Imagine you have decided to pursue something new and very important to you. The enthusiasm is shining in your eyes and you can feel in every cell of your body that this is right for you. You start sharing it with the people in your life… You are vulnerable and maybe still looking for recognition or approval. Of course some people will disagree, but you learn to maneuver within that reality because you still know it is right!
However, this is not the only problem you are likely to encounter. When you do something out of the ordinary and/or just different from what you usually do, some people in your life will most likely get uncomfortable. You will challenge their comfort zone. The cause is actually irrelevant, but the subtle and possibly subconscious tool they will use to stop you from making them uncomfortable is not.
Because – when the remedy for their own uneasiness becomes trying to make you wrong, you are in trouble. There is nothing wrong with feedback, but when you start asking yourself whether something is wrong with YOU as a result of the thoughts and actions of others, you are in danger of giving up on things that are profoundly important to you. Others may not like it but there is nothing wrong with you; there can only be something wrong with the way you handle your personal pursuit, not the personal pursuit itself.
It can be very subtle, but you know it is happening when you get a feeling of doubt and you start asking yourself: Is there something wrong with me? Also, they will try to make YOU wrong. They may even take subtle steps to exclude you from the relationship or a group instead of talking about how your actions make them uncomfortable.
Since it is fundamentally important for all of us to be included and to experience some feeling of belonging and/or connection with the people that matter in our life, most of us are very sensitive to this kind of feedback. If it seems like the risk of introducing new things or doing something different is that you will be excluded or wronged in some way, you will stop your pursuit.
The trick is to recognize when this is taking place.
In the long run you would not like to be included in a crowd or relationship where this kind of interaction takes place anyway. It might actually prohibit you from doing things that are truly important to you if you continue to be a part of a group/relationship like that.
Next time you get a feeling of doubt and start asking your self if something is wrong with who you are and what you like, stop and do the following:
- Distance yourself from the person or group if possible either physically or mentally. Especially in the part of your development where you are starting something new and different you need to choose the people that will support you as much as possible. Later you will most likely be ready for the challenges.
If that is not possible, then:
- Remind yourself that it is because you are making them uncomfortable, not because there is something wrong with you.
- Consider that there may be something about the way in which you are handling your pursuit that is the source of their discomfort.
- Try to recognize what in general is making them uncomfortable and, if possible, put them at ease.
Lastly, whenever you get tempted to make other people wrong, remind yourself that you might be hindering them unfolding something that is truly important to them.
Good luck with feeling right doing what is important to you!