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  • Writer's pictureBecky Upchurch

Don't Let Anyone Break Your Stride

Updated: Aug 31, 2019

At some point along my growth journey, I started noticing that as I began to focus more deeply on my own personal and professional growth, I started to feel happier. Doing work I enjoyed that was meaningful, connecting with like-minded people, and taking responsibility for my life and choices in bold new ways enabled me to feel more like “myself.” And when that happened, I no longer felt many of the frustrations that had made me irritable and grouchy in the past. As a result, my mood lifted, and I started craving more and more positivity in my life.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?!

Well it was...but it can also come with certain challenges. Because as much as I enjoyed my newfound perspective, I was also aware that not everyone was necessarily going to share it...or even understand it. Now I have been fortunate, as most people, despite their lack of understand, have been immensely supportive of me. Even though I may seem different, they realize that I’m not; I’m simply choosing to embrace the best parts of myself and to try to limit the rest to the best of my ability. But sometimes people have a different experience...

Sometimes as we grow and change for the better, we face resistance, often from those closest to us. This can be especially true for those who are seeking positive change in their own lives but are either not ready or not willing to do the work to get it. In such cases, it can be frustrating to navigate those relationships, especially when they are family members or close friends.

But you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay for others to not know how to respond to the newest version of you. It’s okay for them to not understand why you wanted to change. And it’s even okay for them to not embrace or even accept the changes they’re seeing. You don’t get to decide how they react to your growth, and THAT’S OKAY.

On the same token, you also don’t have to take responsibility for how they feel about your growth. Because at the end of the day, only you can decide what you want. Only you get to decide who you want to be. And only you can choose what’s best for you and your life. And the truth is, YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE A FIXED VERSION OF YOU.

While the “how to handle it” piece of this varies based on the individual circumstances and personal perspectives, one thing is important for ALL of us to remember: We are NOT responsible for how other people respond to our personal growth. As long as we are doing our best and living in alignment to our own values and beliefs, we can find ways to navigate this issue gracefully.

So be whoever YOU choose to be. People will adjust. Or they won’t. Either way, the ONLY thing you can take ownership of is yourself!

PS: If you are not familiar with the AMAZING 80s song “Break My stride” by Matthew Wilder, you should check it out! I’ve found it to be a great little theme song for keeping me focused on MY path rather than those around me:

Stay focused on YOUR path no matter what other people think.

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