Have you ever tried to change someone?  I have and it doesn’t work out very well.  

Usually, what happens is that I decide I know best & that my way is the only way to do something. By now, you would think that I would recognize this behavior of mine & right away back off. Alas, I’m human & I still want things to go as I think they should go.

So, I try to convince someone that they would be better off doing something my way.  When this happens, I’m not really trying to change the situation. Instead, what I’m really trying to do is to change the other person.  

I’m not giving them the chance to think or feel or decide what would be best for them.  I’m also not taking into account individual preferences and needs. Because I’ve failed to take into account individuality, it usually doesn’t work.

Only in my mind is my way the “right” way.  There are almost always multiple routes to the same destination.  Most of the time one way is not necessarily better than the other way. It’s just a different way of doing something.

My life is so much smoother when I remember this!

Allowing for the individuality of the people around me takes off the stress of trying to get everything to conform to my own standards, wants, and needs.

Look inward first.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking inward over the past decade. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that when I’m trying to change someone else to fit my own ideals, then there’s usually something internal that I need to investigate.

Sometimes I’m unhappy about something and just trying to shift my reality so that I can be happy again. Sometimes I’m too stubborn to allow other people to be themselves. Other times I’m trying to achieve something that’s just not realistic.

No matter what the reason, I’m not accepting the current reality and this sets up a bit of discord inside of me. Instead of finding acceptance for the present moment, I begin to attempt to alter my reality to fit my ideas, wants and needs.

You cannot create change without acceptance for the present moment. Let me say that a different way. The changes that you seek cannot happen if you are in denial of your current reality.

So, look inward first.

What is stopping you from accepting your present circumstances? What is it that has you trying to change other people to fit your needs before you’ve even begun the process of accepting yourself and your current reality? Is there something that you need to accept before you can shift your reality?

These are tough questions to answer. Looking inward is not always easy to do. It seems easier to shift someone else’s actions to fit your needs, than it is to change your own. It gets messy when you start to look at your own actions and own up to them. This is where your real growth starts to happen.

Change yourself instead of other people.

When you feel that urge to start changing the people around you, take that as a sign that you need to look inward first. Ask yourself the tough questions. Notice your current reality. Find acceptance for it and then began to notice the choices that you have.

Even though it’s not easy to look inward, it’s something that only you can do. Other people can’t change you.

Remember the people around you that you want to change? It doesn’t matter if it’s one of their actions or many. Just as other people can’t do this inner work for you, you can’t change them. They have to do their own inner work in order to create change in their lives too. You can gently nudge them in a direction. You can push them strongly towards one thing or another. However, if they aren’t ready to change, then they aren’t going to do so. They have to do their own inner work as well before they will truly shift.

They will stay where they are even if they’re uncomfortable because a part of them wants to be there.  When they are ready to change, then they will take the steps necessary to do so.  They’ll find a different path to follow.  

Honor each of us where we are right now.

Remember to honor the other person in the place that they are at that very moment.  This goes for yourself as well!

While I can’t really change other people, what I can do is change my own outlook and reaction to other people.  I can watch my own thoughts and actions.  I can take a step back, take a breath and then consider if my actions are for me or for them.

Essentially, trying to change others to my way is for me and not for the other person.  I’m not helping them, but being selfish when I try to change them.  If I really want to help, then I’ll practice listening inward more.  I’ll pay attention to what it is that bothers me about their way of doing or being.  This will lead me to better understand my own reactions.  When this happens, I can change me.  This is the only real change that I can do.

I’m blessed with the skills to support myself in this process but often it’s not something that we’re taught as kids. As a yoga therapist, I support you in your change by helping you to listen inward and helping you to explore what and how change might work in your own life.  I don’t direct your change, but I do reflect it back to you so that you can see it clearer.  If you’d like to find out if this work is a good fit for you, then schedule your free consultation today.

Taking that first step toward change is usually the hardest one to do. By getting support for this process, you can make the next one a little bit easier.

And remember, it’s never too late to live healthier and happier!

Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!


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