The path to success includes many pivotal decisions. These decisions shape our future. I want to share my experience and the price I paid with my relationships as I pursued my dreams.
In the beginning, I had my friends and family, and they were people I could count on. Life was easy and predictable. My life was a routine that my friends and family could relate to. As I started to have some success and dream bigger, my confidence built. I realized that my life could change dramatically if I could reset my course. I had never experienced financial success – I was always between poor and lower middle class, and although it was not what I wanted, I had been comfortable in that range.
The first step for me was to become more self aware. Diving deep to learn about myself was not fun. I was open minded about it, but I realized that I was the person holding me back, and it was hard to accept. I had been comfortable in pointing out what other people’s faults were and pointing blame towards them. Now I realized that even if it was someone else’s fault, if it made an impact on my life, it was my responsibility to make it right. I did not have the luxury of putting an explanation next to my status. This is when I stopped blaming other people and adopted the mindset that everything is my responsibility (it does not make my situation better knowing that I did not achieve what I wanted to achieve because of myself or others – either way, I am in the same spot).
Many changes were happening in the way I dealt with things – with my wife, family, co-workers, friends, everybody. This is where my relationships began to suffer. I was a different person and the people around me were not ready for it. I took responsibility for my environment and stopped doing and thinking in ways that were destructive to my desired outcome. The effect this has on others was something I completely missed. My approach made people feel guilty about things, triggering some anger towards me. From my perspective, I made myself vulnerable, accountable, and pushed myself to be the best I could be. Others, though, had a different view. Theirs was that I was self-righteous, arrogant, and not the person I used to be. They developed all kinds of reasons for it – “He only cares about money; He forgets who he is; He is all business all the time;” amongst other things not fit for print.
Most every one of my relationships suffered. There was a loneliness, a feeling of being misunderstood, that came with it. I found myself with very few relationships that I really cherished. I had been let down or betrayed by people that were close to me, and it hurt. I never knew that trying to become better and pursuing my dreams would leave so many relationships damaged or ruined. It was a high price to pay.
Back to accepting responsibility for outcomes, if I could do it all over again, I would do things a little different. I would spend a lot more time sharing with other people how I felt, how scared I was, and ask them to help me accomplish what I was trying to do. I would give them the opportunity to support me in my quest, rather than going at it alone. My rationale of going at it alone because they were my issues does not withstand scrutiny. It should be normal for people to be able to count on the people that care about them to help them accomplish their dreams. It would have been easier, and better, had I brought people close to me more into it.
I shared my experience in hope of helping you save some great relationships. Good luck!