What do you do when others don’t support your transformation goals? Finding the courage to make a transformational shift in your lifestyle is a huge feat; but for many people, it only marks the beginning of an equally profound and often unexpected battle.
This battle has nothing to do with your motivation or progress, but the people closest to you; those you may have expected to not only to support, but to rejoice in your life-altering change. If you are one of the lucky people who have nothing but supportive people in your life, congratulations! Sadly, far from everyone does.
For the sake of mental preparation, it is helpful to be aware of the possibility that some people in your life – even the ones closest to you who have always been there in the past – may show a new and very different side once they realize you are about to take a step out of your (and their) comfort zone.
As humans we have a natural instinct to feel safe, and when something in our life changes, it feels uncomfortable and even a bit scary. One might assume that it always boils down to pure and simple jealousy and/or insecurity, but that is not always the case. Perhaps your mother is overjoyed you are improving your health, but she could also be (subconsciously) a bit sad that you won’t call her for those secret Italian recipes anymore. Or you may have a thin and beautiful girlfriend with absolutely no reason to be jealous, who suddenly seems a bit withdrawn – believe it or not, but it could be that you are the only friend she has who makes her feel like she doesn’t have to try so hard, and now she is afraid you too will change into someone superficial and competitive.
Being aware of the many intricacies of other people’s reactions is very helpful when handling your own response. Instead of becoming defeated or angered that others don’t seem happy for you, consider the fact that they may simply be scared. Unless someone is decidedly trying to sabotage your efforts or causing you feel bad about yourself, the best way to handle other people’s insecurities is often as simple as patience and love.
Give them time to see that you are still the same person you have always been (only now you are a happier and healthier version!) and show them that there are a million ways to enjoy life and each other’s company without resorting to old habits. And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, you’ll inspire them with the courage to change a thing or two in their own lives.