A funny thing happens when you start editing your life…
At first you’re making very slow progress and seeing if you trust yourself to do the work. I mean, you’ve set goals and not reached them before, right?
Once you feel the energy of completion and get that snowball effect rolling, your brain starts screaming, “Hokey smokes! I’m actually changing my life! Woo hoo!”
Then you want to share your new insights with the world.
And sometimes the world just doesn’t give a damn. dun dun DUN!
It’s natural to seek out validation and share your expertise when you’re actively improving your life.
I get it—you love your friends, family, and coworkers, so of course they should know how fabulous your life is now that you’ve quit smoking, deleted your Facebook account, ran a marathon, or lived in the wilderness with no running water for a month.
Here’s a bummer of a newsflash for you: when you’re editing your life, the people around you might not be thrilled to see this new and improved version of you. In fact, they might hate it.
But fear not! I’ve got some tactics you can use to stay true to your intentions even when no one likes the new you.
Be a Leader, Not a Preacher
I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I’ve gone a little crazy in the past when I’ve been editing my life. Like when I became a vegetarian. Let’s just say there was a lot of pamphlets being thrown in people’s faces, lecturing in the cafeteria, and food shaming going on.
That’s a good way to make a lot of enemies. And boy, did I.
In my defense, I was a naïve 14-year-old girl with a crappy home life who was looking for a cause to latch onto. I’ve stayed a vegetarian (now vegan), but I’m much more subtle in my approach.
I’ve learned to be a leader, not a preacher.
You’ve probably noticed this in your life too. The more you insist that someone change their views to match yours, the more they’ll dig in their heels and recommit to their own way of thinking.
A better approach is to lead by example. Then the people around you can see how happy and well-adjusted you are (and avoid calling the insane asylum).
How can you be a leader and represent your new life in a positive way?
Avoid Hurting Others While You Find Yourself
While on your life editing journey, pause every so often and be aware of the effect your changes are having on your loved ones.
Life editing is about tweaking your life, but not at the expense of others.
You should avoid hurting the people around you, and that might mean rethinking some of your changes.
Some hurtful changes might be pulling the kids out of school to move to a desert island, quitting your job without discussing it with your spouse, or deciding monogamy isn’t for you and having unprotected sex with whomever you please.
But I must make the distinction between hurting people and simply making them uncomfortable. Making people uncomfortable is not hurting them. Making people frustrated is not hurting them.
So go ahead and tell your conservative parents you’re gay. Stop covering for your lazy coworker even if one more slip-up might get her fired. Tell your kids they’re not getting allowances anymore because the family needs to pay off debt.
The new you will definitely make people uncomfortable. But that’s a good thing.
Who do you need to consider while you edit the various parts of your life?
Grow a Backbone
When you’re improving your mind and spirit, you’ll also want to improve your body—specifically your back and skin.
That’s right, when dealing with haters, you had better grow a strong backbone and thick skin.
A special part of the new you is your new ability to ignore the haters. It might take you some time to get used to dismissing the hurtful judgments from others, but the sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.
Remember your “why.” What was your intention for editing your life in the first place? You weren’t satisfied with the status quo, so you got off your butt and took some action.
You should be proud of your success! You did what so many others (including yourself) have failed to do in the past. That feeling alone should give you the strength to forge ahead despite the nasty comments you might receive.
And as someone who gets quite a few nasty comments on a regular basis, it DOES get easier and easier to focus on your mission the more you ignore the haters.
It’s time for you to enjoy the life you’ve created for yourself.
And isn’t that what the new you would want?
How do you handle people who don’t want you to change?
In the comments below, share your best tips for staying true to yourself despite what other people think.
This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.