Oh, So You Are THAT One In The Family….

My father passed away several years ago, but before he did he told me he thought I should be a Forest Ranger.


My mom and I still go back and revisit this odd moment in history and remiss, “What the hell was he thinking?!”

I have come to the conclusion that he was thinking that he could get into any State Park for free to go fishing, go on the lakes to practice celestial navigation and go camping whenever he wanted.

But had he seen the hats?  Seriously.

He had long passed when I decided to start my own business.  I know he would have never told me, “What the hell are you thinking?” even if he might have thought it.  He was incredibly supportive.

My entire family was supportive when I jumped on the crazy train and started my own business.  I am very, very blessed with such a wonderfully supportive family – even if I did have to explain it a few times.

Some people are not so lucky.  They may decide to take a new direction in their career, take a step down or abandon 10, 15, 20 or 30 years of a career path for something completely new or different.  When this announcement is made they may not receive all or any of the support that they need.  Then what?

It is difficult to say the least.  It is not like making these types of decisions are easy.  To compound your own fear, anxiety or worry your family beats you up or belittles you about it.  Not fair – I call foul.

Not that it can stop it.  I wish I were that good.

That is when you have to do one thing that could be the hardest thing you have ever had to do: have complete faith in yourself and shut out the naysayers.

Support and encouragement are important and sometimes you just get screwed because the only one in your corner is you.  It stinks, but it is not impossible to continue with your dream.

It is your decision, your life.  If it affects others than I hope that you had the good sense to discuss it with them; however at the end of the day it is your decision.  The bottom line is you are going after something that makes you happy, a dream, a desire, a wish, a goal – however you define it if you have the passion to pursue it then I assume you have the passion to “defend” it.

I say “defend” because if you are in a collaborative relationship and this is going to really affect someone else then you may need to “defend” your decision.  Explain to them why it is important and also what steps you are taking to mitigate any negative affect to them.  Be responsible  now, if others are depending on you then you do need to take them into consideration and not be completely selfish.

If all plans are in place that allows you to pursue this goal then go for it.

If your friends or extended family do not appreciate your passion or respect your decisions then perhaps it best they not included in your planning or execution.  Something along the lines of lead, follow or get out of the way.

Now, I am all about serving as devil’s advocate – however, there is a difference in making sure your sibling or friend is making a huge mistake and dissuading them based on your own issues.  Don’t assume that everyone is not being supportive; perhaps some are just making sure you have seen something from all sides.  That is supportive.

If you feel like you are constantly defending yourself or even – heaven forbid – apologizing for your actions then stop.  Do not let them trample on your dreams.  They do not live your life, they do not make your decisions and they do not wake up and face you in the mirror every morning.

If they don’t like it fine; then they can respectfully keep their opinions to themselves.  If they are unable to do so then you may have to make another hard decision: to not communicate with them during the building of your dream.

Sometimes we cut people out of our life; it is an unfortunate occurrence; however sometimes it is necessary.  Unpleasant, sad, but necessary.

I once made a decision that some of my family did NOT support; in no way, shape or form.  They were not happy with me at all.  We could not agree to disagree so I cut them out for a while.  It was a painful time and very hurtful; however I knew I needed to do what I was doing and they were making it worse for me by being negative so I eliminated the negativity.

After some time they realized that I was not going to give in and change my ways and we were able to slowly come around to civil discussion and ultimately build a mutual respect for each other.  It was a hard lesson to learn but a very valuable one.

So if you are “that one” in the family that they all think is crazy for pursuing some odd or misunderstood dream – good for you!  Welcome to the black sheep of the family club.  You are in great company.   The dream may not work out, you may fail miserably but when all is said and done you did it.  You stood on your own, pursued your passion and you went for it.  Now that is my kinda sheep!

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


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