When Change Isn’t Only About YOU

not only you

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

~Harriet Tubman

Unless you live on Mars, your changes affect others

As if changing your habits wasn’t hard enough by itself! 

Have you ever noticed that when you try to shift something in your life, big or small, the people around you may behave differently? Unkindly? Get irritated with you? Or even rage, cry, or throw chairs? (Well, I hope not that last thing.)

We are such creatures of habit and identity that when something upsets that equilibrium (even subtly, even for the better), there is usually a message from the people around you to go back to the way things were.  

Why upset the apple cart?

As humans, we generally prefer routine and comfort, even when that comfort is unhealthy, stressful, or even destructive. At least, (our bodies and brains subliminally argue), it’s known.  Familiar feels safer than change for most of us.  

And, as the old saying goes, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. 

That’s part of the reason why it can take a partner an average of 7 tries to leave an abusive relationship for good. It’s why we stay in jobs that kill our souls, and why we keep spending money on stuff we don’t need or eat beyond the point of being full.

And of course, the reasons for staying in destructive “comfort” are also more complex than “it’s what I’ve always done.” But, both you and your immediate community are heavily invested in keeping things the same. 

The complexity is partly because our emotions are at play when it comes to our habits, as I’ve written about before.  And our emotions are not logical…they are emotional.  So, even though we “know” we are engaging in a destructive or undesirable behavior, our emotions keep us there.

Anticipate communal discomfort, and stay the course

At first, your friends, family, and coworkers will often get behind your desire to change. Take “getting in shape,” for example. 

Your kids may look forward to having a parent with more energy and stamina. Your spouse may excitedly anticipate your new confidence, strength, and even body changes. Your work mates applaud your resolve and enjoy watching any outer changes they can see happen before their eyes.

But, when you start eating differently, prepping alternative meals for the family, or making more time for the gym, everyone around you has to adjust to your new behavior, changing availability, or even new personal and emotional boundaries.

You will become a different person in many regards, and that transformation can create a lot of “no, change back–I liked you better the old way!” messages. Which can halt your progress, because you don’t want to have to lose anything as you gain a new sense of self.

So what do you do? 

Once you anticipate, communicate

The more you know, the more you can share. It’s crucial to be up-front with your closest people about your goals and what you believe the outcomes may be. 

Have honest discussions about the not-so-pretty parts of your habit changes, and what that may mean for your family, your work team, your household, your free time, your friends.

Be sure to ask what’s important to your partner, kids, friends, or coworkers, too. What do they love best about you that they may be afraid to lose after you change your habit? What are they fully ready to embrace about the new you? What are some elements of your change that could be difficult for ALL of you?

You can think of this dialog as being fully aware  and clear of all the side effects of this new habit–that way when you hit a hard patch, it’s not a total surprise, and you can be proactive about navigating it, instead of reactive.

Bear in mind that when you change, it’s a mirror to everyone else around you. They may be forced to confront their own “stuff” as they see you transform, set boundaries, or re-create your habits. 

This process can be really uncomfortable for them and may mean that some relationships ultimately fade away. This shift may be necessary for you to maintain your new healthy habit, but can also be painful. It’s crucial to have support from people you trust during any time of change.puzzle

You may imagine your life as a puzzle and you are the center puzzle piece.  When your piece changes shape, those closest must also change to fit the new shape, or be replaced by another piece that does fit.

Meditate to maintain your transformation

Meditation is mindset practice. And continual self-reflection. And cultivating calm and ease amidst the inevitable stress of change in your life.  (Even when those changes are necessary and desirable!)

Les and I will soon be launching a new workshop to help you gain a strong foothold on staying the course of your transformation, even as those around you may (directly or indirectly) ask you to stay the same. I hope you’ll stay tuned for more information.

Meanwhile, have a look at our membership for support, community, and helpful meditation and hypnotherapy practices you can do this week to prep yourself for the changes you want to enact in your life. 

We look forward to supporting your “becoming” process. It never ends, btw. And with practice and support, changes become less scary to you and those around you–pretty soon you will have created the life you LOVE.

Take good care,

Sara and Les

The Mindful Movement

Additional Resources:

Members Oasis for: Unlimited access to all Mindful Movement Meditations and Hypnosis Practices; Exclusive Members Only Content added EVERY month; Practice anytime, anywhere.

Purchase your favorite Meditation and Hypnosis practices from the Mindful Movement. You can download an MP3 file to listen to anytime, anywhere with no internet access necessary.

A personalized hypnotherapy session can support you in making a change you desire.  It would be my honor to help you through the process of change that you are looking for.

Let us know how we can help.  Please feel to leave a comment with any other suggestions, comments, or questions for the community!

About the author, Sara

Sara is the founder of The Mindful Movement and the owner of Coreworks Fitness, a Pilates and Yoga studio in MD. Sara is also a Pilates and CoreAligh Master instructor with Balanced Body.

Sara is passionate about helping others grow and live mindful, fulfilled lives. She helps others move better, feel better, live with a deep awareness, gratitude and their whole heart. She strives to inspire others to live authentically and passionately in love and abundance.

Leave a Comment





7-Day Meditation Course with The Mindful Movement

“The past is gone, the future is not yet here.  If we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Whether this is your first time practicing meditation, or you have joined the journey with me to deepen or reignite your practice, I am grateful you are here now.

Know that this journey inward may not always be easy, but it can offer profound benefits when practiced regularly. And like any other skill, it takes practice and patience to experience progress.

Start, Deepen, or Re-ignite Your Meditation Practice With This FREE 7 Day Foundations of Meditation and Mindfulness Course

aboutimg

7-Day Meditation Course with
The Mindful Movement

“The past is gone, the future is not yet here.  If we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Whether this is your first time practicing meditation, or you have joined the journey with me to deepen or reignite your practice, I am grateful you are here now.

Know that this journey inward may not always be easy, but it can offer profound benefits when practiced regularly. And like any other skill, it takes practice and patience to experience progress.

Start, Deepen, or Re-ignite Your Meditation Practice With This FREE 7-Day Foundations of Meditation and Mindfulness Course