Just as you are adapting to your new self, so are those around you. They have known you in a certain context and some will need time to adapt. I say some because there will be those people who support you completely in what you are doing. There will be others who are pretty much indifferent but with whom you can maintain the same relationships.
However, there will be some people in your life who will have a harder time with your change.
Your work and dedication has brought about positive results in your life; however, for others, it can bring up insecurities about how they live their own lives. They see you doing the hard work that they have neglected and may resent you for it. This resentment will most likely not come in the form of them telling you directly but rather in increased distance (either emotional or physical), difficult or awkward conversations, anger and perhaps even envy or jealousy.
The importance of being inclusive
These interactions are part of your environment (the elephant’s path) and if not handled properly, strongly negative ones can and will halt your progress. In some cases, your root activity (or the time investment needed) will spark dialogue, questions and even criticisms. In other cases, the final product that you are becoming will be a sticking point for people. Regardless if their interactions with you are extremely positive, neutral and/or what you perceive as negative, the questioning, looks and sometimes odd comments are most likely coming from a place of love and not resistance.
Therefore, just as you have been treating yourself with kindness, patience and honesty, the same has to be applied to those around you. The old adage of “do unto others…” needs to become your guiding light as you continue with your personal development, educate those around you and keep your elephant path clear.
How you would like to be seen, treated and accepted is exactly how you need to show up to others.
The power of including others
The easy thing to do would be to ignore them, give in to them, be defensive, angry and perhaps even end the relationship. This is a reaction. But all of your hard work has taught you to be with difficult situations (and this includes people) and it is here that you can now choose a beneficial response that not only helps you but heals and maintains your relationship.
As we mentioned in Chapter Seven, you are moving to the future and building upon the great person that you already are rather than tearing yourself down and reinventing yourself. This involves bringing those in your life with you. It may feel like more work in the beginning, but in the long run it is very fruitful to have those closest to you be a part of one of your life’s greatest achievements.
Sadly, this can be easier said than done at times.
There will be people who will make your life very difficult and will refuse to accept what it is that you are doing. Therefore, it is important to recognize that you are unable to control what they do, and only capable of controlling how you show up to them and of choosing a beneficial response (rather than a hurtful reaction).
The following questions may to help ground you in the process:
- Am I basing my reaction on what I know or what I think? (There is a big difference. Make sure that you are operating from a place of truth with evidence rather than your own thoughts and invented scenarios.)
- Am I looking for acceptance? Does it matter that they don’t accept me?
- Do I accept them as they are?
- Do I exhibit the behaviors and attitudes towards them that I would like them to show towards me?
- Do I (or could I) include them in my root activity or supporting behaviors?
- Do I show them that I am making time for them despite my change and personal development?
- My efforts as of late have been completely inwards. Am I being self-centered?
- Can I show them the attention that they perhaps feel has been taken away?
- Am I taking myself too seriously all of the time?
Personal development does not happen on an island. As you move through it, are you balancing your life or simply making it more imbalanced?
If you enjoyed this post, it is an excerpt from the final chapter of my new book, Creating your personal change: how to do it everyday and thrive”. You can order it on Amazon. Enjoy.