The BEST Reaction Ever!

Some times when we decide to make a big change in our lives, the hardest part is telling our friends and family.

Often people assume that you are making a change because something bad has happened. So, recently, when I started sharing a big decision I had made to restructure my business, I expected to have to have to deal with questions about the reasons why. And I wasn't wrong. Some people close to me responded with “Oh, no! Why?!” and I had to reassure them that though there had been nothing wrong with my previous situation, I felt change was necessary to get where I wanted to go. One friend even went so far as to try and find a villain in the story. There is no villain. I just needed to make adjustments so I can reach my goals.

There was one friend who I expected to really have to explain myself to. I had seen her a few weeks before and, at that time, I hadn’t even been considering making this big step. But she surprised me and gave me a wonderful gift instead!

When I announced my intention to her, almost before I had even finished, she exclaimed, “That’s amazing!”

I was so surprised. And so validated!

Bewildered, I asked, “Really?” Her response was fantastic:

“Yes! When ever anyone makes a clear decision for themselves, I think that it’s amazing so I always say so!”


Can you imagine what we could accomplish as a species if everyone responded to other people’s decisions to grow in this way?

In my experience as a teacher and coach and even as a realtor, I have seen so many people unable or unwilling to make decisions for themselves for fear of what other people will think. And while I think it is important to do the work around building your confidence so you can make decisions that lead to living your best life, I also think we can give the gift of validation to others by simply cheering them on when they make a decision to make a significant positive change for expansion in their lives.

I had an opportunity not long after this interaction to pass on the love. Someone close to me told me she was changing her name because she had always hated her name. She has and will likely continue to face resistance around her name change because she has had the hated name for close to 60 years, but I admire her courage and her determination to do what makes her happy. I think it’s amazing!

Whenever we make change, even when there is no name change, there is a subtle, or sometimes bold, identity shift. It seems to be this identity shift that disturbs other people. When we make a change, we no longer fit into their version of reality and they need time to adjust. We arrived at the change from the inside, through a process; they are taken there in an instant and so their surprise makes sense.

Surprise is one thing. Resistance another. Some people are so stubborn about clinging to their version of reality, including their version of you, that they will go to great lengths of emotional coercion to keep you from changing, this is the fear.

You can appreciate them for the love they are expressing for you in their (often misguided) concern, thank them and then choose to be AMAZING by making the choice that is right for you!

Thanks, CS for inspiring this post. And for inspiring me. YOU are AMAZING!!

Deb Stellingwerff