How to Follow Your Dreams Even When Your Partner Doesn’t “Get” It
Do you ever just want to tell your partner to get screwed with his opinions and “concerns” about what you’re doing with your business? For you maybe it’s your Mum or your friend but either way, the idea is the same. Yeah yeah, they want the best for you, I know. But why don’t they trust YOU to know what’s best for you?
I mean, I don’t know what goes on in YOUR world, but this is EXACTLY how my now-husband then-boyfriend reacted when I first started on my quest to make money online and truly create my dream life, and all that it entailed. This is just the gist of it you understand; I can’t remember the details –
“So you’ve got yourself a nice new shiny dream do you? That’s beautiful! I love it! So pretty! What are you going to do with it? What’s the first step you’ll take? Tell me ALL about it honey! Wow – just wow. You are so on the ball. Big things are in store for you! I can’t wait to see where this goes for you. Maybe you should quit your job? Really put everything you’ve got into it? I’ll support you no matter what happens – I believe in you!”
Insert raucous laughter and rolling around on the floor here.
What it really went like, and let me tell you I damn well DO remember the details of it, was something like this –
“What the fuck are you doing on the computer again?”
“Seriously?! You’re STILL there!”
“C’mon honey, you’ve been on there for ages!”
Cue varied expressions of eye rolling, frustration, huffing and puffing, exasperation, you name it. I’ll let you decide who from.
Of course that stuff was just the tip of the iceberg – annoying, but also – whatever. Pretty much the same way I reacted when the TV was blaring Eurosports hour after hour. What really hurt and okay just damn well drove me INSANE was the lack of belief, the lack of vision in the big picture.
With excitement, I’d try to explain what I was doing, share my dreams, stumbling over my explanations because to be honest I didn’t really get it myself; was just trying to figure it all out, but still couldn’t help but want to talk about it, share, get feedback that I was on the right track. And instead what I got was some version of dazed and confused mixed with irritation, and worst of all –
Not in a mean, “I don’t believe in you” sort of way. More like a “you’re so naive and why can’t you act like a normal person” sort of a way. Coupled with perhaps a slight concern that I may in fact be delusional.
Oh, so you want to make a 6-figure income all online, selling, what is it now? Ebooks? O-kay.
You want to be a big-name speaker, a world-famous author, change the world? Cool honey.
He never outright said “you can’t do that”, but there was a definite sense of why would you THINK you can do that. And just occasionally the question was posed –
“Don’t you think you might just be wasting your time with all of this?”
Well actually no I did NOT think that motherf^&ker, but thanks for MAKING me think it. Asshole.
And I’d shout, and yell, and EXPLODE, and then inevitably cry because all I wanted, all I really wanted, was for the man who said he loved me to GET me. To TRULY believe in me, and to tell me so. And you know what else? I also wanted him to listen with interest and excitement!
I didn’t want to see him sighing with annoyance when I shared yet another awesome success story from someone who I looked up to online.
I didn’t want to see his eyes cloud over when I spoke about my latest idea.
You can sure as sh*t believe I didn’t want to hear ANYTHING to do with me constantly changing my mind.
And no I was NOT really interested in whether or not I could ‘afford it’ when it came to the latest coaching, book or course I had to have!
And yeah. I really was still on the computer and no I wasn’t bloody well about to get off!
But thanks for asking.
One of the (many!) things I’ve learned from attending thousands of church services over my lifetime is that if you want to share the message you don’t just go and tell somebody they should join your faith, and try to explain to them why. You live your life a certain way and you SHOW them. I mean seriously – would YOU like it if someone, no matter how much you loved them, started earnestly trying to tell you why you just HAD TO get on board with their faith? Not likely, right. At best you’d find it annoying, and at worst – well. We already painted that picture.
If you want to get your husband/partner/boyfriend/whoever on board with your dreams and your BELIEFS about business and life you have to stop trying to convince him.
The only way it will EVER happen is by showing him. Doesn’t have to be in a pushy way. Doesn’t have to be by making a song and dance about it. But it DOES have to be by embodying what you believe, and even then? Some people just can’t be won around. That’s just how it is.
What you may see as exciting, empowering, motivating and most of all as a way of life you simply have no CHOICE but to embrace, he really does see as head in the clouds delusion type stuff and also? It scares him.
He wants stability.
Not just of money, but of time, of the way life works, and of YOU.
Maybe he doesn’t quite want a Stepford wife, and I’ll be there’s a big part of him that is with you because you’re such a damn strong and independent woman but that doesn’t mean he has to love the way you express it all the time!
And here’s the real truth. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation. Because if you want to get to YOUR dreams then you honestly should not give a you-know-what about what anyone else thinks about them, INCLUDING your partner.
Husband hate mail can be addressed to email@example.com.
I’m not telling you to be disrespectful.
I’m not telling you to opt out of your joint life.
But this? This is NOT your joint life, this part is about YOUR life. And either your dreams are big enough for you to follow them regardless of what ANYONE else thinks, because you know in your heart of hearts that you MUST?
Or they’re not.
Your partner is not your coach.
Your partner is not your entrepreneurially minded new BFF.
Your partner is not one of the women in your mastermind.
Your partner does not GET it and possibly does not WANT to get it right now, and so the fact that you’re trying to make him? Is downright ridiculous. I mean seriously – do YOU fully believe in and ‘get’ the importance of his favourite sport/hobby/whatever? Or do you think he’s just a little over the top and silly about something that’s actually not such a big deal after all?
So here’s the thing.
If you’re going to do this, and for real, here’s your survive your relationship guide –
Share loosely about your dreams and goals. Sharing the big picture will scare and also annoy him and will lead to fights. Big ones. Slowly slowly, okay? Baby steps.
Let him SEE your excitement and what you’re achieving, and let HIM eventually ask about it and how it’s going. Which he will. For me it took about 5 years. Hopefully it takes less for you.
Resist the urge to tell him EVERY new idea you have. What we as ass-kicking women entrepreneurs know demonstrates that you are in exactly the right place and in fact BORN for this, he sees as you being fickle, can’t make your mind up, certain to waste time and money.
Pick your battles. You want to invest $10,000 in a coaching program then (as one of my ?#richchickmastermind? girls recently said … ) maybe have some hot sex before you bring THAT up. Yeah … I said it … !! But also, have a really good think about whether you want someone else to be in charge of whether or not YOU get to invest money in your dreams. Personally I’ve always gone with the approach of asking for forgiveness later (well, really I just tell how it is later!) rather than permission in advance. I have NEVER let anybody else’s opinion impact whether or not I will move forward in my business. This is MY business. My life. I KNOW my vision for my future and I’ll be damned if I have to ask for permission to achieve it. Yep, I’m pretty selfish that way. We’ve already spoken about that.
Don’t kid yourself that the stories of overcoming and achieving that you find so exciting to read about will excite him and bring him round. He will more likely consider them equivalent to a story about someone winning the lottery than to a ‘if she did it then so can I’ story.
Go easy on the manifest/create your dream life talk. You’ve got friends, right? Hopefully ones who think like you? Use THEM for that.
Respect and honour his right to let his life play out (at least for now haha!) the way he feels it should. The job, the mortgage, the plans, whatever. Honour where he is at on his journey. You got to where you are because maybe you were just born that way, but because you also actively cultivate it, right? You didn’t get bashed over the head and told to just believe.
And lastly – and most of all – if you don’t want to actually find yourself SAYING ‘screw you and your opinion’ then you can keep at least SOME of your own opinions to yourself for now. Your partner is there to be your partner. If you need a coach, get a coach. You need a mentor, get a mentor. You need friends who think like you, who will push you to be your best, celebrate your wins and not use your flops as warnings of doom or “I told you so’s”, then get some friends like that!
This is your life beautiful.
And yes you GET to choose, but also yes. You HAVE to choose. Either you’re in, or you’re out. And if you’re in, well then you know what to do.
Don’t forget –
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