“You’ve Changed” – Why This Isn’t Such A Bad Thing.

“You’ve changed” – two little words that we have all heard before.

Whether you’re a teenager at school and you’re trying out a new hairstyle, or you’re in your late twenties considering a career move, we all know exactly what it’s like to be told that you’ve ‘changed’, that you’re not the same as you once were.

I remember this feeling so strongly from when I was younger. I had a fantastic group of friends who I hung out with day in day out, but there was always something that made me feel slightly on the edge of the group. I never felt like I was ever properly ‘one of them’. Looking back I realise that I was actually just an old soul in a young body, I didn’t necessarily want to play games and mess about all the time in the way they did, I wanted to spend my time differently. Anyway, one day, they just kinda dumped me. They stopped asking me to hang out with them and I suddenly felt so alone. I remember so distinctly that when I confronted one of my friends to ask why, she uttered those words – ‘to be honest Lizzi, we just feel like you’ve changed’.

At the time it was soul destroying. I’d pretty much lost my social life overnight and all because I was growing as a person and trying to find out who I was, or who I wanted to be. When I think about it now, I recognise that- our interests had changed and we had just grown apart. Funnily enough we have now found our way back together and they are some of my oldest and dearest friends. But at the time it really felt like the end of the world. The phrase ‘you’ve changed’ filled me with so much dread that it made me completely defensive, because I associated changing as a person with negativity.

It’s such a funny phrase. “You’ve changed”. It’s meant to make you feel like you aren’t as good as you once were. It’s used as a derogatory thing, but why? When it is so important to change. What is the point in living if you aren’t constantly learning, growing and developing? Changing your mind is often equated with being weak-willed or easily persuaded and changing up your lifestyle can often leave you feeling vulnerable or scared. But when you think about it, we are all changing constantly. Every single day we change in the smallest of ways. It is part of being a human to accept this change. If we don’t learn from our actions then there really is no point. In life, change is constant and growth is essential.

Ultimately, what I’ve come to realise over the past few years is that this ‘change’ isn’t just about you, it’s about those around you too. People find comfort in routine and in things staying the same, so when given a choice between taking a risk or playing it safe, the majority will play it safe. Change creates discomfort, therefore when someone that we know changes it makes us uncomfortable. We’re all guilty of it- a friend tells us they’ve scored an awesome new job and our first reaction is one of uncertainty, not praise. What we expect of a person is questioned when something changes and so we come to fear it. This is why we feel so bad when we’re told that we have changed.

So, I’ve decided to make a change (lol…) and stop being so scared. Change can be a beautiful thing. It’s all part and parcel of growing up, and I for one love looking back over all of the things I’ve learnt, and the way that they have changed me. I really want to make the phrase have a positive connotion in my life, so in the spirit of flipping this phrase on it’s head, here are a few things in my life that have changed recently, for the better:

  1. I FINALLY passed my driving test. 
    Long time readers of this blog will know just how much of a trial driving was for me. But, two years, four failed tests and one cancelled test later I finally got through it and passed. I’ve been driving for almost 2 months now and although I still have my moments, I’m starting to get used to the idea. I’m doing about 400 miles back and forth to work each week and every single day my confidence grows as I come up against more challenges. I’m also now the designated driver in my family, which my G&T loving parents have been taking full advantage of. They would most definitely agree that this change in particular is a positive thing.
  2. I got a promotion at work.
    Change at work can often be terrifying, but this one is definitely a plus. I’ve worked hard and I’ve learnt a hell of lot over the past year and a half, and now that hard work has been rewarded. Again, another example of where embracing change has had a really positive impact on my life recently.
  3. My new blog.
    Launching this new website and moving from a WordPress hosted blog to my very own site was a huge leap. I’ve now put not only my time but my money into my little corner of the internet and it could easily have backfired, but so far so good! I’ve re-discovered my love of writing and I’ve had some really lovely and insightful responses to the posts I’ve written recently. Again, I took a bit of a leap of faith, and I’m so happy that I did.
  4. My Dad’s 60th.
    This month my Dad turned the big 6-0. Most would have been scared by this change, but he fully embraced it. Last night we had a big party for him with all of his friends and it was a real success! It’s actually made him (and us!) excited for the year to come and for what’s in store.

So there we go, just a few ways that embracing change has had a positive impact on my life recently. Please share with me some exciting changes that have happened for you lately! I can’t wait to hear your stories.

“That’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being — to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.”

– Malcolm Gladwell

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