When You Change and They Don’t Like It

You have a goal or a whole set of them. You figure out your Vision. You create and implement a plan. You deal with your own ‘Trouble at the Border’ issues … all those little (and sometimes big) internal and external gremlins along your path. And your New World and New Self begins to manifest right before your eyes.

Sounds great right?! It is!!! Congratulations! However some new manifesters are very surprised to learn that not everyone welcomes or supports their SHIFTs … sometimes the people who are used to you being a certain way can’t, won’t or are simply incapable of supporting the new you.

The Reality:
Change can be challenging. For you, it required strong focus, discipline, getting-in-the-vortex and taking or attracting aligned action. Step by step you made your SHIFT and now you are reaping the results. Unfortunately it can be a sad reality that sometimes when you successfully make a big SHIFT, some people around you can have a hard time with it and you.

When you change, it can trigger some of the people around you. Suddenly (or gradually) they don’t so much like being around you anymore. Perhaps you are now into things they aren’t, or you start to think, talk or act in a different way. Sometimes it’s nothing personal (really!) it’s just they feel uncomfortable around you now. Whatever attracted you to each other in the first place has changed. You are no longer a vibrational match. In fact, you are kind of repelling!

I Went Through This Stage Too:
This sort of thing happened to me on my SHIFT-IT journey too. I came back to Canada 7 years ago (my how time flies!) and hunkered down to manifest my Next Self. I wanted to use my well-honed visual and process skills in a new way — with individuals, in a Law of Attraction based context, and using the Internet to connect with people of like interest from across the world. While I loved my graphic recording and graphic facilitation career, a decade of constant travel was enough for me … and I had other things that I wanted to express.

So I set about actualizing my dream by creating my SHIFT-IT Coaching practice (including my custom process & suite of visual tools) and changing my life in a myriad of ways (where I lived, the kind of work I did, who I hung out with, what I read, the kinds of thoughts I thought, the feelings I had on a regular basis, where I traveled, etc).

It didn’t happen right away … but slowly and surely there was a perceptible change in some of the people around me – actually that is how I was able to gauge that change was actually happening to me (it can be hard to notice on yourself). The energy from some of my friends, family and old colleagues took on a strange formality and politeness. And some snide comments started to make their way back to me through the grapevine.

It’s Ok, It Is Hard to Go Through:
At first I was really hurt by these reactions. I didn’t see or understand just how much I was changing and why people were reacting the way they were. I figured I was still the same person – so why were they treating me differently. I had worked hard. I knew I deserved what was coming to me. But I didn’t understand why some people were turning on me.

However, I came to know that I actually wasn’t the same person. I had changed. I had grown and developed and changed in some pretty significant ways. Frankly, it took me a while to really appreciate and own that and to have compassion for it. To accept that it was ok for me to be me (and them to be them) even if it meant that our relationship changed or fell away.

It’s All Normal:
Participating in several masterminds with other emerging entrepreneurs and being privy to the rapid rise of a few of my mentors and my own clients– I can tell you that this phenomenon is not an isolated experience. In fact, psychologically (depending on your temperament) this can be one of the more challenging issues that you may need to face as you make your SHIFT, or even allow yourself to entertain the thought of making one in the first place. In fact, this issue can act as major resistance for a lot of people in making their SHIFT – they are concerned about how the people around them will react and what their life will be like.

If your SHIFT is starting to manifest and you notice people acting strange or in hurtful ways … know that it is a normal stage that many of us Big SHIFTers go through. And … I’m not going to sugar coat it … it can and does hurt, sometimes A LOT. My mastermind buddies and I have all had ‘our crying in the bathroom’ experiences when people have been mean, nasty and critical at conferences, in emails, etc. In fact, that is why being in a mastermind with your peers (or those ahead of you) is so valuable — you can share about stuff like this! And, I can reassure you that it softens over time. It does get easier to handle as you learn how to deal with and integrate it.

Your New Tribe Forms:
Part of what helps is that you begin to attract and mingle with a new set of people. Some of your old circle (hopefully most) will stick by you and joyously celebrate your SHIFT (and remain a valued part of your life). However, those that don’t like or approve of the new you will fall away, either gradually or abruptly. New people do show up to fill those holes left behind … at least eventually. I say eventually because sometimes there is a time lag as your physical world recalibrates around your new vibration and attracts like-vibe people to you. But they do come!

Crab in the Bucket Syndrome:
About a year ago I was so pleased to find a term I could attach to this condition, courtesy of two of my esteemed colleagues and clients — Tereasa Golka and Denise Findlay of Chameleon Change Strategies.

Facilitators in First Nations change projects — these two talented women often work in aboriginal communities where the legacy of widespread cultural trauma floods generations. In these circumstances it is sadly common for one person trying to make a change in their life to be pulled back by others in their community — the proverbial ‘crab in the bucket’.

Certainly a powerful metaphor to say the least! And one that can be applied to many different situations – including the emerging entrepreneur scenario I’ve painted in this article.

FYI, Tereasa and Denise will be my guests on the April 24th edition of my f.r.e.e. Soothing Saturday Series. If you are resonating with the topic of today’s article … then be sure to catch this live call (or the recorded mp3 that will be distributed afterwards to all Soothing Saturday members).

Focus on What You DO Want:
Finally, in closing, let me remind you that the most powerful thing you can ever do (from a Law of Attraction perspective) is to put your focus on WHAT YOU DO WANT and off of what you don’t. Use the contrast of the unpleasantness of your experience with some people to help you define what you do prefer instead … then focus on that! The more you think about what you do want (and feel those warm feelings coursing through your system) the more your vibration emits a different frequency in the now … which in turn speeds up your manifestation process and attracts it to you quicker!

© 2010 Christina L. Merkley

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this blurb and a functional link to my site:

Christina Merkley, “The SHIFT-IT Coach” and creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Visual Thinking and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and conscious businesses to define and manifest what they truly want. And, trains other helping professionals in her innovative ways of working.  For more information visit: www.shift-it-coach.com

3 comments on “When You Change and They Don’t Like It

  1. Jennifer on

    Thanks, Cristina — I needed this one.

    I had lunch with an old colleague on Wednesday as she wanted to explore a possible business relationship with me. When I left I felt queasy — the most important issue for her was my knowing who was the boss and in charge. A whole bunch of old ‘stuff’ — professional reputations, the gossip mill, etc. came up. Instead of a collegial lunch, it was sort of like a really bad job interview . . .

    I realized that she was afraid of me and there was no recognition of the huge amount of change I’ve gone through in recent years as I’ve been away from our mutual profession and working on a lot of challenging projects.

    The gift? I walked away knowing that this wasn’t a relationship to pursue. And freedom to move on with my visioning/creative process.

    Reading your article made me feel “ok” about this mismatch. In the past I would have blamed my own inadequacies. Not now.


  2. Sue Bates on

    so true! I like how you are giving people a heads up. It is good knowing this going in so you won’t be so surprised. And you WILL meet new people that are a better fit with you. Just a little scary when the old ones fall off…

  3. Jessica on

    I am so relieved. I read this at the exact right moment. I am currently, and have in the past had such a hard time with this topic. I tend to recreate my life quite frequently, and/or just continually growing. This article soothed some of the pain I am in right now. I just wanted to thank you and am glad this is here and I found it at the right time! I wasn’t looking for it- it found me!! 🙂

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