Remember when people used to ask you “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As a kid, no matter what you said, everyone would be so PROUD of your answer!
“I wanna be an astronaut!”
“I wanna be an author!”
“I wanna be a life coach!”
Okay, maybe the last one wasn’t on the list of “Kid’s Most Popular Answers”, but as an adult transitioning from one career into another – you’re likely expecting a much less enthusiastic response from family members who don’t quite understand that you’re following your dream.
Because of this fear of rejection from the people closest to us, many people leave their dreams as “child’s play”. The thought of “what will my family or friends think…” is the separation between daydreaming and deciding on the dream.
Now, not everyone is going to be negative about it…
But when you do end up having this conversation, especially with people you love, you might be wondering “What should I do if they disapprove of my decision of becoming a life coach?” Because as happy as you are, you would also love the support of the people closest to you in your new career choice.
Making the life-changing decision to become a life coach means that you’re going to share your career with tons of people, but most importantly, your family. The challenge is to navigate that conversation with love and ideally – win their approval!
To make the process easier, I’m going to share 3 ways to get your family to accept your new career choice by steering your conversations in the direction of confidence and clarity!
Understand Where They’re Coming From, But Hold Your Ground
Imagine for a moment that you’re on a challenging hiking trail with a tour guide you can’t keep up with. No matter what detours, byways, or reroutes they took on the way to their destination, they kept the same pace.
How confused and frustrated would you be?
In the same way, you’ve been focused on your own journey into the decision of becoming a life coach, and your family may not have been able to keep up with all the changes. So instead of expecting them to understand the whole journey, meet them where they are.
Keep in mind that your family has their own version of “normal” set at a certain temperature, and suddenly bringing up your new career choice could result in a cold shoulder or even a heated response!
While it’s ideal to avoid all negative reactions, let’s get you prepared to regulate the climate of your conversations with compassion and confidence.
#1 Bypass Their Paradigms
Paradigms have grown up with you, and like an annoyingly overprotective childhood friend with a perfect memory, it factors in all your past negative experiences to sum up why you shouldn’t do something.
At its core, a paradigm is a collection of beliefs, behaviors, and thoughts that form your understanding of what is “normal.” These paradigms are shaped by our families, schools, and media, among other major life influences.
When you aren’t aware of your paradigms, they take control of your life by convincing you that your circumstances determine your potential.
Your family may have a similar approach.
When you make a stand for your dream, remember that it rocks everyone’s boat, not just yours.
And that shake will cause their own paradigms to come out.
But it’s not against you or about you.
Something in them is shifting as they project their own inability to live out their passion and purpose!
It’s normal for them to start reacting with “What about this?”, “What about that”, and start stacking up the bad. But when they do, don’t react.
Address their concerns by acknowledging them, but don’t trade the energy of your dream for the disempowerment of their doubt.
Remind yourself that they are likely coming from a place of wanting to feel safe and that they are behaving according to their current level of awareness.
#2 Ask for Support, Not Permission (And Maybe, A Little Wisdom)
While it’s important to draw the line between informing and “asking for permission”, it’s still possible to empower your family to speak openly about their thoughts and feelings. 🙂
By setting a free-flow state of communication, you also give them an opportunity to share more than just their approval or resistance: you invite them to impart wisdom.
To illustrate how this is possible, let me tell you a story of how a pilgrimage, a yogi, and the color yellow helped me make the decision to go from medical school to something entirely different…
Back when I was studying Biochemistry at the University of San Diego, I found myself torn between two different applications. I was on track to graduate and become a Doctor, but I had this unshakeable calling to become a teacher.
I decided to call my mom and told her:
“I’ve got two applications in front of me, mom. One is to follow the path of being a doctor, which I thought I was going to do for all these years, and the other is an application to become a teacher. And in the last year, there’s just this voice that’s been going on inside of me that says teacher. And it doesn’t make sense. Doctors make more money. And that’s why I thought I should pursue that path. But this voice inside of me keeps saying teacher…
Would you be mad if I – after 4 years and well over a hundred thousand dollars of you investing in this education – changed course right now?”
Note that I didn’t ask if she agreed, but I opened up the door for her to share regardless of whether it was going to be approval, rejection, or simply – wisdom.
She responded with “You have to do what gives you life.”
I echoed back, “I know which one of these gives me life.”
Three weeks later, I graduated and went with my mom to a pilgrimage in India where I had the opportunity to meet with a yogi. As we traveled through a few small towns, we came upon this house with stairs along the wall that reached the rooftop.
I remember seeing a few plastic chairs on the roof and a man with white hair and a white robe. Immediately, I felt uneasy and thought to myself “I don’t know about this…I don’t know if I want to do this.”
One by one, the pilgrims that were with us sat in front of the yogi and were told the color of their aura. Each one of them came back, shared their colors, and described how helpful the yogi’s revelations were to them.
Still, I was hesitant.
After all, I had just made the important decision for myself that “I wasn’t going to become a doctor and I’m going to be a teacher.” I didn’t want him messing with my mind by questioning that decision.
But everyone was experiencing their own bits of enlightenment, so I decided to try it anyway.
I sat down in front of the yogi and watched his hand touch my forehead. Eventually he pulled back and said “”Young man, your aura is yellow…” (Which was odd to me since everyone else had multiple colors.)
“…Pure yellow, only yellow, all yellow.”
I asked him what it meant and he leaned in and said “Yellow is the color of a teacher. What do you plan to do with your life?”
Tears swelled in my eyes and chills went all the way from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. I replied shakily, “Well, funny you should say that, because I just made the decision three weeks ago not to go to medical school, and become a teacher.”
I remember this yogi on a rooftop in India leaning in, taking my hand, pulling me close and saying “God job. Way to listen.”
Needless to say, I went on to become a teacher!
I taught in classrooms for some time, and enjoyed the work immensely…
But my calling kept expanding.
Ultimately, it led me beyond the classroom and into the publishing of a multiple six-figure best-selling book, the launch of a 7-figure coaching business with clients all over the world, speaking on Oprah Friends, CBS, ABC, and eventually to the position of Executive Director and Co-Founder of the coaching certification program here at the Brave Thinking Institute.
The take-away here is that sharing your new career choice is more than just seeking the answer to “Do you support me or not?”
Instead, give YOURSELF full permission to receive the possibility of approval, but also the potential for wisdom.
#3 Sharing is Caring
When it comes to family, over-communicating is often better than under-communicating. By sharing more about your career, your path to success will become less intimidating and much more plausible in their eyes. You can help them understand your dream better by sharing these three things:
1. Share Your Vision
Call it your passion – calling – or purpose – when you speak from the heart, you carry an energy of sincere love and care. This signals to your listeners that you’ve thought it out, you have a personal connection with your why, and that you’re invested in your success!
Furthermore, it’s natural for friends, family, and even peers to resist change if they sense any uncertainty in your decision. But the more they realize you’re in it to win it, the less they have to worry about you regretting your career choice.
At the end of the day, your loved ones may not understand your vision, but behind all their paradigms, fear, and disbelief is a whole lot of love.
By sharing your dream, you give them an opportunity to appreciate your motivation for making a career change and inspire them upfront!
2. Share Your Direction
An inspiring purpose is a great place to start, but to get your family to accept your new career choice with confidence, they’ll want to make sure you have a solid sense of direction.
Because you’ll put your family at ease knowing you can get back on track no matter how many detours, side-tracks, or reroutes life throws your way.
Your big picture focus will help your family understand why you’re going where you’re going and they’ll get a chance to feel how important your career change is to you.
By sharing your direction, you’ll increase their confidence in your abilities when it comes time to negotiate those obstacles.
3. Share Your Plan
How much more confident would your family feel if you presented a proven, repeatable system for your success? This is especially important if you’re just starting a life coaching business or rebuilding the one you currently have.
If you decide to work with us here at Brave Thinking Institute, we’ll provide you with a solid plan that will help you follow your passion without compromising your current lifestyle or financial security.
We do this by guiding you through the 4 Pillar Coaching System as a comprehensive framework and roadmap for your success. Here’s how it works:
PILLAR 1 – Master a Proven System of Transformation
We’ll teach you how to coach people effectively. Using a proven, repeatable system of transformation, you’ll learn how to consistently help people overcome their paradigms and limitations to create and live a life they love. As soon as you receive your certification, you’ll have every tool you need to achieve life-changing transformation for your clients – no matter who they are or what their circumstances are.
PILLAR 2 – Learn the Business of Coaching
Over decades of experimentation, research, and fine-tuning, we’ve created an easy, step-by-step system for building a profitable, difference-making coaching business.
From branding to attracting dream clients, we’ll take you through the foundations of building a life coaching business that changes lives, earns you an abundant income, and leaves you plenty of free time and energy to actually enjoy your life! All you have to do is follow along.
Plus, you’ll get to run it in a way that keeps you nourished, connected to your purpose, and completely free to live the life you want!
PILLAR 3 – Develop Your Spiritual Intelligence
In our certification programs, you’ll learn the same spiritual principles that guided history’s most successful people (spiritual leaders like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and even business visionaries like Steve Jobs), so you can grow your own awareness, attract more abundance, and create clear directions for your clients to manifest livable, measurable results.
As a result of your personal growth and spiritual awareness, you’ll empower yourself to:
Better serve your clients (and your friends and loved ones)…
Expand yourself and expand your capacity to give and receive love…
And celebrate the confident, spiritually aware, brave person you are.
PILLAR 4 – Feel Empowered & Supported
Join one of our certification programs, and you’ll thrive in a global community of like-minded individuals who will keep you inspired throughout your certification process and far beyond. As you support your clients to step into their dreams, you, too, will be supported by fellow coaches and expert faculty as you step into your next levels of success and impact.
Our team and faculty will also help you connect with your inner genius so you can always answer “What’s next?” and “Where do I go from here?” with confidence!
Set Boundaries to Set Your Dream Free
If – after bypassing their paradigms, seeking their support, and sharing your heart out – you are still met with disapproval on your new career choice, your primary mission then becomes to protect your dream.
Your dream is sacred, so while it’s a beautiful thing to share it with those closest to you, keep it safe by setting boundaries.
Be aware of the Negative Nancys and Downer Dans and make it clear to them that if they have anything negative to say about your career choice, they should respectfully keep it to themselves.
Above anyone’s acceptance or pending approval, you deserve to create space for yourself to grow and nurture your dream!
And if your new career choice is to help others by becoming a transformational life coach, remember that it’s a sacred calling. In the words of our founder, Mary Morrissey:
“[You] get to live your life’s purpose in teaching and guiding and nurturing the lives of others. Not only that, but when you decide to honor your life’s meaning and fulfill your true purpose in an even greater way, you’re going to find you’re able to set your own hours, work with a whole lot more time freedom, and earn the income that you’ve dreamed of. And all the while, you’re helping others have the results that they’re longing for as well.”
The good news is that you don’t have to wait around for a yogi to read your aura to start living that purpose! 🙂
On the flip side, if becoming a life coach is something new to you, but you feel called to learn more, check out our free ebook “Are You Meant to Be a Life Coach?”
Regardless of anyone’s approval for your new career choice, I challenge you to be so fully in love with your dream that you’re brave enough to set boundaries and say yes to that love – day by day and moment by moment.
To following your dreams into reality,