Consider this for a moment: who you are—your personality, habits, the words you speak, the way you present yourself—is the result of what you’ve developed to get you through whatever may have been going on through your life. Maybe you developed a sense of dark humor as a coping mechanism to deal with trauma. Maybe all you wanted was acceptance, so you became good at manipulating your surroundings so you could become whoever everyone else wanted you to be. There is only a tiny part of our personalities that we show out loud, a small crack that allows others to see just enough of us to generate their own opinions about who we are, but there’s a much greater part of you that you hide.
As we move on through new chapters and upgrades of our lives, there’s a period of activation. You begin to realize that you’re more than your pain, more than pleasing others, more than the blatant disregard of your own wellbeing. One day, things start to change course. You begin to shift into a whole new reality, and this new reality will further define the way you think and experience life. This shift could come in a negative way, like losing a job or a friend. Or maybe you accept an opportunity and begin to reap the benefits of newfound success. Either way, whether positive or negative, the shift is inevitable, and at the start, it can make us feel like we are lost.
When you are evolving, your surroundings are going to feel unfamiliar, and people are going to disappear when you no longer fit the mold of what they’re used to of who they prefer you to be.
I was always that person who had it the “worst.” My friends (I use that term lightly) would rejoice in the fact that, regardless of whatever was going wrong in their life, they could look at mine and suddenly, things wouldn’t look so bad for them. I concealed my pain by becoming the funny, attention-seeking one, the one everyone wanted to keep an eye on because I was probably about to do something stupid and absurd. I had no filter. I didn’t care what I said or did, as long as it made someone laugh or feel better. It was a mask, and at the end of the day, when it was my turn to need someone, when I wasn’t this bogus, overcompensating person, there was no one there standing in my corner.
Then began the shift. I started realizing my own self-worth. I began making it a priority to heal the broken parts of me that created the façade. I wanted to become a better person so I could lead a life that I myself could be proud of; low and behold, those friends of mine dwindled off, one by one.
We’re human—we depend on connection to survive, but we need to be careful of the people in our lives who only love the performative versions of ourselves. There’s a desolate silence that comes with raising your standards of treatment, whether that be from others or from yourself. When you hold back your growth out of fear that it will lead to others falling back on you, you’re withholding a significant piece of the puzzle—you’re delaying your shift. Who are you when you stop living as a breathing product of your story?
What you think and practice going forward ultimately becomes you. You are deserving of your evolution without being made to feel it negatively held against you. Any resistance you face is imperative and has a purpose—it is by design. The minute you begin to live your truth out loud, the people and things that no longer serve a greater you are going to change. We need to allow it to alter our realities to make room for all of the good that is coming. Pat yourself on the back—you are not lost, you are just face-to-face with your next level up.