Have you ever made a significant change in your life and, even though you were confident in your choice, worried about how others would receive the news and feel about you based on your decision? Recently, after much deliberation, a friend of mine made a huge change in her life for the betterment of herself and her family. She worried the people she cared about might have a difficult time with her decision and, in turn, associate those difficult feelings with her in a negative way. As she filled me in on her decision, I felt inspired by her courage to do what she felt called by God to do. Her leap of faith reminded me of how my own changes and the changes of those I care about have been used to stretch and grow me in a positive way.
Life is full of constant changes, both big and small. When it’s a change we personally initiate, it can be scary to think about how others will feel about us if they are uncomfortable with our change. I remember feeling so nervous when I made the decision to move back to Dallas a few weeks after my husband, Andrew, passed away. At the time, I was living next door to my in-laws. I knew, understandably, they would have a difficult time with it, considering all of the change we’d just gone through in losing Andrew. I grappled with two very real truths: I loved them and wanted to be there for them, and at the same time, I longed to be close to my parents and have their support.
I worried about how my change would impact my in-laws and if they would think less of me because of my decision. In these heavy moments, it’s important to remember: if someone we care about is having a difficult time with our change, it doesn’t mean we’ve done something wrong. We are each on our own individual journey. While we are all interconnected and our decisions will impact others, it’s not our job to be responsible for how other people feel. Our job is to stay true to the direction we feel God is leading us and trust He is working through our obedience to not only grow and stretch us outside of our comfort zones, but to do the same in the hearts of the ones we care about.
On the occasion others take on a victim role and blame us when our change creates an unexpected change in their lives, it is often because we’ve rocked their sense of security and need for certainty, and they are grasping for some sense of control. We can’t blame them because it’s coming from a good place, a place that wants to protect and keep everyone “safe,” but we also can’t take their reaction personally. Easier said than done, I know! We must remember fear can cause people to behave in a negative way. Over time, we grow and hopefully we learn to start looking inward when we feel triggered by some else’s decision to make a change and we begin asking questions like these:
- Why does this person’s change make me feel uncomfortable?
- What is this experience teaching me about myself?
We are the one thing we can control.
Time after time, I’ve witnessed how major changes in my life that my friends and family have not initially understood ended up having a profoundly positive impact on not only my life, but on theirs as well, and vice versa. I think this is because when we witness someone have the courage to step outside of their comfort zone to make a positive change and take a leap of faith, we eventually look inside of ourselves and find the courage to do the same.
What about you? How have you seen a change you made directly impact those you care about in a positive way? On the flip side, when has experiencing another person’s change given you the courage to make a change for the better?
Looking forward to hearing your responses!
I want to leave you with this truth I’ve experienced first hand, “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” –Romans 8:28
If you know there’s a positive change you must make in your life and you’re worried about what others will think, I encourage you to remember this truth, take a deep breath, and take a leap of faith. Be sure to watch the ripple effect your courageous decision has on the ones you care about, as that’s what my friend’s significant change has done for me! Love and Blessings.
PS – If you’re looking to motivate, inspire, and encourage a group you are a part of, I would love to come share my message, Living your Legacy Today. It’s about how you can transform your most challenging times into the most meaningful and purposeful path for your life. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.