How dependent are you for encouragement from your family and friends? This was the topic of conversation last Wednesday evening from 7pm – 8pm on Twitter with the lovely ladies from Asian Women Mean Business. 

A number of the women taking part in the Twitter chat noted that family and friends encouragement was quite important in order to achieve goals. With such a strong sense of family, it wasn’t surprising that most of us appreciated our parents supporting our dreams, passions and livelihoods.

Knowing that you have a solid unit believing in your abilities can serve as a strong foundation on which you build upon by working towards your own successes.

However, being dependent on encouragement may not always bode well for you as an individual. Relying on people to validate your decisions can easily hinder your growth and decision-making ability – a quality that is essential in the working world.

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There’s no right or wrong answer to this. But there is a difference in terms of our need for encouragement. Women who had started businesses found it to be a great source of comfort in receiving encouragement from their nearest and dearest. It’s easy to see why too. Launching a business carries with it great risks financially, more investment as well as plenty of stress and concerns which would naturally result in us turning to family and friends for advice and support.

As a blogger, there’s less of a need for encouragement as the expense is drastically less than starting your own business. Being behind a screen and keyboard acts as our security regardless of whether our content is well received or not. There’s far less risk involved and should your blog not work out, the only thing that may be potentially wasted is your time.

That’s not to say we don’t like it when we receive praise for our work on designing a new website, or the research that went into our latest blog. It’s human nature to react positively to compliments. What’s important is that we don’t become dependent on this. Sadly, social media doesn’t make this easy as we’ve become use to a virtual world where we thrive off of the amount of ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’ we receive. This kind of online validation only serves to make it harder for us to establish a stronger, independent mindset in the real world.

Even with the influence of social media, it was obvious throughout the talk that most of the women credited the older generation as their inspiration for being strong minded and ambitious. Having lived through times where women were expected to be a certain way and conduct themselves in a manner that was deemed acceptable by society, they are fully aware of the opportunities our generation have. More importantly though, they want us to grasp each and every one of them.

Surely that’s that’s all the encouragement we need?

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