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How to Follow Your Dreams When Your Parents Don't Approve

“I want to change my career path, but my parents won’t approve.”

This is one of the biggest setbacks I see with coaching clients in their early 20s. Especially when financial support is involved, parents can have a hold over their kids’ career choices.

If you’ve ever felt trapped by your parents’ expectations, here’s how to pave your own path:

1. Sort out your dreams from your parents’ dreams.

Make a list: What do your parents want for your life? What do YOU want from your life? What makes you happy?

Then ask yourself: Are you willing to lose your parents’ support (financial or otherwise) to be happy?

2. Create a plan for supporting yourself financially.

If you’re in grad school and your parents are supporting you, you may feel obligated to stay the course—even if you know it’s not the right one.

Create a game plan for how you could support yourself financially by working a part-time job or picking up freelance work.

3. Have an honest conversation with your parents.

Instead of going to mom and dad and to ask for permission, tell them what your plan is.

Share how you plan to support yourself and what your time frame is. Explain why your dreams are important to you.

If you’re worried that they won’t listen, try this line: “I just want you to listen and then ask questions when I’m done sharing.”

4. Stop talking and start doing!

It’s always the right time to leave a life that doesn’t fit you, and the risks are worth it. Loving your career unlocks happiness across the board.

In your journey to following your dreams, be prepared to make mistakes. Be prepared to change paths again.

As long as you keep moving, you won’t get stuck.


Need a confidence boost before talking to mom & dad? I've got you. Book a call with me today to clear your thoughts and grow your courage.

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