Episode 121: When Other People Don’t Like Your Changes
Congratulations, You’ve leveled up! You’re changing – you’re
becoming more aware, more confident, more authentically you.
You’ve seen some amazing changes in yourself – this is what
happens 100% of the time when you dive into coaching. But then
there’s something that also happens just about 100% of the time
that we don’t often talk about – when you change, you’ll be met
with some resistance. The moment you start to change in these
really amazing ways there will be or are people in your life that
won’t like those changes. What do you do when you’re growing
and upleveling and others don’t like the new you?
Well, Congratulations! You’ve leveled up. You’re changing. You’re becoming more aware, more confident, more authentically you! You’re getting better at not people pleasing. You’re listening more to yourself and paying attention to your needs – and not in an egotistical way but in a genuine, loving, kind way. You’re taking time to be proud of yourself on a daily basis and it feels so good, so compassionate, and just like you’ve entered this whole new world.
This is what happens 100% of the time when you dive into life coaching and I can speak for myself and my clients – that that level of change and growth is exponential and incredible but there’s something that I hear also pretty much 100% of the time too. The moment you start to change in these really amazing ways there are people in your life that don’t like those changes.
You’re met with some resistance. It might come in the form of passive aggressive comments or behavior, maybe sometimes not so passive. Sometimes you become the target for other people’s conversations. And it can be so confusing and disheartening because on one hand you’re discovering this whole new version of yourself that you didn’t even know existed and it can feel so uplifting and good and freeing – and then on the other you’ve become a target for negativity.
I can remember going through this at different stages in my life – not just with coaching but as you evolve and grow and become there will be others that aren’t ready or willing to grow with you and that’s really what I want to talk about today. What do you do when you’re growing and changing and upleveling your life and other’s don’t like the new you?
First this podcast centers on confidence and you cultivating that self-confidence – which really means that you maintain and nourish your security and certainty that you’re going to be okay no matter what – so when others aren’t liking the new you – you want to make sure that you don’t dive into old habits of people pleasing and take this time as an opportunity to get to know yourself a little bit more.
I know the first thing we want to do- or your natural man brain I should say wants to do is think about them, wonder why they are thinking, doing, saying whatever about you, you’ll want to worry or fix, prove, or convince them and all of this is centered on THEM. It’s such a sneaky, subtle shift back to a form of people pleasing. We don’t like when others aren’t totally on board with us – we struggle with that because there’s a part of our primitive wiring that centers on being in the tribe, liked, accepted by the group and the fear of not being accepted or being rejected from the tribe – which was legitimate back in primitive times is still showing up in your thinking.
Which is why you don’t want to focus on them first. You need to come back to your own mind and get to know yourself a bit more, to understand why you’re thinking the way you’re thinking. We want to remember that THEY can’t make you feel the way you want to feel. When you feel rejected by others there’s the natural man tendency to people please and get back in good standing with the tribe, right? But why? Why would you want to do that? When you stop and think about it it’s because there’s a past part of you that is still running the tape that you can do something to please them so they’ll be pleased and then you’ll feel accepted again, right?
But they can’t do that. They can’t give you the feeling that you want or need -and that’s why you need to dive into your own brain first. We want to stop and really understand that how others feel is because of what they are thinking and not because of who you are and what you’re doing. We also want to reassure our primitive/natural man brain that we’re not in cave man times anymore. Some of these fears are irrational and irrelevant right now.
Here’s the truth – people are going to love you and despise you and none of it will have anything to do with you. When we change we in essence shed off a part of our old self. We stop doing things we once did and of course not everyone is going to like that. It’s going to be confusing to them as well. Like, what is going on with Hannah? Why is she doing that? And then deep in our shared human insecurities – there’s a coping mechanism that tends to put others down to elevate or offer security to themselves.
Sometimes when others don’t understand what’s happening or why there’s a tendency to dismiss, criticize, belittle, or reject you in an attempt to create a known path. When they criticize it’s like them trying to make their own sense of what’s happening. They don’t really know or understand and oftentimes their own insecurities get in the way of leaning in and asking so instead it goes towards the negative which can create more thought drama on you.
Do you know what I mean? When they don’t know the real story, what’s really going on – they make up a story and here’s the thing – if they’re not confident in themselves, their insecurities are going to take the lead and nothing good, productive, or inclusive is going to come those fears.
I don’t share this to justify their behavior by any means – just as a way for you to make your own sense of what might be happening. And when you look at it this way, you have more information – and with more information you can make better decisions of what you want to do or how you want to show up. So here’s another thing I want you to take into account.
When you change and stop doing, thinking, feeling something – you in a sense let that part of you die off and sometimes with that – we’re faced with a realization that there are or were some people that benefited from that old you. Of courses they’re not going to like the new changes. Something they once benefited from is now being threatened into extinction and they might not want to let that go.
I remember we made the choice to change our diet pretty drastically and there were people that struggled with our changes, one individual in particular. She was a health coach and always considered herself knowledgeable in nutrition and diet but didn’t really walk the talk. She knew a lot of things but still ate a lot of junk foods so when we made our drastic changes she started stirring up quite a bit of drama and unwarranted criticism. She would say things like, “Who do you think you are? You think you’re better than me now” and we’d hear things that she was saying to others and just putting us and our changes down.
It wasn’t our choices that really bothered her but her own insecurities that were being triggered. Before we made our health changes it was comfortable for her. Everyone was seemingly in the same boat – eat whatever you want, talk about whatever foods – and now that was different because someone other than herself took a high interest in good foods, nutrition, and healthy eating.
It’s really fascinating to stop and think and just ask yourself the question – what part of old me were they benefitting from? What part of them feels threatened by new me? And just explore what that could be – not because you need to understand but that curiosity will open the doors to compassion and compassion always leads to love.
A lot of times you’ll hear that you just need to part ways – say goodbye- you don’t need that drama in your life anymore. They don’t want to understand you so just leave. And I don’t think that’s what we really want – we love and crave connection. We still want to love and be loved and that just can’t happen when we cut people out of our lives. So I love starting with curiosity, that paves the way to compassion, and compassion always proceeds love. It’s such a beautiful practice.
Another way to look at this is in thinking that for however long – you and this other person or people have been engaging in a kind of dance. The dance is known, the footing is sure – it makes sense. There’s certainty in it, right? But now all of the sudden you start doing an entirely different dance and they’re like, “What is happening?!” And so of course it’s going to be awkward, toes will get stepped on, they’ll resist the new steps and then you get to this point where it’s really an invitation – they can grow with you- it doesn’t mean that they have to change but they can grow in that they increase their level of love and acceptance towards you while they navigate this new terrain. Or maybe they don’t want to and that’s okay too.
There are times in your life where you want to say goodbye but not from a almost ultimatum standpoint – like, you have to accept me or I’m leaving kind of a thing but rather I love you and I accept your agency and what you choose but this is what I’m doing.
Do you feel the difference? One is from lack and scarcity and an unacceptable – the other is all love.
There are times when you want to say goodbye from love, out of love, for love. But when we choose this path we don’t harbor any ill feelings or thoughts toward them. We accept who they are choosing to be right now while still moving forward into the human being we want to be.
And that’s really the key here – Who do you want to be even when (notice not if – when) Even when people don’t like your changes? And if you notice so much of this work is about you, your thoughts, your feelings, your intentions – like I mentioned earlier, your primitive brain will want to revert – oh no! I offended someone? What can I do to prove or convince them that what I’m doing is acceptable? And then we get stuck in their head – and there’s nothing we can do there. There’s nothing we can say to convince them if they don’t want to know about it.
But when you show up in your own head from a place of curiosity, compassion and love – then you’re able to move forward. You can open a dialogue. You can let them be wrong about you – there is some incredible freedom in that practice. Letting others be wrong about you. And when you can do that – then it’s okay if they’re upset with your changes – it’s not about you.
People are going to have thoughts about you, about what you do, what you say, how you show up – and none of it has anything to do with you. When you understand this, like really understand this – you’ll be able to show up authentically – always. And showing up authentically more of your people will be able to find you and connect with you.
When you’re stuck in a whirlwind of people pleasing, convincing, trying to prove or justify you’re missing out on attracting your people to you. While you’re expending your energy trying to change someones mind – someone else who would love to connect with you can’t find you because you’re not sharing your light.
Like calls to like and virtue loveth virtue. So when people don’t like your changes it doesn’t mean change back and people please. It just means that this is an opportunity for awareness, compassion, and confident living. Instead of getting in their head – stay in your own. It’s never, do they like me? And always, do I like my changes? Is it worth it to me? Are you willing to feel a level of discomfort – because it’s never comfortable when other’s aren’t happy – but so that you can be more authentically you?
You’re growing and changing and becoming and that is something worth celebrating – so don’t stop celebration because of those that aren’t ready or willing to grow with you – love them anyway and keep celebrating yourself as you shine brighter and brighter. Okay, have a fantastic week and I’ll talk to you next time!