When Your Parents/Family Aren’t Quite On Board With Your Business Venture, Consider This...
Having recently watched ‘Back In Time For The Factory’ about families experiencing what it was like to work in the 60’s, I was left feeling shocked, but also with a little more clarity on why we’re all so damn confused and find it hard to back ourselves, especially as women. And the thought came up for me: “is it any wonder that the ‘can’t’ in our heads is more apparent than ever?”
Within our grandparents’ and parents’ lifetimes, women were working in factories because of the brutal fact that the collective belief was that it’s all they were good for. They were paid half of what men were paid, even in the case of a ‘junior apprentice’ or the maintenance guy - they were paid more compared to the women who were doing the hard work, just because they were men! A payment that is today’s equivalent of £100 a week for a 40 hour shift in a dark factory working constantly with their heads down on their machines, with a break in the toilets for a smoke and a gossip. There were signs on pub doors that said ‘gentlemen only’ and women had to sit in another room (this one really got me!)
And I know that those that lived through that will find it ‘hilarious’ at how shocked we are by it. Perhaps I’ll be greeted with a head nod and a ‘yes, that was just the way it was!’ - you know, that smug way our elders do when we have a little realisation of ‘you don’t know how lucky you are!’
But what I really came to realise was that we’re feeling stuck in the middle. We’re in the middle of a generation of working 9-5 and taking things ‘as they are’, where women were paid less, did the household chores, looked after their men...and then a generation in which earning millions of pounds as a YouTube star from making videos from your bedroom is a real life thing, seeing pictures of people working from the beach, earning money and changing the world of work in a brand new way.
If you’re between the age of 20-40 - you’ve seen and experienced both sides of the world of work as we know it. So you may well be envisioning and planning the way of working of the future, but your head and environment is still conditioned with the way of working of the past.
So OF COURSE we’re feeling anxious and confused about what we want, what we’re ‘allowed’, what we’re capable of, what we envision, desire, crave, dream of. Our online world, which also feels like our ‘reality’ for the most part because of how much of a part of our life it is, is showing us what’s possible, while sometimes our ‘reality’ which is based in our environment and perhaps the people around us is showing and sharing a very different side of the story.
Now, this isn’t about blaming anyone. Apart from, maybe, society, but that’s for a another post. Neither is it about anything or anyone being right or wrong. In fact, it’s really about expressing a little understanding about the fears of your family when you share with them your new exciting business venture.
Because when you think about it, it’s no wonder your parents are baffled when you tell them: “I’m leaving my corporate job to work for myself.” It was practically unheard of in their day, and definitely unheard of in their parents day, and I really think we’ve all got to be a little more open to understanding both ways if we want to move forward.
The world has advanced in such astronomic ways in just our generation alone, so there are bound to be plenty of mixed opinions and beliefs floating around about how things ‘should’ be. But that’s really why we need to throw ‘should’ out of the window. There isn’t a ‘should’ anymore - there can’t be. We’re living in a world where everything is so different, and we all just have some catching up to do to get on board, but while also understanding why our parents or our predecessors might think the way they do.
It’s natural for people around you to have fears and doubts, because they’ve never known any different. It feels completely uncertain for them. And uncertainty is bound to feel terrifying from a place of being told ‘this is how it is’. Particularly when certainty is one of our basic emotional needs.
So if your parents are projecting their fears onto you about your life decisions, I recommend that instead of buying into their stories, or rather their parent’s stories and their parent’s stories that are carried through generations of conditioning, remember that they don’t actually belong to you. Remember that they are their fears. Remember that they were brought up in a world that was completely different to the world we live in now. Acknowledge their fears, but instead of being angry or using those as an ‘excuse’ as to why you’re not moving forward, decide to let them go. Show them compassion, and continue with your mission.
Decide what YOU actually believe instead.
I know it’s hard when you realise that your parents don’t actually know everything and are figuring it all out too. But it’s crucial to remember as you navigate this life for yourself in a new world.
You have to learn to let go of old stories and create your own beliefs that support you in this new era, otherwise you’ll be left behind in a mindset that hasn’t caught up.
I’ve shared below some questions and prompts for you to help you kickstart this process of exploration. Take a little time out to answer them, journal on them and see what comes up, and use this process as a way of questioning and redefining what you *actually* believe to be true, so that you can move forward!
1. What comments do your parents make about your business venture?
2. Where might these conditions or beliefs have come from?
3. Are they true? Can you be absolutely 100% sure?
4. How might these beliefs have shown up in your parents’ lives?
5. What do you want to be true instead? (Choose a new belief that is more resourceful and empowering for you.)
6. What evidence do you have of this *new* belief? (i.e. I’ve been able to do X, X person has created this, I know that X is true, I’ve witnessed X happen.)
7. What do you choose as your new true statement?
Share below in the comments what comes up for you, or any questions you have!
If you know you’re ready to dive deeper into the beliefs and stories that are holding you back from the bloody brilliance you’re capable of, and you want to get out of your own way and bring the things you’re dreaming about to life, then book your space on How To Crush The Can’t In Your Head, an online masterclass for women who are DONE with holding themselves back from what they really want.