Living your dream can be tough. In fact, you need to be tough to find your way, especially in this world of ‘yes you can’ and ‘no you can’t’. Here is a great example of what so many people struggle with:
Dear Dr. Sylvia,
I am a first-generation college graduate and am ready for my first-generation job in a corporation.
My parents are both blue-collar workers and they are very fearful that I am going to overstep my capabilities and end up being fired because I am “Not good enough for the big-time corporate world.”
I am caught between “Live your dream” and “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
It’s making me crazy. I live in a world that is giving me mixed messages. First, at school, I hear I can be whatever I want. Then I come home and hear that life is full of struggle and suffering.
Look, I am not stupid. I believe that “into each life, a little rain must fall.” However, I don’t need to always be fearing floods and hurricanes.
Or do I?
How do I go forward feeling strong and secure and how do I help my parents see that I am not going to fall down a rabbit hole and suffer if I take this job?
Here’s my response:
Your story is not unusual. So many who are first-generation college grads are caught between two worlds. In fact, most of us are caught there at one time or another.
Look, each generation has its tests and trials. You need to be courageous enough to sit down and talk to your parents about your dreams and how their fears can squash your enthusiasm.
This is what I hear all the time. Parents, other relatives, even neighbors who have had a tougher life don’t even realize they are raining on someone’s dream parade.
Don’t let them.
Here is an important fact to consider: We are generational beings and what happened in the past, even before we were born, does impact us. That is simply a fact.
The degree of impact is the clue.
You see, we all take on roles in the family when we are young. Someone can become a pleaser or a rescuer, someone else will be the rebel or the super-achiever. Often those patterns stick with us and sometimes we forget that as adults we can change those roles and patterns to be more supportive of our present lives.
It sounds to me like you want to get out of the role your parents want or need you to play. Once you are clearer about your strong need to please your parents and your strong desire to please yourself you will be able to take the appropriate action.
My suggestion: go to www.ceoptions.com and take the leadership quiz. Find out if you are a pleaser, martyr, or rescuer. (There are 13 patterns to consider). In any case, once you get the results, sign-up for your complimentary coaching session. I promise this will help you find your best path forward.
Don’t hesitate and don’t give up. Keep going and keep growing.