Happy New Year!
I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for 7 months already, the time seems to be flying. I have a lot of big plans for this space this year and I’m grateful for every one of you that continues to share and support what I do here. Even for those of you that don’t! It’s amazing because some of the most supportive people of this blog are people that I haven’t met. On that note, I want to candidly talk today about that concept – support. More specifically, support from the people closest to you, those that you consider your “friends”.
It’s not a new thing to hear people complaining that their friends don’t support them. I’m blessed to have very supportive friends, but I can still relate to some extent. Whilst many of my friends are my biggest “fans” lol, I know loads of my friends don’t read my blog posts, probably haven’t even read/shared a single one and don’t ever plan to. Yes, it’s disheartening when you’re so passionate about something and the people you respect most just don’t seem to get it. Or even if they do, they only want to be present once you’ve amounted to success, they don’t want to be part of your initial struggle/hustle. They don’t share your stuff; they don’t buy your product; they don’t attend your event. You might start to question your entire friendship, like, is that person even really my friend??
Thankfully, I have reached a place where I no longer have this self-entitled expectation of my friends (and family) to share my content or outwardly support what I’m doing. And since I have made that shift in my mentality, I have been pursuing my passions more fearlessly. Don’t get me wrong, support would be nice, but I no longer expect it and neither should you. Such an expectation can really damage the most important relationships in your life – you have to ask yourself, is their support really worth it? Will you still succeed without it or is their approval your green light?
Newsflash: You can do great things without the approval of your friends. Do not limit yourself.
Besides, is it really fair to place such a burden on people? Their relationship to you should not oblige them to share your content. I repeat, their relationship to you should not oblige them to share your content! “But they’re my friend – it’s their job” is a very simplistic and one-dimensional view to hold. Personally, I would much rather you support me out of the goodness of your heart or because you really believe in my vision, not by force.
And the reality is, friendships are beautifully complex bonds. I have friends that I am so different to and if you think about it, I’m sure you do too. I often wonder how two of my closest friends study Medicine and Dentistry, whilst I studied Law (I’m terrible at Science and have zero interest in it). Just because I love them does not mean that I suddenly love Science and everything it entails too. Would it be fair for me to demand that they share and support my passions as fervently as I do? No. Their support is a wonderful blessing, but I cannot be justified to just naturally expect it.
I want to leave you with some points to remember/consider if you are battling with this my friends don’t support me thing…
- Be your own cheerleader: You are perfectly capable of spurring yourself on and cheering yourself all the way to the finish line, whatever it may be. Self motivation is a powerful tool and when activated, you really can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t wait for your friend to pat you on the back before you start running. This race is your own to conquer!
- Seek God, not man: God is really the only one who always has our best interests in mind. Therefore, relying on our friends to support our passions before we pursue them wholeheartedly can be a massive hindrance and ultimately slow us down. You have the weapon of prayer at your disposal – use it. Ask God if you’re on the right path; ask God to help you; ask God for motivation to keep going and He will answer. The Bible is especially loud and clear on this point of placing your hope/trust in the wrong things over God. See below (I usually don’t insert long bible excerpts but I want you to really catch this):
“Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.” – Psalms 146:3-5
“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people.” – Psalms 118:8
“Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?” – Isaiah 2:22
“The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you. But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.” – Psalms 33:16-19
“This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:5-8
- Do not despise small beginnings: So you’ve started this new venture and your only support system is maybe you and your dog. It’s lonely, but that’s okay. Don’t despise your small beginnings because one day, if it’s God’s will, you could build an empire!
“Then another message came to me from the LORD: “Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” – Zechariah 4:8-10
- Maybe you need to find your audience, not new friends: I know you want to get angry at your friends, but have you considered that maybe you’re looking for support in the wrong place? Whatever you’re passionate about, there is a niche community out there somewhere with people just like you. Find those people, network and give your friends a break! Great platforms/ways to find your niche include YouTube, Facebook groups, forums and Instagram hashtags to name a few.
I hope this post has helped anyone battling with this issue. At the end of the day, your friends are your friends, but the world does not owe you a thing. The sooner we all stop waiting for approval and seeking gratification in the wrong places, the better.
Be sure to share this post with anyone that you think needs to see it.
God bless you!