This is not the most uplifting of posts perhaps, but if you honestly want to change your life it is important for you to realize that not everyone wants you to change. There are people in your life, even people who care for you deeply, that simply don’t want you to change.
Now… everyone has their own issues with change. Any time the situation changes people have to learn how to deal with it, so there will always be a natural resistance to change from most people.
Beyond that though, there are people who have even stronger motivations to resist your change. These people who don’t want you to change come down to two main categories. People who benefit from who you have been and people who don’t want to change themselves.
People who benefit from who you have been, may or may not be aware that this is why they are resisting your change. They may not be aware that who you have been has allowed them to take advantage of you in some way. Regardless of whether they are aware of why, these people will work hard to stop you from changing.
People who don’t want to change themselves see your changing of yourself as a statement about their inability to change. The truth is that at some level they have recognized their need to change but don’t feel that they can, or perhaps that they should have to change. “Who do you think you are? You think you’re better than me?” Often these people will surround themselves with people with problems similar to their own.
Change is hard enough without people telling us that we can’t, or otherwise making it any harder. So what can we do to mitigate this extra stress?
First, find people who DO want you to change and believe you can. Find people who will help you, and cheer for you. Any time the people who don’t want you to change, or don’t believe you can change, get you down… talk to one of your change fans.
Limit your exposure to the anti-change signals. This can mean avoiding the persons involved, or if that’s not possible for you at least don’t discuss your change process with people that oppose it. People accept things much easier once they are done. You can always spend more time with these people once you’ve made the changes you want to make.
Optionally, you could make sure that when you talk to the change resistors you make sure to explain it in such a way it doesn’t threaten their reasons for resisting your change. It might be a good idea to frame the discussion this way the first time it comes up but most of the time, avoiding the topic is the better route.
Are you looking to change your life? I’d love to help you any way I can. Direct any and all inquiries to coaching [at] edwardewilson [dot] com.