Why you’re afraid of being successful, and how to get over it.
I’d argue this is the single, most offensive thing you can say to another person.
If someone said that to me right now, they’d probably have their face on the ground, and I’d make them eat dirt.
Telling someone they haven’t changed is tantamount to flipping them the bird and ignoring everything they have been striving towards. You work so hard to improve the person you are today that being informed you haven’t changed can only mean one of two things.
a. You talk the talk and don’t walk the walk.
b. They don’t like the change they see in you.
If you really are just talking about maybe making changes and refusing to commit to them for whatever reason – which probably just boils down to a big, fat insecurity anyway – then you deserve what you get. They can’t see change because none is happening. That’s your fault. Own it.
Only by owning it can you begin to figure out why exactly the things you’ve been claiming to want have been exactly the things you’re probably running from.
On the other hand, if you are without a doubt a different person than you were the last time they saw you, you are privy to an interesting situation.
You are no longer simply a friend they haven’t seen recently. Suddenly, you are more. Much more.
You become the enemy, because you are facing your fears.
Instead of acknowledging your progress, you become the embodiment of everything they are holding themselves back from because they are so terrified they can’t move forward. Your dreams may be different, but the fears all have the same names.
Instability. Risk. Change.
Change scares most people, but you’re not most people if you’re here. I don’t write for most people; I write for my people.
I’ll never forget when I first started discussing minimalism and how much I loved the concept, because several people I called friends were so brutal.
Every new post, I would post a link on Facebook and wait with a delicious impatience to see which new country I was being read in. It was an incredible rush to think my words could effect so far and wide. I relished these little changes and intrigues that had become a part of every single day.
Instead of wishing me well or even ignoring it if they thought it was dull, they thought it’d be fun to poke and prod by ridiculing this new lifestyle I’d chosen. I chose to make a major change in my life, and they couldn’t handle it.
They couldn’t handle being stuck in their stagnant lives, too afraid to make the choice to do something different, while I reached out to a new life, a new way of being, a new group of friends.
If they couldn’t be happy, I certainly couldn’t be. The fact that I was brave enough to want to change was enough for me to be ostracized, privately and publicly.
I’m sure these same people will jump on the chance to chastise me for leaving college behind without my fancy piece of paper.
One of them will undoubtedly see this, and I’ll be the source of much gossip all over again.
That is, until they hear I’m pitching a print book, running my own businesses – rather successfully I may add, and bought my plane ticket to Buenos Aires.
Getting the last laugh here is a side benefit, by the way. By no means is it the only point here. Following through with my dreams is simply one of the beautiful moments of the journey, the cherry blossoms blooming amidst the rest of spring’s glory.
The real lesson here is in knowing the path you carve for yourself is the right one, and if you hear interference, tune it out. The noise will fade eventually, because it’s your life, not a competition.
Having to keep up with the Jones’ has spread so much further than having to have all of the latest gadgets and toys. It permeates our entire existence and infects every relationship we have like a disease, if we allow it to.
Choosing the unconventional will gain you notice, perhaps even notoriety, but more than that, it will make you the target of those who have worked so hard to hit those milestones, those rights of passage our culture tells us are requirements of being a good, normal citizen.
Yeah, that’s bullshit and you know it. Don’t make me get out my flag.
You know better, and if the people around you don’t, it’s their problem and their loss. Your choices now mean you will be happier in the long run, and probably the short run, too.
My life isn’t easy, but it’s on my terms. Can you say the same?
Keep changing it up, baby. It’s totally hot, and we’re not afraid.