Beware of loved one and toxic family members 

 November 27, 2015

When things don’t go to plan do your loved ones say “never mind, at least you tried” or worse still “I told you so”. Or do they say “ok, so what did you learn and what will you do differently next time?” Often the people we turn to when we need support are toxic family members masquerading as people who want what is best for us. Unfortunately, they don’t share or understand our big visions. Often our loved ones can be critical or dubious about our big visions.

If you have a big vision for yourself and what you want to do in the world you need to surround yourself with other people with big visions.

We let our loved ones clip our wings and we stay small and caged rather than flying.

We let them clip our wings because big visions need lots of support, encouragement and belief. and when we don’t get that we start to doubt ourself. And let’s face it being safe is a lot easier than stepping out of our comfort zone to chase visions that aren’t always very clear.

If you have toxic family members in your life who are critical, dubious or unsupportive ask yourself what is behind that.

I’d bet my bottom dollar that is it fear.

  • Your husband loves you and maybe he’s afraid you will outgrow him
  • Aunty Betty loves you but thinks “sensible” people have “proper” jobs
  • Your mum loves you and maybe she is afraid you will fail or get hurt because she doesn’t realise that there is no failure only feedback
  • Your best friend loves you and maybe she is afraid you will find new friends

When we love someone we want to protect them but big visions don’t happen when you are protected. They happen when you have people in your life who motivate, inspire and encourage you. People who say “what’s next” people who say “fantastic, when are you going to do it”

Many of us have mums and partners who are great at the support you need when you’ve had a rotten day and you need a glass of wine and a cuddle but not great at saying “go try again!”

The truth is having big visions doesn’t mean leaving others behind

…it means finding “big vision support” elsewhere, so once you’ve had a glass of wine and a cuddle and hubby has gone back to work and your Mum has gone to buy you a cream cake to cheer you up you have someone who will say “come on then what are you waiting for you’ve got things to do”

Big vision support means finding a coach, mentor or group who will push you when you are scared, pick you up when you fall down, challenge you, problem solve with you and celebrate with you when you take another step towards that big vision.

Wine and cakes are great if you need cheering up or for a reward… but life is about balance so make sure you have a network that balances with those who love you and keep you safe.



Julia Harris

About the author

Julia Harris is The Upgrade Coach. She works with smart women who understand that the only thing holding them back from fulfilling their potential is the unhelpful thinking patterns keeping them trapped and the habits that they keep falling back into.

If you want to upgrade your life or business you start by upgrading your thoughts.

Julia Harris

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  • They say “Friends Are The Family We Choose For Ourselves”. I’m so proud of you Julia – you’re going to be really successful – I have NO doubt. So happy you’re one of the family I have chosen :)

  • Wow Julia, you are right on with this one! I hear all of those all the time! It is hard to ignore when you hear it daily!

    • You’re right it can be really hard but some people care with criticism. So next time you hear something like that have a standard response up your sleeve, something like “thank you for caring, I love you too” so they feel heard and understood and then if you are feeling doubt about your abilities reach out to someone who supports your big vision and understands that the road to success is bumpy but you’re sticking to it.

      Email me I’ll tell you how awesome you are Carmen xxx

  • Absolutely spot on Julia! You’ve really hit the nail on the head with this post. I love it! Although I love my family and they love me, I’ve learned to be sparing with what I share with them! :-) x

  • Such a big subject. I agree fear is usually the main emotion behind a seemingly lack of support or enthusiasm.

  • The loved ones can really be a problem – with non loved ones(!) it can be easier to take them out of the loop if they don’t give you support or promote negativity onto you.
    With loved ones it’s never as easy to take them out of the loop.

    So, as far as possible, it’s necessary to educate them. Often trying to justify yourself or convince them is not the way forward, but simply educating them in allowing you to do your thing!
    Great post,

    • Thanks Gordon, I’m glad you enjoyed it. You’re right justifying ourself is counter productive but if we educate ourself first to understand their fears and to realise that to educate others we need to talk their language then we can start to move forward :)

  • Well family do what they do in the name of protecting you from pain because of their own fears and has nothing to do with you……. In their mind it’s their way of being loving, so Julia you are so right about having a group of people that hold you up

  • Great article Julia, I call them dream stealers myself. It’s best to limit the time you spend in these people’s company and surround yourself with people who want you to have success and who are where you want to be.

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