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Unapologetic in my Evolution

February 23rd, 2017 by Rachel Graves


At 5 am yesterday, I flew into Vegas to spend the weekend holed up in a house with 5 of my chosen sisters for a long weekend mastermind.  Will it be a blast?  Ummm, for sure.  But there will also be an enormous amount of work getting done.  See, these women have been instrumental in my evolution.  They push me.  They challenge me.  They gently remind me of my purpose, and they refuse to let me play small.  I’ll be honest with you.  I never dreamed that “work” would involve a weekend in Vegas with close friends.  But, that’s the really great thing about being fiercely committed to your growth and unapologetic in your evolution – YOU decide what that looks like, and how that growth needs to happen.

Last week, we talked about boundaries, right?  Well what happens once we start setting those boundaries?  What happens when we choose that change?  What happens when those awkward conversations come?  I’ve been getting several questions around that very thing. This is a topic I talk through with my in-person clients all the time.

First and foremost, change is a beautiful thing! But it's hard, right? When you finally make some changes in your life, you're thrilled! But then other people notice. They form their own opinions about the what, why, and how behind it. Many times, they feel the need to share those opinions.  But here’s the thing, your growth and the changes you choose to make are yours and yours alone. This is your journey. This is your life. This is yourresponsibility and many times your divine calling - to continue to grow and change so that you can show up and do your work in this world. It may make people uncomfortable. And that's okay. I've definitely experienced this and at first it was a weird feeling to process. The "Wow, you've changed" comments from people that are closest to you can be tough to navigate sometimes, and even sting a little depending on the delivery.

For example, I got lots of feedback when I started this blog from friends and family wanting to know what was up.  “From sales, to a personal trainer….now you’re a self-help guru too?”  While I’m certainly not a self-help guru, I do fancy myself a bit of a “learn the hard way aficionado”.  My answer to their questions every time is simply - This is my next step.  It will be a process just like anything else, but it’s where I am choosing to go.  I’d love for you to come along if you’re into it, but I’m going regardless.

It’s true, sometimes the people around us don't seem to share our enthusiasm. Some of you have already emailed me sharing conversations like the one above you've had with family members and friends that liked the “old you” better. People noticing big changes in you since starting a consistent workout routine and mindfulness practice, since taking the plunge with a new career or relationship, or simply starting a new hobby.  Physical changes, yes - but also changes in the way you carry yourself, in the conversations you'll participate in, in the opinions that you have and express.  Sometimes when people, especially those close to us point out "WOW, you've changed" it feels a little scary. Sometimes it feels a little awkward. When they pepper you with questions, it may make you second guess yourself.  Those old insecurities start bubbling back up.  Your first instinct may be to start back peddling a bit.  So how should you respond?


One

While you certainly don’t owe anyone an explanation (we covered that last week), if this is someone you care about, just be honest.  Talk to your loved ones about how you used to feel versus how you want to feel, and how you feel now that these changes are in motion.  Chances are it has/had become too uncomfortable to stay the way you were, and these changes are necessary to your personal journey and evolution.


Two

My go-to response when someone tells me I’ve changed now, is simply – THANK YOU for noticing.  Because regardless of their delivery, tone or intent I’ve worked hard and continue to work hard to make real, lasting change in my life.  This is important to me.  I’ve taken several risks, invested a ton of time and even more money to be this way.  Chances are you have too.  Honor those sacrifices, honor yourself and honor that evolution by saying thank you, knowing that the universe will reciprocate that thanks with more abundance showing up in your life.


Three

Find new people.  And I know that sounds harsh at first read.  I’m certainly not saying to cut ties with everyone in your life that questions your path to growth or notices and acknowledges your change.  What I am saying is that the people you choose to surround yourself with have an enormous impact on you.  They become your biggest cheerleaders, and your safe place on tough days.  They understand your frustrations and self-doubt and help you work through both because they feel it too.  They just “get you”.  Be diligent in finding these people.  More on this in a future blog.

No matter how you choose to tackle those comments and questions, just know this - it isn't your responsibility to play small for people that refuse to grow themselves. You must choose to own your changes unapologetically. I love the quote from Lou Holtz, "In this world, you’re either growing or you're dying." Again, “growth" and "change" can be interCHANGEable (see what I did there?). But by choosing to stay stagnant, and comfortable, and average...you are not only doing a disservice to yourself, you're doing a disservice to this universe by robbing the world of the gift of your FULL potential. I truly believe this - that your growth, your change is a responsibility not only to yourself but to those around you. If you love your family and friends and significant other, don't you want to be the best version of yourself for you AND for them? Even if it may take some getting used to on their end?  But don’t you dare apologize for living your best life.  By owning your choice to make changes and facilitate growth, you once again own your worth and step into your power a little more.  This is your life to create.

Don't get me wrong. Once you make some changes, every day isn't rainbows and unicorns and weekends in Vegas, but every day is a lesson in awareness and gratitude. I used to just "get through" my days. Now I genuinely wake up excited every day to see what's next.  A few of you ended your emails with, “every time one door closes, another door opens”.   That’s true.  Or sometimes 6 doors open.  Every season of your life is preparing you for the next. Growth is good. Change is good. Options are good. It may not be easy, but it will teach you so much about yourself. As Lisa Nichols says, "You can't sow your seed and reap your harvest in the same season." There is an ebb and flow. That's what makes the future so exciting! The anticipation of what's to come based on your present diligence and practice toward that ultimate change.

So, here's to you - my growers and changers and transformers and stretchers. You found this blog for a reason.  I know so many of you are in a state of flux right now with jobs and relationships and your fitness journey. Give yourself permission to look back every now and then, and soak up the lessons and goodness of what life has taught you so far. Get excited about what it will continue to teach you. Find the people around you that are committed to growth as well.  They will be the people that will help cheer you along in this journey.  They will become the support system to lean on.  Trust the process, enjoy the ride, CHOOSE to see the beauty, and from now on, when someone tells you that you've changed....just smile and give them an excited thank you!  I can assure you, the best is yet to come!

How have you changed? How are you navigating conversations around your choice to better yourself?

Posted in the category Mindset.