Smart Reasons to Save, Use and Invest Money

Is Your Family History Holding You Back?

Where do you come from? and is it holding you back?

I’ve seen many friends take the attitude that they are from a “this or that” family background and they can’t do whatever…  Are you letting lines in your family history rule your earning potential?  If you are, consider stopping it!!!

Life is strange, but your family history shouldn’t define who you are!  Perhaps you come from a family line of butchers, but your are a vegan.  You don’t fit in, so don’t try to fit in!  Find your own way!

I was the first in my family to get a bachelors degree.  Surprisingly, I almost didn’t consider going to college.  After all, my immediate family didn’t, nor did any of my other relatives (cousins or otherwise).  I had to kind of blaze my own trail, it was an odd feeling…  At time I didn’t even feel like I belonged in college.  I felt like an impostor!

If I had followed in my family’s footsteps, I would be working at a grocery, retail, or construction job.  It wasn’t easy to go against the grain with respect to my family history, but they were all supportive!  My younger sister recently earned her bachelors degree too, and now she’s going for her MBA.

Not that many years ago, I felt a bit like an poser at work.  Since from early on, I have been use to manual labor, I always feel like I’m goofing off if I’m not rushing around.  Others at work don’t seem to have this problem…

Anyway, the message that I want to convey is don’t let things hold you back! 

We only get so many opportunities to be who we want to be before we get to established in our ways… 

Take advantage of it while you can, have no fear!!!


15 Responses to Is Your Family History Holding You Back?

  1. I know what you mean — your family can have a big influence on your career choices. Luckily, I have a range of different jobs (blue collar and white collar) in my family, so I didn’t have to blaze too much of my own trail. And I don’t feel held back at all — I have ambition!

  2. I grew up in a lower middle class community and barely anybody went away to college. It is hard when you don’t see any examples around you, and also, nobody in my family had a college degree either.

    Fortunately, my brothers and I all decided, on our own, to go to college. The 3 of us have Masters Degrees and I think our circumstances drove us to get educated. We paid for it all ourselves, so it can be done, even though it isn’t easy. But it was so worth it!

    What I learned through it all is that your circumstances don’t have to dictate what you become. You can control your life, you just might have to think outside of the circumstances you live in.

  3. Good backstory – congrats on the success.

    If we accept our upbringing as status quo without challenge, then we’ll only continue that cycle. This includes everything from education & finances to sexism & racism.

  4. @Rainy-Day Saver
    Hehe, perhaps blazing was a bit strong for me. However, it was a lot easier for my sister since I created a path. I think between school and me, it was just status quo for her.

    I play around with the idea of going back to get my masters degree, but with 2 young kids, it would definitely come at a cost! I wish I would have got a master’s degree when I was younger.

    One of my biggest weakness is that I overanalyze things (except my writing, and it show 🙁 )

    Thanks for the great feedback on this! It’s good to hear others that had to overcome the same type of hurdles!

  5. My generation of our family was the catalyst for change, similar to you and your sister. My Mom, brothers, sister and myself all have college degrees. My Dad, aunts and uncles don’t. They were Navy men, who picked up trades from the millitary. There has never been any resentment or jealousy towards us and we in no way feel superior to them. Everyone understands the career landscape has changed.

    The biggest problem we inherited, was an inadequate value of our income. I thought I was worth a certain amount and that is all I pursued, despite working in a technical field, where my peers were paid much more than me. My Mom and brothers had similar feelings and experiences. We had to overcome this blue-collar mentality in order to become successful.

  6. @Hope to Prosper
    My dad got a associate degree in Mechanical Engineering, but ironically, he never really used it. That’s why I had to qualify my degree by specifying bachelors degree. My sister (who is much younger than I am) went to a private school (scholarships), and went on to get her masters.

    I relate to that, but only half way. My mom worked in a grocery store, so that rings true, but my grandparents were small business owners just like my dad. Needless to say, it was complex growing up. I’ve lived in basements before, and then for a few years in the same house as my grandparents. It was an very different childhood than typical (especially when compared to my kids).

  7. I find it more interesting when you talk to someone with kids, who doesn’t want them to do what the parent does regardless of whether it is white or blue collar. I see this all the time in the law field where the lawyer-dad doesn’t want their son or daughter to get into the profession

  8. What a great post! Of course your family history can hold you back. Say you had a mother who beat you and called you lazy for reading a book. Would you ever learn? Suppose your father took his pay check and went to the track or casino. I’m sure you would want to do the same.
    Sometimes were want to be better than our parents. My mom quit school to have a baby in sixth grade. My dad quit in eighth grade to go work in the mines. I got a BS in engineering and designed many things to improve others lives.

  9. @Daddy Paul
    It’s amazing the obstacles that we overcome to become who and what we are today.

    Kudos to you for not giving in and following a similar path and lifestyle! I’m sure your parents are very proud of your accomplishments!

    Many smart people don’t have the courage or the desire to take the risk that you pursued to get where you are! You are truly the exception to the rule! I’m very impressed!!!

    I graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science, and while I’ve created custom internal apps for a few companies, I haven’t created anything that I can look back someday and be especially proud of.

    This blog is one of my most creative outlets in which I hope that it can help people…

  10. I haven’t thought about this topic Don-san b/c my parents both went to college and get their masters. Hmmmm, perhaps I’m lucky to have parents who really really focused on the importance of education.

    I didn’t realize it then, but now I do. Education is so key. I don’t think any of us can get enough of it!

  11. @Financial Samurai
    I’m probably one of the few graduates from college that actually liked the electives I had to take. It really broadened my perspective on many issues.

    If I just took the core classes for my major, I would be less of a person that I am today!

    A good broad education have much value! is compliments a more focused, narrow education…

  12. […] Reasons — I can relate to this post on not allowing your family to hold you back. Its a strange thing really, how sometimes the people who claim they’re looking out for your […]

  13. I find it more interesting when you talk to someone with kids, who doesn’t want them to do what the parent does regardless of whether it is white or blue collar. I see this all the time in the law field where the lawyer-dad doesn’t want their son or daughter to get into the profession