(I must warn you that the contents of this post might be somewhat more loosely related than my other posts, so you might be surprised by what you’re reading from one paragraph to another. But that can also be a good thing! It’s like the content of a Kinder Egg (which is actually finally coming to the US!) – you never know what you are going to get. Also, this might be a bit of a lengthy rant. Though, if you read it thoroughly, it has some lessons.)
Oh, change. The dreaded change. Some of us hate it, some of us have learned how to embrace it. Whether we are in the pro-, or the against- camp, our stand probably comes from our personal experience.
A small anecdote:
A whiiile back, when scanners and multi-functional office equipment were not as prevalent as they might be today, our beloved scanning machine failed. We were distraught because it was the center of many of my school projects and a part of all sorts of weekend family projects. We had an IT guy do a house call and he declared the machine: “broken, but (it was) old anyway”. *Gasps* We did not care that it was not brand new anymore. Of course! We used it for a ton of cool things. We loved it for what it did, not for its “newness”. We were quickly consoled by the guy, who said he would get us a new one, because “new is always better”. … Well, it was not. It was slower, the colors were off and it did not come with all the bells and whistles (and cool bonus software) like the old one did. Ever since then, I have been wary of change. Not totally against it, but just cautious about it.
Sometimes things change. And then change back. And then change to change back, etc. For example, ever since I remember, there is an ongoing debate on the benefits (or perils) of butter. Every now and again I get lost on what the current consensus is on the butter vs. margarine topic (saturated vs. trans fats – which evil is the greatest?). Or should I or should I not eat eggs (or more specifically the yolk)? Should I get my friend to stop binging on coffee, or is she making herself immortal by doing so? Does chocolate only affect my thighs, or does it have other (more positive) physical effects? My parents taught me moderation, so that is what I practice, regardless of whether today the eggs are OK for you or not. However, the change in the scientists’ point of view is a bit annoying. I would prefer it if they would just make up their minds and stick with it. Of course, I understand that sometimes lobbyists are involved and some studies are focused on proving something beneficial for certain product manufacturers. It goes without saying that sometimes we say things and then we realize that they might not have been true. That is called learning and growing. And that is OK. However, if you just change the (health) trends every few years back and forth, you lose your credibility. Own the change!
So far we have been through physical change and trend change, now it is time for emotional/ personality change. I never want(ed) to change anyone. What I had in mind was more of an “improvement”. Coaching was the term I like to use. No specific examples here, just me observing the world and coming up with some conclusions. It used to be very innate to me to suggest “improvements” to other people when I saw some of their flaws. An overwhelming majority of those people were intelligent and therefore gracious and thankful for the suggestions. It was never my intention to change someone’s personality because that would be like killing them in a way… If I was not a fan of someone’s personality and no improvements could have been made (whether they were unwanted by the person, or they would not change the bigger picture anyway), I would just walk away and let them be. That way I would move onto bigger and better things and so would they (only somewhere else).
Before you ask – yes, I listened to others and I kept looking at myself. Every now and again, I would polish this or that to better myself. But this worked best when I myself did the analysis, came to the conclusion and implemented the tweaks. A decade ago I was accused of being too emotional in certain situations. I got to hear it a lot and it got to me, so I decided to be less emotional. Well… then, that same person would think of me as uncaring, detached and too robotic. Which one is it? The lesson here – listen to what people say and evaluate it from your point of view. You might want to implement it into some situations, but not necessarily into all (if at all).
Impatience was always my downfall, and sometimes so was anger. So when I got a job I wanted to keep, with co-workers I wanted to have good relations with, I decided that it would be the best way to work on my flaws. Oh boy… WORST decision of my life. What first started as a trial run, soon became something that was expected of me. Always. I was passing the test with flying colors – terribly patient and cool as a cucumber in the most stressful of situations. My co-workers were friendly, my job was stable, and I was training every day how to be a better person. Now that I look back, I realize that my main motivator for change was my will to become the best version of myself, not my job or my co-workers. However, years after I started my personal project, I realized how unhappy I was. That was not only so because I was living a life of an imposter, but also because I was not winning anything by doing so. It was not helping me in life. Instead, I was more stressed out on the inside, which led to mental turmoil. Also, people did not appreciate the fact that I was trying to be a better person every day. They saw it as an opportunity to push me even further and to ask for more. All of this while they were impatient and displayed bias and anger on a regular basis. They had all sorts of excuses for why they would not change (they were too old to change, they did not think they had to because of their position in the company, or because they thought they were perfect). My change was not appreciated. Hence my change of change. I changed to margarine, but now I am back to butter. Because if people cannot see the good anyway (and just want to exploit it), I prefer to at least live my life as ME.
On a career-oriented social media site, people express their opinions, which are very often contradictory. One expert suggests that you should not gravel, because you will be seen as desperate, while the other says that you should be very modest and thankful for even getting a chance to talk to a prospective employer. They all would like you to change; to mold you into what they see fit. However, that would mean you would have to split yourself into a million different pieces to try to appease them all.
Bottom line – the jury is out on what we should or should not be; what we should and should not say; what we should or should not do. While we wait, let us take the opportunity to assess ourselves and learn to grow. However, you MUST always keep in mind to stay true to YOURSELF. Pushing yourself to the limits can be good, but make sure these are your terms you are doing the pushing on, and that you pull the breaks as soon as it feels wrong. Listen to your gut. You will know if something does not feel right.
Change can be good, but it can also suck.