Authentically Moving Forward

It’s both thrilling and terrifying whenever we ponder pivoting from what we imagines our expected lifepath being – to pursue a more authentic and perhaps unconventional dream. Even if our present reality feels thoroughly unfulfilling, drifting into the safe harbors of complacency surely seems less chaotic than sailing uncharted waters. One big fear might be the loneliness you think could happen. Let’s talk about this deeper.

Yes, your days demand more purpose. But remember, loved ones have journeyed alongside constructing interwoven worlds now threatened by dramatic departures from the forecasted plan. Even if ultimately supportive, expect disorientation, doubt and disapproval until your vision lands and the new normal you takes root.

But in agonizing over whether it’s truly time to rewrite the rules for ourselves, we often overlook one crucial point. The people occupying space in our existing bubbles that we expect, and count upon to cheerlead, or at least tolerate the adventures we create for ourselves.

After all, those closest to us play firsthand witnesses to your evolution across years or decades of shared experiences. Any sudden announcement around radically reinventing lifestyles, priorities and use of precious time is thus bound to reverberate as aftershocks rattling the connections keeping your world intact today.

Lead your change with empathy – this pivoting moment may propel your growth, but temporarily disrupts those accustomed to leaning on present-day you needing recalibration. Patience and open communication bridges relationships through choppy change.

So before impulsively letting that resignation letter fly, booking a one-way ticket bound for foreign lands abroad, or even redefining and setting the expectations for yourself, have you sincerely grappled with managing the impact major life changes exert on longterm relationships? Tectonic personal shifts may liberate you and fill your days with newfound purpose, but there is also risk of capsizing some of the people closest to you. Leaving loved ones feeling confused, shook, or abandoned from the collective plan they are used to, and have aligned their hopes and dreams alongside yours.

Flashy transformations make for great storylines in the movies – cue inspirational soundtrack while protagonist conquers convention! Yet back in reality, even friends generally supportive of soul searching often still need time processing sudden left turns before extending congratulations.
Does this require shelving adventures to placate other’s comfort levels indefinitely though? Absolutely not! But neither should the collateral discomfort accompanying your lifestyle shift to be an afterthought either. Those who’ve accompanied you on the earlier iterations of who you are deserve some say and careful change management rather than feeling sideswiped overnight.

My advice? Initiate authentic conversations giving fair warning of intentions before committing fully to quell some of the uncertainty. Initiate authentic conversations first spotlighting dormant frustrations hinting at transformations ahead. Solicit reactions pre- and post-decision to test tolerance levels for change. Paint vivid motivational pictures so intentions resonate over knee-jerk skepticism. Paint a vivid picture of motivations stirring beneath the surface so your vision lands less jarring when finally expressed. Solicit reactions and feedback both before, and after you make some decision.

Emphasize flexibility around pacing and measures to soften transitions they will likely face with you. Also evaluate who constitutes a genuine encouragement partner who is willing to champion you spreading your wings and setting the new rules for who gets to be a part of your life versus critics, fake people, and those whom you have outgrown. From there set realistic expectations around support needed, offering flexibility on timelines and transition pacing.

You will find that many will want you to remain in your lane, and continue being the person you were yesterday. This is about authenticity. Consider focusing energies on validating and deepening your relationships with supporters rather than feeling as though you need to start changing peoples minds. Those who you feel need to change their mind about you quite possibly were never your “right people”. Remember they haven’t suggested a change to you and are unlikely to encourage assertive self-improvement for you. They would rather you play it safe and keep doing what you always have been doing. Remember that resistance speaks to their own discomfort with evolving roles, not deficiencies in your character or considered mission.

Of course scattered objections are inevitable from corners invested in and living the status quo. Remember that resistance speaks to their own discomfort with evolving roles, not deficiencies in your character or your growth and introspection. But for those family and friends able to get on board after initial surprise, recognizing their support system value accelerates lift off tremendously. Keep those people as close to you as you can.

You do need to realize that some people may not wish to remain in your life as you redefine it. This is why it is a transformation that takes time, not a sudden wake up call on a Sunday morning. You have to help people, help you live your authentic self.

At the end of the day, don’t permit outside doubts to indefinitely delay upgrading lifestyles furthering your growth. But also don’t push away all empathy for your current inhabitants suddenly facing detours in their plans as a result of your decisions to better yourself.

The payoff in upgrading your daily existence is permission for others to someday pursue deeper purpose too when awoken from slumbering through inertia and expectations. This absolutely will deepen the relationships you hold close to you, and with those who support and encourage you through your experience.