It’s week 2 of Unleash Yourself, when you take your all out into the world and show it off!
These are exciting times. But they can also be challenging.
I’ve been there. I’ve gone on my own journey, and come out of it changed. My world view had shifted, my own priorities had shifted, I was certainly happier, more purposeful. While I remain a God fearing woman, my beliefs and values did change. Some things that had been important to me just didn’t seem important at all anymore. Things I overlooked before, they became things I hold dear.
And I started getting feedback from those who knew me in the “before”. Those people hadn’t gone on the journey with me. They didn’t go through what I had gone through, and they hadn’t changed with me. My change didn’t make sense to them. It was difficult to feel connected to people who were now at different stages of their life than I was. It felt lonely, isolating even.
So, if you’re starting to feel some of that loneliness or isolation, I just want to let you know that this is a normal part of the process. And it’s nothing that can’t be addressed. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, or like things are “off”, don’t panic or freak out, and certainly don’t retreat.
When you go through any change, you’re going to need some adjustment time, and so will the people around you. Think about it this way. You’ve created a new you, that exists in the space where the old you was. The new you needs to get settled into her surroundings, right? They might be familiar to the old you, but they’re new to the new you. You’re going to need to introduce the people around you to the new you as well, and give them time to get to know her.
In that settling in phase, there will be a massive temptation to revert to the old. The old fits better with the people we’ve had around us because it’s the old that had those relationships. It also fits better with the life and space we have, because that life and space was created by the old. So… it starts to feel like things would work “better” if we just dropped the new, and went back to the old.
But, resist the temptation!
A part of this journey is adapting your environment to your new self. That doesn’t mean you throw out the old, not at all. You have relationships that you hold dear, and you are still tied to your old life in many ways. Parents, significant others, siblings, children, friends, colleagues… People that you still want in your world. You’re not going to chuck everything out the window and start from scratch because those relationships mean a lot to you (unless they don’t and you feel it IS better to start from scratch, in which case, do what you gotta do!)
What it does mean, is that you have to re-affirm yourself in your environment, and adapt your environment to the new values, beliefs and the systems that you have created for yourself.
So, instead of retreating back to the old you, re-affirm your new self, and adapt your environment.
It took you time to get to where you are. People getting familiar with you is going to take time as well. Not everyone has been on your journey, and they will need to understand you better. Remember that it’ll take time for you to be able to reconnect with people you hold dear, some more than others. Be patient with them, and with yourself.
Re-affirm your relationships
Change is a big source of stress for any relationship. A partner might feel threatened by the change, that it means that you will start pressuring them into change as well. Loved ones might feel concerned that you will “leave them behind”, or that you’ve “outgrown” them. Take time to re-affirm the relationships that are meaningful to you. Explain your process, and let them know that the change is something you did for yourself, and not something that you expect or need of them. Let them know you understand that love is unconditional, and you extend the same unconditional love that you know you will receive from them.
Re-establish your boundaries
Your boundaries are going to change, as you did. Make sure that you consistently and clearly communicate your new boundaries. It will take people time to get used to them, so be kind but firm when there are some less than desirable lapses of judgment. If privacy is a new boundary for you, be clear with the person who still barges into your personal space. They have been used to this being the norm, and will want to understand the change and how you expect to be treated. They will also need to know to expect the same in return. Remember, boundaries are a two-way street. They teach others how to treat you, and they let others know what to expect from you.
Don’t force change.
You might have gone through your own journey to better yourself, but it was for reasons that relate to you. Discuss your life, your new views, your boundaries, and be open and honest about it all. But draw a personal line for yourself at trying to “push” people to change themselves. Just as it’s unfair for them to expect you to change for them, it’s also unfair for you to expect them to change because you think it’s better for them. Accept others as you want to be accepted, and don’t try to push them to change. Enforcing boundaries is NOT the same thing as trying to get others to adopt views and beliefs that you hold.
Re-assess your environment
Your old lifestyle might not suit the new you. Consider the environment you’re currently in, and what changes you need to make to align your environment with the new you.
You might find for example that you want to re-decorate your personal space to make it more in line with who you are. Colors have a great impact on our moods, so if you need to change those around to something that suits you now, by all means, mark the transition with some new, more aligned colors!
If there’s something in your environment that really needs to go, then take action. Only you can know what truly conflicts with your new beliefs and values, so you’re going to have to make that call yourself. But for example, if you have someone around you who will drag you back into toxic, destructive patterns, you might want to consider whether this is a relationship you still want to invest in. If you’ve overcome addiction or trauma bonds, my advice to you is to stay away from people who would drag you back into it.
All right Queen, it’s over to you. It’s a new start, and an opportunity for you to really create a new space for yourself. Some parts of the process might be less enjoyable than others, but once you’ve got your space just right, you’ll thank yourself for it. Trust the journey, and trust that you got this.
Fix your crown.