I had an amazing conversation yesterday with a woman who, after years distinguishing herself in a certain field, is taking the plunge and starting her own business; one led by her heart not by income.
It was great to hear her excitement and passion, which completely encompassed her venture – except for when it came to certain friends. They did not accept this new phase because it did not fit in with how they saw her.
I have another friend who is just beginning the divorce process. She is already finding out some people seem to disappear or morph into things you don’t recognize once the process begins. They do not accept her as an individual any longer.
Having been through both situations my initial reaction is something that I don’t think I can write here – a little too graphic. We will just leave it at that.
It is easy to sit back and say, “Screw them!” but when you are in the midst of the tornado that is your life during a major change it isn’t that easy to let go of anything. Because your world is upside-down you want to cling to anything that seems stable, even if it isn’t healthy.
So when people criticize or question you about your new path it is natural for you to begin to question yourself. Maybe they are right, maybe you are being crazy, maybe you are just too close to the situation you can’t see it clearly.
That is not the case. As much as we crave stability sometimes we have to just let go and fall to see that we actually are cat-like and land on our feet. I don’t have cats so I cannot testify to if this is an accurate statement – that cats always land on their feet. I have dogs – they don’t. This I know. Especially when they are sleeping on the couch, rollover and fall off.
Change is a scary thing – not just for you but for those around you. What you don’t see or hear is their fear and jealousy.
Oftentimes those that are discouraging us the most are the ones who want so badly to make changes in their own life but are too afraid to do so. When they see someone else doing it there is some weird negative reaction that they have to try to dissuade you from succeeding just so they can justify their own unwillingness to change.
Don’t let them.
I almost let a naysayer stop me from pursuing my dream. Almost. When I first had the idea to start my business I went to a woman who I respected a great deal and was in a similar field. I wanted her opinion because I was still very unsure of just what direction I wanted to go and I thought I could trust her for guidance, support and an honest evaluation.
When I explained my business model she didn’t even hesitate and told me that it would never work. What I wanted to do was unnecessary and I should just let it go, walk away, never look down that path again.
At first I was floored and hurt. My dream crushed and I felt like an idiot. How stupid was I to even be considering something that was so destined for failure.
But then it hit me – she was threatened. It was a good idea, it would work and I was just the person to make it work on my terms to create what I wanted. She was dissuading me because it could potentially threaten her business. I looked at it as a potential referral opportunity back and forth but she saw it as a threat.
I was on to something.
Three years later here I am, she had since sold her business and retired. So much for her sage advice.
When it is time for a change, no matter how scary, no matter how crazy it may seem – go for it. Those that doubt your or try to deter you – just smile politely and keep repeating in your head, “Oh, you poor thing, you don’t have as much courage as I do.”
Life is too short to look back in a few years and think, “wonder what would have happened if I had gone for it.” It is much better to be able to look back and see accomplishments and be proud.
It is even okay to say, “Wow, that was a tremendous disaster – but I gave it my all and I learned a lot. Now it is time for the next adventure”
When the tornado passes through it may leave much fewer around you but those are the ones that truly support you and have your highest good in mind. Those are the ones that can stand next to you through any storm. Those are the keepers.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.