Change is good. It’s both unavoidable and necessary. But change isn’t good when it’s about changing others. It’s frustrating. It’s impossible. It’s completely draining. We suffer when we try and change others (or circumstances beyond our control). All we can do is change ourselves. This is where our power lies. Be the change yourself and see the reflection in them.
For a moment, consider how hard it is to change ourselves. We seem to have an inbuilt ‘immunity to change’ when it comes to getting ourselves out of our patterns of behaviour – our past scripts, or the things we learnt early in life, just seem to repeat themselves even when don’t want them to.
If it’s this hard to change ourselves why would we even attempt to change another? Of course we should put in place non-negotiable personal boundaries. And of course we can ask others not to do things we don’t like. We can invite others to be kinder, to be more respectful, to consider the impact their behaviour has on us, but we cannot insist on them hearing us and doing our bidding.
What we can do is go from being triggered and reacting (almost blindly) to choosing our responses.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” By Viktor Frankl, Auschwitz survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning.
Here’s an extract from an interesting article – see the link below – that you might want to ponder on:
“As we all know, we can’t control anyone else’s behaviour, and we can’t make another person want to, or be able to, change. But we can always make the choice to shift our attention inward, to focus the lens of curiosity onto ourselves.
And remember, by investigating our own experience, we are not condoning the behaviour that triggers our suffering, nor are we assuming responsibility for having caused it.
Getting curious about what is happening inside us in a particular situation, naming it, understanding it, unpacking its history, and bringing compassion to it – this the surest path to freeing oneself…”
And if you want to know more here’s another good piece of writing:
Contact Tracy on firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to work with a coach who can help you change yourself.