How frustrating! You took matters in your hands and started to design a life you truly love, shifted things in your personal life, addressed frustrations in your job and made remarkable changes. You started to take full responsibility for your health and wellbeing and became active and motivated to do things differently. You’re riding high on endorphins, because finally things feel like they fall into place and then – completely unexpected – you hit a wall of rejection.
Suddenly family members, or friends, or colleagues express constant concerns, point out everything that could go wrong on this new new journey, ridicule the changes or the impact you make….in short, others suddenly make you uncomfortable with your new life, your new ambitions, and your newfound motivation. And suddenly you get insecure, start to doubt yourself and your new venture: Was it really the right choice? Are they right, will I fail? Is my life really more fulfilling now? Is it really worth fighting so hard?
STOP RIGHT THERE!!!
Don’t allow others to place whatever they’re ordering for themselves on your plate. Yes, your life changes or career changes will trigger certain feelings and certain behaviours in others. Why? Because your life changes are breaking with old patterns and structures, and whenever unexpected change happens, our default mechanism is to resist it and to try to stick to the known and the foreseeable.
So yes, some people might wish back your old, less healthy and less active self, because this version of you didn’t challenge their own unhealthy lifestyle.
Some might wish back the person who’d always complain about things going wrong but never taking action, because this way they could remain passive themselves and join you in this comforting pity-party.
Let’s face it. Your change might be really uncomfortable for other people. Because your changes can work like a mirror for them. And suddenly they don’t see the old and well-known reflection any longer, they see something new, something improved but also something scary and intimidating. Something that can evoke unpleasant feelings like envy, frustration, fear or self-doubts.
Or, it can also play out quite differently. They can also see something new in the mirror that feels inspiring, hopeful, motivating. You really never know what your life changes will evoke in others. Just know it can happen, and prepare yourself for it.
So if other’s feel motivated and inspired by your new life, share generously: your experience, your tips and insights, your motivation and pass on this joy for positive change to the next person, and the next, and the next.
If others feel scared, intimidated, uncomfortable or even envious of the New You and turn against you, here’s what might be helpful to do:
Like always, when committing to a new lifestyle and pro-actively creating your future, awareness is key. Awareness about what’s going on with you and others, and empathy, for what you and others might experience on an emotional level. Our personal Life Design will touch many lives, hopefully for the better. Because there’s nothing more wonderful than leading by example and demonstrating what it means, to live a happy, fulfilled, and meaningful life.
The more intentional and authentic you become, the stronger your impact and effect will be on others. And depending where they’re on their own life journey, their reaction might vary greatly, from opposition to feeling inspired and uplifted. Just keep this one important thing in mind: Their reaction isn’t a reaction towards you or your life changes. Their reaction is a reaction towards themselves and their own life moment.
By keeping this in mind, we can show up with a greater understanding and more empathy.
Letting yourself off the hook through awareness and empathy doesn’t mean that you’ll have to endure all negative behaviour that comes your way. Not at all. Communicating clear boundaries towards people who are invading your space in a negative way is essential to remain grounded in your new life and to stay on track. And communicating boundaries from a place of empathy and respect will come across very differently than just lashing out in a moment of anger, rage or frustration.
Let other people know, you respect their life choices and their life moments and make it very clear, you expect the same in return.
And ultimately, take your distance if your words remain unheard.
Sometimes cutting the contact allows the other person to focus on their own life moment and who knows, maybe in a couples of weeks or months the situation has changed and you’re ready to re-connect.
Life changes will naturally direct you towards new people. I experienced this “law of attraction” in many wonderful ways during my own change story. New people came into my life who were aligned with my new vision and intention for myself and for my work. I didn’t even had to “search” for new contacts, those wonderful encounters just happened naturally.
And slowly I grew a new tribe of people, which I would have never met in my previous career, or previous life. Often people who were one step ahead of me and provided me with support, inspiration and motivation. And the more secure and confident I became with my new journey, the more I attracted people into my new tribe whom I could inspire now. And now it was my turn to share my learnings and my motivation with others.
Trust me, many new and wonderful people will come your way, when you walk firmly the path of your authentic and meaningful life. Embrace those encounters and nurture this newfound tribe. And allow others to support you on your new Life Designing journey, the same way you offer support and inspiration to others.