Photo by WOCInTech./Nappy.co

I will always be grateful for the support of my friends and family, or whatever support they had the capacity to give when they gave it.

That’s a mouthful. But it’s a stance that I have taken since I plunged into being a “creative entrepreneur” and here’s why.

People want validation from the ones closest to them. We want to hear the words “I’m proud of you” and “you’re doing so well” but they never hear them. Then, it messes with their confidence and self-esteem; forcing them to believe that the work they are doing is worthless. That, with the persistent self-doubt eating away at them. I’m included. I cannot describe how many times I’ve questioned if what I’m doing is worth it, but I bounce back. I have to constantly remind myself that this is bigger than me not because it sounds good, but because it is bigger than me. I don’t know how yet, but it is. I hope you stick around to find out with me.

When I began sharing my poetry online, I tagged my friends but then quickly realized some wouldn’t like or comment and it bothered me. Instead of asking them, I simply stopped tagging them. I removed the expectation that if I tagged them, they would respond.

Social media has had so many of us disappointed by our people over likes, comments, and shares. Most of us know the value of engagement so any support goes a long way, but what do you do when they’re active on social media, but never support YOU?

Photo by Shane Samuels/Nappy.co

Support from your people is important but I’ve learned a few things about how to adjust and handle the lack of or delayed support.

  1. They’re busy: I know. Sounds cliche but it’s true. We want them to be just as excited as we are about what’s going on, but they have lives too. How rude of them? Of course, I’m kidding but we have to remember that. Maybe they didn’t see it or glimpsed it and forgot. Life does happen to everyone.
  2. They can’t support you at the moment but that doesn’t mean they’re not rooting for you: I don’t hear from a lot of my friends about my work. But that doesn’t mean they’re not watching. I’ve randomly received messages from friends cheering me on and that sometimes means so much more than the everyday messages. As the first line mentioned, it’s all about capacity. Sometimes we just have to learn to meet people where they are and let them love us in their own time.
  3. The term friend and family is something we sometimes throw around. But there are people in those categories that will never support what you’re doing. Just because it’s YOU. You’ve known them long enough to believe that they’ll be there, but you are a reminder of the chances they didn’t take. They have also seen your vulnerability and are silently judging your progress but will never say it to your face. If you notice that, just leave them alone. Remove them from your art because you and I both know, you can do without naysayers.
  4. Support is more than buying your stuff. So, it is paramount to know who can give you what. Again, capacity. Even if you have something on sale, everyone will not always have the budget to buy it right away.
  5. Then there are the ones that will suggest that you get a regular job because this isn’t working or worse, help you find one. Then there are the ones that will shade everything you do with the “who does she/he think they are”.  I’m sure by now you know what to do with those people. No room for naysayers or cowards. They are the same ones that will support someone else doing the same thing as you. Funny how life works.