According to the dictionary, a visionary (noun) is “a person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.” But often others are threatened by new and different ways of doing and thinking of things. For the visionary, especially a Solopreneur, we can often feel isolated and often treated like we are crazy or patronized for being too “Pollyanne-ish”. Surprisingly, being optimistic and feeling that our purpose involves making a positive change in the world is often met with opposition by many, including our friends and family.
Looking Beyond Your Current Circle
It takes a strong and centered person to stay rooted in their own beliefs when those they care about constantly tell them that they are “unrealistic” and that their goals are not possible. Consciously, I doubt most people understand that they are not being supportive; instead, they may believe that they are protecting or sheltering us from the hurt of failing. I know for myself, at some point I realized that I wasn’t destined to live in my own “fantasy world”, afraid to share my dreams with those that would only find reasons as to why it wasn’t possible. One day a number of years ago my eyes were opened to the fact that if I looked beyond my small circle there was a whole world of others that felt the way I did.
And as an introvert, I discovered what a wonderful thing it is to have a support group of like-minded people. How freeing to be able to voice your vision and not have it dashed upon the rocks, beaten to a pulp by others that feel it their duty to minimize your vision and goals to meet their own expectations of life and the future! This new circle of friends, mentors and cohorts were able to provide useful insight, inspiration, and yes, even – support. For a good chunk of my life, I felt that I had to do things on my own, but over the last decade I have enjoyed the camaraderie of forming my own circle of family and friends. I think that often we forget that although as children we were unable to select who we were to spend most of our time with, now as adults we have total freedom to choose both family and friends.
If you aren’t feeling totally supported and comfortable with the people you spend time with, now is the time to start looking for those that do make you feel that way. Here are a few ways to start to make your own “fr-amily”.
1. Find a mentor.
If you have found inspiration from someone that shares your values and beliefs, look to see if they have a mentorship program available. Not only will this person serve as a valuable role model, but they will attract other like-minded people that you can add to your new support group.
2. Search out others that are promoting a cause or vision that you believe in.
Even if this person does not share your particular vision, it will be a great way to get involved in something you believe in and help someone else to achieve their dream. You will begin to understand and integrate the feeling of a truly supportive environment in which big goals are not only accepted, but promoted. It is one step in starting to believe that thinking big is OK.
3. Stop associating with people that bring you down.
Some times one of the hardest things to accept is the fact that we change and evolve and the people that we use to hang with aren’t necessarily the people that are right for who we are now and where we are going. It’s OK to relinquish the past and move on.
And finally, I think one of the most important keys to establishing your personal support group is being OK with letting go of everything that you may have at one point in time felt was your ultimate end goal. For me this recently came in the form of putting my house up for sale, with no plan of where I would go once it sold. Remember, life abhors a vacuum so when you make an opening it will get filled. Set your intention and leave space for the universe to fill it with everything that is important to the support of your vision and purpose.
How did you form your personal support group?