Why Changing For Good Doesn’t Make You a Jerk

3 minute read



Right about now… the funk soul brother?
Right about now is the time of year when if you’re like a lot of people, your commitment to the resolution you made just weeks ago, is starting to wane. Maybe it’s because you set yourself up for failure. Or maybe it’s because the thought of change and uncertainty has you in a tizzy. I consider myself high on the self-discipline spectrum, and still, I have resistance to resolutions. If you’re like me and you have a major problem with any sort of authority telling you what to do, including yourself, you need a new strategy. When I hold myself to anything that doesn’t allow any leeway I hear the alarm bells go off inside. You’re not the boss of me.
I say that to myself about myself.
Listen, we all have our thing.

Or just maybe it’s other people’s reaction to your change. We all know change is tough and we deal with it in different ways. Sometimes we buckle under the pressure of feeling uncomfortable, or other people feeling uneasy on account of us, and we stop the change. Done. Never to be changed again. See ya, growth. What kind of life is that?

Any resolution that you make is geared towards being a better version of yourself. You’re not deciding to increase your jerkiness.  So why is it so damn hard to stick to it?

One question to ask yourself may help. Who will it help besides you? If you’re all blinders up on a personal agenda here, you’re bound for misery. Keep the short or long-term benefits nearby as a reminder: on a post-it in your car, a picture on your wall, or a mental word in your head.

Pay attention to where you’re focusing your energy. Keep your eyes and mind on what you want and not what you don’t want. If you did that one little shift for the rest of your life, you’d amaze yourself with the results. If thoughts create actions then what thoughts are you thinking?

“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.” 

– Dr. Kristin Neff

This self-awareness will help you push through the resistance of caring what people think while practicing being kinder to yourself when you slip up. Missed a day at the gym? Scrolled through a social media brain fog? Skipped a day of meditation? Had a glass of wine with a friend? Smoked that cig at a party? Gossiped about that story to a co-worker? Self-forgiveness is the bee’s knees here. It’s the internal self-talk that either knocks you on your ass or has you jump back on the saddle.

We are in a culture where being liked is putting our intuition and integrity in jeopardy.

No matter what you are building (inside or out), you are doing a major disservice to yourself and us if you fall prey to choosing being liked over being respected. One is dripping with ego; the other is grounding your soul. Please don’t mistake this for giving yourself the green light to turn into a straight-up jackass. You can still be kind and be respected.

When you are creating anything at all,
it’s really dangerous to care about what people think.

– Kristen Wiig

Showing yourself is not an option when you are genuinely creating something and making a change. It comes with the territory. There’s no way around it. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not real. There’s your gut detector.

Remember that when you strike a nerve with someone, for better or worse, it means that you had the nerve to show up and do the work in the first place. Keep at it. Aim for being respected, not liked. It’s not a popularity contest; it’s an integrity checkpoint. It will serve you well in the long run.

The Jerk (1979, Director: Carl Reiner. Writers: Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb, and Michael Elias)
An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis.

New Accounts Bank Manager: I will need two pieces of identification.

Navin R. Johnson: Ah yes. I have my temporary driver’s license – and – my astronaut application form… I didn’t pass that though, I failed everything but the date of birth.

Need a little extra support to keep yourself heading in the right direction for whatever change you may be making or going through?
Starting Monday, January 22nd is a FREE 10-day online Mindfulness and Meditation summit.

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