it.
When she told her parents they needed to move to Nashville, so she could pursue her music career, they said no. They said no for 6 years.
When she was 14 years old, they decided to move to Nashville.
It’s Taylor Swift.
When you believe in yourself, you can move mountains, my friend.
I will repeat, other people’s words don’t mean you shouldn’t go after what you want.
Our beliefs are just different than other people’s. I see this in my own brain, and that’s why I have a coach. I’ve more than doubled my revenue from last year to this year. I left my 15 year career as a criminal prosecutor in January of this year. If I’d have listened to my friend about what he thought was possible, I would never have pursued my dream. I had to enlist people in my corner who didn’t have the same limiting beliefs he did. I needed to enlist coaches would would call me out on my limiting beliefs, so I could move past them.
If you’re thinking about talking to your loved ones about your dreams, I want to give you a few tips ahead of your conversation, so you go in with the mindset required to keep your dream alive.
First, how do you feel going into this conversation?
If you feel any tinge of worry or doubt or hope, you’re likely going into the conversation looking for validation. You’re belief isn’t 100% there. That’s okay. You don’t need 100% belief. Just know that you may feel triggered if you don’t hear the words you want to hear. That’s okay. That’s normal. It doesn’t mean anything about what’s possible. That’s your brain working like it should.
Second, here’s my opinion on feeling emotions that feel triggering. When we tell people our dreams, that will tell us our level of belief and shows us the work we need to do on ourselves.
Any triggered emotions? That’s all good. Now you know that you can practice stepping into belief more. I help my clients do that, so they can build belief and take action on their dreams.
Third, if you don’t hear what you want to hear, and you feel an emotion like shame, worry, doubt or disappointment or anger, don’t react to them.
Yes, I know that’s a lot to ask. But here’s what will happen. If you feel angry or hurt, you may lash out. Then you’ll feel shame over behaving that way, then you may stop the conversation.
Remind yourself that your body is having human response to words. Sit with it.
They are likely trying to help no matter what words they’re saying to you. It’s the meaning we give those words that feels triggering.
Now if they say all the things you want them to say, obviously this doesn’t apply. This is just to prepare you if they don’t say what you want to hear.
Fourth, listen to what they have to say.
You can say something like, “I hear you. AND I know this is something I really want.”
Or, “I hear you AND I know I can do this.”
Or, “I hear you AND I’d never put our family goals in jeopardy. This is something I really want.”
You don’t need to say anything else.
Fifth, if they ask for details you can tell them you’re figuring it out right now.
You can have a really good conversation with your loved ones about your goals when you understand how the brain works.
None of your emotions are bad or wrong. They’re a product of what you believe about yourself right now.
They don’t have anything to do with what’s possible for you or what you can create.
If you have a big dream, and you want to make it reality, book a Strategy Session with me.
Find people in your corner to help you bring your dreams to life.
I can be that person for you.
Alright, my friend. Have a wonderful rest of your week, and I’ll talk to you soon.