Change comes in many shapes and forms, that we know. We talk about personal change, systemic change, organizational change, and many more. Regarding organizations, without strategy and engagement, we will end up with a lot of resistance to whatever we are doing. On a more personal level, the story sometimes is no different. I have always asked myself that, why is that people resist change? Frankly, there is a lot of writing about it out there. Nevertheless, before we dig into specifics, what is in fact, change?
Here is the thing: finding a one-size-fits-all definition for things will always be difficult. We all see, understand, feel, and react to things differently. We take what we receive from the exterior through our personal filter, and from there on, that’s our definition. The same is here. However, here is one: according to Aileen Zaballero and Yeonsoo Kim, change is defined as a “movement toward a goal, an idealized state, or a vision of what should be and movement away from present conditions, beliefs, or attitudes” .
Now, let’s say that you want to take a big step or make a big change in your life. This change can be either sudden or something that you might have had in your mind for a long time. You are either wishing to move to another country, continue your studies, or quit your day job and go all on your own.
I can already hear it. Are you crazy? You’ve worked very hard to get to where you are now, mentally, physically, professionally, personally, or whatever else. Analyzed everything through all sides, above all your goals, expectations. As a result, the voice still tells you the same thing: Do it! You’ve thought of all the good and bad parts. You’ve even made A, B, C, D plan in your head; and deep down you know that this is the right thing to do for you now. In all honesty, hoping that eventually lead you to the long-dreamed peace and happiness. What I mean by peace and happiness can be separately discussed, but that’s for another time.
You see, that’s where things get a bit “funny” actually. We have a funny way to say “I care about you” or “I just want the best for you”. We sometimes show our full support for someone doing something completely stupid, even when it’s super obvious. Then other times, with all things considered, we deny it and take it as a joke. Guess what? It’s really not about you, me, or anyone else. It’s just about whoever takes the decision. Whatever happens, good or bad, is completely on them. Once they took the decision, as a result, they assumed the risks and responsibilities with it too. It differs from situation to situation, from person to person, from context to context, and those aspects we can discuss separately ([)please do get in touch with me if you are in one of those situations and you need support). Of course, I do think that we all have few people in our lives that we allow to either “judge” or maybe discuss these decisions with, but let’s be honest, these people know you and believe in you enough to know that whatever you put your mind up to, you’ll somehow make it there. To be honest, talking strictly from my experience, that’s all you actually need. You only need a handful of people to believe in you, and the most important, BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT part in this whole “believing process” is actually YOU (I simply can’t stress this enough). It’s you that needs to believe in whatever you dream and plan to do. It’s you that needs to accept the changes and the consequences too. And in the end, it’s you that will celebrate the successes together with the handful of people that believed in you from the start.
So no, if you feel discouraged or disappointed, just stop. I know it’s easier said than done, but sometimes we have to remember that people criticizing, judging, or whatever else, are not talking from your experience. It’s only you who knows how it feels to get through what you’ve been through, nobody else does. Others can only judge and see from their perspectives, through their understanding of your situation and their ability to emphasize. And it’s sad but real: not everyone will support your decisions and your “next step”, whoever they are or however close you two are. And again, it’s not about you, it’s strictly about them. They won’t do it if they would have the same decision to make. They might maybe be too comfortable with their lives, might be too afraid of change, or are simply not as powerful, strong, and resilient as you for keeping up with all the possible advertisers that might come up your way.
Just to summarize:
1. Don’t let anybody diminish the fire within you.
We see or live this every day - people express their own frustrations and inabilities by mocking or judging other people’s dreams. It can be family, friends, work colleagues, teachers, and many others. It’s all about them, not about you. There are also times that you might be the one killing the fire, but in this instance, you have to focus a bit more on yourself and your self-awareness. And have no worries, we’re all still becoming.
2. There is no reason that you cannot do whatever you desire to do.
None. Nada. Niente. We’ve all seen or known of people that came from nothing and built something. Examples are many. And they will always be doubting or distracting you, but you have to look ahead and ignore them. It’s normal to be insecure. Anything new brings a degree of insecurity too, but don’t let that stop you. Absolutely not. Insecurity is just a reminder that you are challenging yourself, and that’s how you grow.
3. One door closes another one opens.
First thing now, listen to your intuition. If you think that the door was closed in your face on the basis of such as race, religion, appearance, beliefs, or whatever else, I don’t think you want to do that thing or work for that company anyway. Either talking about professional or personal life, just think about it. Why would you want to be with someone that does not respect or value you for who you are and what you have to offer? Or why shouldn’t I walk through the door I actually deserve? Save your energy instead and redirect it towards your self-worth. Don’t waste it battering an unappreciative door. Move on and take your talents and potential elsewhere. Of course, it’s highly controversial and we can discuss it, but I am a strong believer that good things are worth waiting and fighting for. Always, with no questions asked.
4. Everybody fails sometimes, and that’s okay.
And by sometimes I mean often. Failure is part of life and growth. So don’t be afraid to fail. Try to find ways to even fail faster - then you’ll turn that into learning and beautiful growing. It only becomes a mistake if you let it stop you from your dreams. Talking to people, both successful or unsuccessful (again, how we define success differs greatly) you normally hear that they link their upgrowing to someone that tried to stop them or tried to make them change their path. These stories differ too (we are all so beautifully different human beings with our own magic), but one thing connects here - an unbearable stubbornness to do what one loves and the fight to always strive for growth.
5. Own your life and honor your calling.
Have ideas. Reflect on them. Have all your ideas written down and keep track of them. Make applications and send them in even when there’s no opening. Train yourself. Built expertise. Find your niche. Give yourself time. Do your research. Work on your personal brand. Go get experience, whatever that is. And I hope that along your way you’ll find like-minded people to share this with. But remember - it always starts with YOU.
If you’ve read until here, join me in supporting and helping each other in making a difference in whichever way and whatever we want to do. The world is a messy place, and rather than driving it with judgment, hate and negativity, let’s replace that with love, compassion, and support. Only so, we’ll grow, find our tribe, and become stronger together.
Article initially published on Vocal.Media