Friday, September 21, 2012

Change: You can't force it, fight it, or fervently wish it into existence


My final thoughts on Lessons Learned from Iyanla's Fix My Life (whew!) - change doesn't happen in a vacuum. It takes a commitment to action and follow-up on that action. Again, not to judge Evelyn but I couldn't help but wonder how ready for change she really is and whether or not she'll take the lessons that Iyanla was giving her and use them for transformative living down the road. I hope she does.  hope this wasn't all for the publicity and I hope we've all managed to get something thought-provoking out of what was some hot mess.

Here's what I know to be true:
1) You can't make somebody change. I don't care how fine, smart, manipulative, cocoa-stirring-wondrous, nightly-praying, beseechifying (yes, I'm making words up) you are. If a person (including yourself) is not willing to change, it's not going to happen. Note: A ring nor a baby nor a wedding will magically transform someone who dos not want transformation. If you are meeting people that you think you want to change, just walk away. 

2) Even if people want to change, they may not be ready. There really is a season for everything and it just may not be that's person season to be who you need or want them to be. Sometimes people just aren't ready to make a change or are too entrenched in the known to embrace the unknown. Some folks will eat the exact same thing every Thursday night for 20 years. I know I spent a good five years lamenting the fact that I wasn't a writer but hadn't sent a word to anyone for them to read. I was comfortable as a well-paid HR consultant and writing was just a dream. It wasn't until I took a chance and embraced the change that it started happening for me. Also, you can't expect people to change on your schedule. They're ready when they are ready and not a minute before. Drop a hint and nudge all you want. When it happens (if it happens), it happen.

3) Even if someone is ready and willing to change? They may not be able to. Let's break it on down - some simply cannot change. They don't really want to or they won't try to or they just don't know how. All of the cuddling, counseling or cajoling in the world can't get this person over the hump. This is where the saying about old dogs and new tricks comes from. The one about horses, water and drinking? All of that. 

So what does it all mean? It means all you can really do is change yourself if you so desire. Everything else is out of your hands. Quit stressing about it.

BougieLand, ever met someone who is just set in their ways? Ever tried to changed an s/o? How'd that work out for you? What, if anything, new did you take a moment to think about this week? Do share...

21 comments:

thinklikeRiley said...

*prints to pass out as flyers*
AMEN!

Javalicious said...

This week was a little bit of a wake up call for me. There are some patterns of behavior that I need to nip in the bud now before I'm still talking baout this stuff ten years from now. Thanks!

blackprofessor said...

I am going to add one more.

4) Some people don't think they need to change.  They think that change and this Iyanla new age stuff is for everyone else.  Note who those individuals are and run like Forrest Gump.

I have really enjoyed this week's posts. I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who thinks about this type of stuff.

Jubi The Great said...

I love how you got a week's posts out of 1 show, & I love how all these posts were timely, at least for me.

I've been one who was into the idea of changing a man - I know how hard its been to change some things abt myself, so changing another grown person just seemed like too daunting a task. I think the hard part is walking away when you see that a person doesn't line up to what you want/need/expected/etc - we all want to hope for the best but our brains also know that things won't change so walking away is probably for the best.

Sol_dier said...

For years I wanted to change something about myself, but I didn't know how and I was too ashamed to admit it. My shame became fear and it engulfed me. 
Sometimes when I'm blue, I imagine God is punishing me for not using the talent he bestowed. (eventually I forgive myself and check the action plan)

This week I looked up some courses + registered and I can now do 3 wide grip pull ups. woohoo. :-)

Thanks for your posts this week. #introspectivetreasures

CallmePapi said...

You can't make somebody change but you can inspire them to change.

Cassie said...

What are your thoughts about people being too old to change?

OneChele said...

I say where there's breath, there's hope.

Natasha said...

Thank you for saying that Chele.  I was told once you get past a certain age, you don't change.  Didn't make me feel better...

Michele said...

I haven't tried to change a s/o but I have stayed in relationships way too long knowing that they would not change.  I guess that's another post.  Anyway, I am guilty of  being the person who is slow to change.  So very slow.  I'm getting better though at recognizing and addressing issues and making steps to change.  There is hope.

AppleBerryMIA said...

Rob is a slob in the bathroom, I'm a slob in the kitchen. It makes both of us crazy. So we had to figure out a way to remind each other to be neater without harping or trying to smother someone with the empty toilet paper wrapper.

I think if you want to compel someone to change, make sure it's couched in a constructive way. Harping on which way the toilet paper rolls or why the eggs are left on the countertop is less important than asking the person to be more conscious of shared space. If you put it in broader "let's do this together" terms you're not just bickering constantly.

And as you say, unless the other person really wants to do better - they won't.

TrulyPC said...

When I was doing it I didn't really see it as trying to change someone.  In the midst of it I thought I was encouraging this person to reach their potential because I could see it so clearly.  If they don't see it then no amount of encouragement or long-suffering support is going to change that.  

Regina said...

"Note: A ring nor a baby nor a wedding will magically transform someone
who does not want transformation. If you are meeting people that you
think you want to change, just walk away." PREACH!

I'm slowly realizing that. I think deep down I always assume that a person in a slump is actively trying to do better, wants to  do greater, can't possibly be satisfied with being down and is trying their damndest to move up. Not always the case. And you can't judge or frown on people like that. Some folks may be fine with their situation, or just cannot change because it's who they are. You DO have to decide whether you can include them in your life as they are, and if the answer is no, you've got to step away.

Trey Charles said...

*grabs flyer, makes notes on back*

Whitney said...

I learned years ago that you can not change anyone, I used to try it full time, I was determined to make this man change.  Maturity and simply realizing that he's an adult and who the hell am I made me stop.  The marriage didn't survive but I learned a valuable life lesson.

AminataB said...

I've never bought into the idea of trying
to change someone, especially if they're set in their ways because we
simply don't all have the same life "truths". I've rarely asked or expected anyone to change for me during my relationships and even friendships. In the times that I have, it was due to behaviors that were disruptive in the relationship and caused some type of strain or communication breakdown. I just won't allow anyone to treat me or speak to me any kind of way because that's just "who they are".

I have plenty of friends that I've tried to encourage to operate at their best 24/7 in order to reach their personal, life and career goals. But often it seems I'm the only person in the conversation that's able to see it so clearly. I think the  majority of people will change if they lose something and/or if it will benefit them in any way. Almost like a transaction, "if I do/become this, then I get that". Also there are those that need to learn the hard way before they're able to grow up and move forward. While others fear change because it will require more of them than what they believe they're capable of doing.

Cyn said...

Seeing someone overcome and being around genuinely good people who support me unconditionally have been the biggest catalysts for change in my life.  

EvolvingElle said...

I don't really have too much to say today, except you made me get in my feelings this week, and I don't know how I feel about that...

Change is good, but it ain't for everybody...

invectiva said...

I don't wish loss, heartache, or pain on *anybody*, but sometimes it seems like folks don't LEARN until they've crossed a bridge that can't be uncrossed. 

And for awhile, I was every man's Learning Experience. Miss me with that, from now on.

CaliGirlED said...

Tried to inspire a mama's boy. She won, he loss, God saved me from myself! Thought because he loved me, he would change. Thought I loved him enough to make him see that he should change. Thought because of our love for each other (that everyone -except her- recognized and cheered for) he could change....Sometimes all that thinking just makes you dumb! In the end, I learned lessons 1 - 3!

Cyn said...

I am still close with my former mil, but that joker she raised? She can keep him.

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