Unsupportive Family & Friends: How to Deal

When a client comes to me, ready to make big changes in their life, so many times they are met with a complete lack of support from friends and sadly, even their very own family members. This can be heartbreaking and hurtful. Live your truth and stay on the path. Put your energy into the positive things. Take care of yourself. This can be one of the hardest things for some to deal with. Don’t back down, as your health, fitness and well-being matters. Living your best life with passion, goals, and dreams can spark jealousy, criticism, and fear in others. This is your life, your journey. You are not alone. Sometimes the ones closet to your heart can be really unkind. Get the support you deserve. Surround yourself with the people who support your growth and freely give you love and positivity.
My Experience:
I am one of seven children. I live furthest from the home base. Living in sunny California, I sometimes feel isolated from the everyday connections out in the Midwest with the family. I share the entrepreneurial drive with many of my siblings, yet I am the only one that is in the fitness and coaching field. Being a mom to three kids, you are constantly fighting with following your passion and being the best mom for your family. I have had resistance, negativity, “blocks,” and “unfollows,” even sabotages from exes. I’ve learned to grow from it and use the negativity to drive me in the direction of my goals. My philosophy is that if you can’t be supportive, please kindly leave the party.
How to Deal:
Keep your chin up, buttercup. When things get rough, grab that bar and start pulling for your life, your dreams, your goals. Pull really hard with all you’ve got. There have been times in my career where I am leading an exercise class and my body hurts, my heart hurts. But in the back of my mind, I am saying, “Thank God I am alive, thank God I am healthy.” Exercise has been my saving grace more times than I can count, and it has become an automated response to stress. When you’re starting to feel outward attacks from friends and family stacking up, and you can’t stop thinking about it, that’s a sign to go workout. In fact, exercise has been scientifically proven to boost the stress relief hormones, “If you exercise-especially right when the stress response is triggered-you burn off stress hormones just as nature intended, instead of letting them pile up” (Harvard Health Publishing. “Exercise Is an Effective Stress-Buster – Harvard Health.” Harvard Health Blog, www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-is-an-effective-stress-buster). I even apply this method with my kids. They know me well enough that when I say, “We’ll talk about this after I workout,” to let me. It’s always a better outcome when you hit the pause button. This can be applied to all areas in life whether it’s your marriage, workplace, kids, or any relationship for that matter. As your body moves, whether it’s dancing, yoga, running, walking, weights, kickboxing, or swimming, it will allow you to clear space in your mind to pray and meditate.
Drop to your knees, pray, and call one of your SUPPORTIVE friends or family members, There are plenty of people out there that support you, so draw towards them in a time of need. They know you best and can give you good advice and perspective. These people in life are your squad, the bond is authentic. You can’t do this alone.
You’ve exercised, you’ve prayed, you’ve called your best friend, and yet when you lay your head on that pillow, your mind is still racing a mile a minute. When things get this overwhelming, go write everything in a journal. Get the pen to the paper and write down every thought, every emotion, good, bad or ugly. Think of it as detoxing on paper. Sometimes the answers may come, sometimes they won’t, but make an action plan. Ask for God’s help, and get some rest, sleeping beauty. You got some ass-kicking to do tomorrow.
-Kathy Dolan
Kathy Dolan, ACE Fitness Pro, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, is a self-employed business owner. You will find her teaching and training on the Class It Up Virtual Studio and writing health and fitness programs for clients of all ages. She enjoys spending time with her three kids whether it’s in the mountains or on the seashore. 
 
© Copyright Kathy Dolan Fitness, 2018