What to do When No One Likes the New You
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?
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.
3 Simple Steps to Become a Productivity Superstar
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As I change and grow people move in and out of my life. I’ve gotten used to it now. I’ve also accepted that everyone is changing. It’s not just me.
For example, my college roommate and I were really tight for about 5 years out of college. Then we started to drift apart because we had different lives. Recently, we are moving back into each others lives. No blame or shame. No what happened back then.
I guess we both realize that as you change and grow, your relationships also evolve.
Nice perspective. Thanks for commenting, Nneka!
I’m very happy and grateful that everyone in my immediate family and friend’s circle is supportive. Although, I don’t really talk to much with my boyfriend about the nitty gritty of building a business, he’s supportive in his own little way (even when I have crazy weeks, and I don’t spend a lot of quality time with him!).
I find it easy to stay true to myself when I recognize my strengths and weaknesses, and find ways to build up the strengths. So, that may be to take a class, interview someone, read a book, etc. I feel more empowered when I’m doing the things I love and learning more about it. It just feels right and continues to be something that I know I should be doing.
Yes! It’s easier to keep moving forward when you believe in what you’re doing. Thanks for commenting, Jennifer. 🙂
I think you’ve got a really important point with the “be a leader, not a preacher” concept!
Thanks, Rachel! It seems to work for me. 🙂
Great advice as usual Sage. I couldn’t agree more with the statement that you need to be a leader and not a preacher.
Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights
Thanks, Tracy! 🙂
What great advice Sage! I tend to be pretty extreme in the other direction. I won’t even tell people that I’ve made any changes and will only talk about it when I’m asked. I tend to function in a bubble in times of extreme change until I get it all worked out and figure it out for myself. I’m sure this isn’t great as I’m not really asking or searching for support and this makes it a lonely journey but I tend to be a loner.
Support is important for some changes, but keeping your progress to yourself until you’re ready to share can also work. I know several people who were trying to lose weight but didn’t want the added pressure of an audience. They didn’t say anything until people started noticing their obvious weight loss.
I guess you have to take it on a case by case basis and go with what feels right for your personality. And loners tend to be great thinkers, Sarah. 🙂
Hi Sage! Great article. We can’t please everyone and we shouldn’t have to. Something that I learned a long time ago and that always sticks in my mind is “What other people think of you is none of your business.”
I put my focus on what makes me happy and make sure that my support system includes positive and loving people.
Hi Marie-France! I love that quote. 🙂 And that’s a good point that we should surround ourselves with people who support us, even when we make big changes.
Hey Sage. Well just as you I tried to change their views so they match mine. I learned the hard way too. Now I don’t invest time and energy on this anymore. I don’t argue. I just agree that we disagree on that subject. 🙂
Hi Charlotte! Yes, agreeing to disagree is often the best thing to do.
That’s a tough one Sage! I will tell what I have done in the past, I usually get myself out of the picture, literally. I respect their way of thinking and being, but that doesn’t mean I need to keep listening to their negativity. I guess by being away I have developed a “self-protection” strategy to avoid getting hurt again. I have constantly to remind myself who I am, where I come from, and where I’m going. I think this is my best way to stay true to myself. Thanks for sharing this post! ~ Vanessa
Absolutely, Vanessa. There’s no reason to keep listening to their negative comments. I tend to step away from these people too so I can better focus on my mission.