Do You Need People to Support You?

Do you need people to support your goals to be successful? Absolutely not. Self-trust is more important than reflex opinions offered by the people around you. Considering I’m fairly young for a personal development author, I think a lot of people assume I was given a lot of support for my goals and ambitions. This has never been the case.

Up until expanding my network several months ago, I had zero mentors and I was happy to get apathy for my goals from friends as opposed to outright resistance. I love my parents, but I didn’t exactly get rousing support for starting this website, becoming a vegetarian, writing a book or most of my personal experiments. I don’t believe either of them have seen this website.

A couple years ago, before this blog, when I started working on major goals, my close friends weren’t supportive either. I was happy to receive apathy instead of borderline sarcastic snips from many of them. Not exactly a cheerleading section.

In these times of having no certainty from the outside world, I learned to develop my own self-trust. When you lack external emotional support, it becomes easier to see how it is normally just a crutch people use to avoid making their own decisions.

Self-Trust is More Important than Outside Opinion

You need to be able to solve your own problems and make decisions in the absence of external opinion. Self-trust is the ability to thoroughly review a problem, come to an informed decision and then stick with it even when other people say your wrong. If you need to get a permission note from your parents, family or friends to make a life decision, you are no longer in control.

This doesn’t mean you need to be arrogant and never doubt yourself. I doubt myself every day and half the accomplishments I’ve made I was terrified before going forward. What self-trust does mean is that you aren’t outsourcing your decision making to other people and you can ignore uninformed opinions.

Opinion Weighs Less than Fact

When I decided to switch to a vegetarian diet, I can’t remember receiving a single positive piece of feedback. My parents were worried about my protein. My sister rolled her eyes. I didn’t know any other vegetarians and the base of opinion around me definitely wasn’t positive.

But I needed to ignore those opinions. I had done my research into the health benefits of a vegetarian diet from several books and hundreds of different online sources based on scientific research. Beyond that I recorded a journal to make notes of my personal experiment with a vegetarian diet and noticed many positive changes. Fact weighed more than opinion.

When faced with tough decisions, don’t outsource your thinking to people who haven’t done the research. Study the problem yourself and make a decision. When that decision conflicts with the opinions of the masses, trust yourself first.

Should You Care What Others Think?

Does this mean you shouldn’t care what other people think? Unless you’re a cold-hearted psychopath I don’t believe you have a choice. Compliments will always taste better than criticism and support will make you feel better than disdain.

You just have to be able to look your detractor in the eye and tell them that, “You value their opinion but sincerely believe they are wrong.” How’s that for a conversation ender?

Success Creates Positive Support – Not The Other Way Around!

At the beginning of this article I painted a rather bleak picture in terms of the external emotional support I get. The truth is that the situation has reversed itself. I now have dozens of people I am in close contact with who give me positive support for my goals and ambitions. Positive support is by no means universal, but I get a lot more positive feedback than negative.

My ratio of positive to negative feedback with this website is almost 100 to 1. I can say it definitely feels very good to read e-mails from people telling me how I’ve improved their lives.

This support came after success, not before it. Before you do something successfully there will be a million detractors to drag you down. It is safer to hate something then to support it and detraction is often just another form of cowardice. Once you have proven yourself, the risk of support is gone and it is far easier to get compliments than criticism.

Realize that emotional support is an investment. People don’t want to support someone because they would look foolish if they were wrong. Once you have proven yourself, more people are willing to invest in supporting you in the future. Respect is earned, and never let a lack of investments keep you from living your life.

I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson who made the point more eloquently than I ever could,

“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”

  • julie

    You are a very refreshing man, young or not.

    I’m not sure how I found your blog but am so glad I did. You made me laugh and gave me food for thought. I will check it often.

    What is URI ????

  • The Happy Rock

    The premise that we need to trust ourselves, and push past detractors to stick to our plans is a very valuable reminder.

    I do think that true emotional support is something that fills a valuable area in hearts.
    Part of it, is that I am not sure I see emotional support as you describe it. People supporting me after my successes isn’t true emotional support, they are cheerleaders. They are a nice ego boost and reward for the hard work, and they may even become true emotional support.
    True emotional support isn’t an investment, it is something that is freely gifted because we value the people that are close to us. It doesn’t have any preconditions, and doesn’t even require that someone support your ideas. It is about relationships were you can truly let your inner vulnerabilities go, and know that you will be loved. A place to receive encouragement in failure, not just success. Someone who cries with you, and gives you a kick in the butt when you need it. A place that you can feel truly at home, no matter what happens. I wish I was more eloquent in describing true friendship/love, but I know I am not. The hard part is that we rarely meet people that live such lives, and most of us struggle to give that kind of love. Yet, I think we lose a deep piece of our humanity when we go with out that type of support. It is the type of love that I long to give my wife and family.

    I think true emotional support is a necessity. Not for success(that can be achieved without it), but for deep grounded fulfillment. The type of fulfillment that will have a big impact on not only achieving success, but also in how you define success.

  • Goal Setting College

    Well said, Scott! I totally agree on your thoughts about the importance of self trust over opinions. Because at the end of the day, whatever decisions one make, he’s the one who’ll have to bear the consequences, be it good or bad. Thanks for this


  • Scott Young

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    The Happy Rock,

    I didn’t want to imply that you don’t need emotional support at all for happiness. That definitely isn’t true. What I meant is that you don’t need specific positive support for a particular goal or pursuit.

    I mentioned my parents. We have a good relationship and there is definitely emotional support. But with many of my specific pursuits they show more concern than positivity. There can be love in a relationship without needing to support/agree on everything.

  • C47

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’m 19, skipped my junior year of high school, left behind everyone who said I was crazy (and who later said they wished they did what I did), and now I’m a college junior about to graduate at the end of next year in a program with a lot more focused and dedicated people (I’m not trying to put down all my high school classmates – I’m still good friends with a few).

    But your post reminded me of how doing well in high school and being proactive was typically frowned upon or made fun of by peers – or at least the people I hung out with. “I was happy to receive apathy instead of borderline sarcastic snips from many of them.” So true. I’m glad I was able to escape that, and it seems that you have too.

  • Scott Young


    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad you were able to turn it around. The point of the post was to emphasize that you will get a lot more support after you have proven yourself then before. Go figure.

  • Jeremy

    Great post. If I were to explain how much I agree with you, I would have to write a novel.

  • Jeremy

    Correction, I would have to write an auto-biography.

  • D

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you for sharing your story it’s a big help to me and I too understand how it is to be . Individuals from my university have been back-biting me about my approach to education and even my attitude about life. I’ve always been true to myself and acted the way I felt was right but after several semesters the pressure was getting to me and I started to wonder if I am right. I always manage to rebound despite being brought down but somehow I couldnt get out of this one as quickly as I usually do. Slowly assuring myself that being myself is not wrong, I managed to rebound out of it and this also made a few of those within the back-biting bunch to change their mindset about conforming to a group (not that its always bad). They said that it tiring and frustrating trying to keep up with the “group-leader’s” expectations and actions and it annoyed them.

    I found your site yesterday and been hooked to it since then where I find your point of view a very interesting one for someone your age. I too have a fond interest in self-development since my teens and several other areas but I have not come across someone with such in-depth knowledge about such topic. I am grateful that I found your site by chance and would like to thank you again for all the amazing entries I have read and will continue to read.

  • Scott Young

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

  • Moe Khan

    Hey wow you have the light of posistivy which a lot of us are searching for! i want to be your friend!

  • Jeane Goforth

    I had figured this out when I was your age, but lost it somehow when my first baby was born and I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. Now that my youngest has just graduated high school, I am rediscovering these truths as I reshape my life for it’s second half. What you don’t say is that it takes a certain inner strength to follow through. Recent experience has taught me that the majority of people don’t have that strength.
    I am proud that I seem to have passed both the self-trust and strength on to my children. I plan to frame the program from graduation that lists the local community college as my son’s choice–despite scholarships to a couple of art schools. His choice to study auto mechanics so he can use cars as his artistic medium is just as valid as his classmates choosing Dartmouth and Rhodes. And is certainly a better choice than the herd of elephants headed for the University of Alabama because it is convenient.

  • Jutta

    Hi Scott! Guy, you are amazing. Here sits a 46 year old woman in Aussieland getting inspired by your stuff. I just finished a 6 1/2 year relationship because I want to follow my dreams instead of his. I can see so much of how we compromise for pay-offs and then pay the high price of leading a life what we don’t like, just surviving, instead of living an extraordinary one!!!! At the end of our little lifes we have to look only at OUR life and be responsible for that not for anybody elses. I did my highschool certificate in 2000 as a mature aged student as a single mum .. got an excellent score and wanted to study psychology. Well, then “HE” came along and all my plans diminished in nothing. Now, nearly 7 years later, I decided to be a life coach who empowers people to live an extraordinary life, a life which inspires and touches them. I did not get the support and encouragement from the man who supposedly loves me. He said ‘ring me when you’ve made it’… Guess what? I won’t!!!!
    Everybody take care … and GO for it and believe in yourselves.
    Love. Jutta

    PS:Here a litte Maroi saying (my ex was from New Zealand):
    Be proud of who you are / Be true to yourself / Be the best you can be / Be your Higher Self. …..

  • Dee

    A great post as usual.
    I’ve been working on building my self-trust or what is called ‘I Can’, in addition to self-confidence.
    your story is inspiring, and for a while instead of searching for self-development articles, I search for Scott H Young and by the way, my life was the one of those you changed.

  • Imran M. A. Abzakh

    just i need job …