Stop Trying to Change Others, it’s Exhausting!

Stop Trying to Change Others, it's Exhausting!

Do you focus much of your time on trying to change others?

Lou Holtz says “You are not responsible for the behavior of others. You are responsible for your own behavior.”

Yes that’s true and one of the most difficult, and important lessons I’ve learned is that we can’t change another person no matter how much we try.

Attempting to change others is stressful and can lead to resentment, disappointment and frustration and changing someone is actually not our responsibility, because it’s up to each person to take responsibility for their own decisions and actions.

Spending time attempting to change others can have a negative impact on your own mental and physical health, especially if you yourself suffer from anxiety or depression.

When our focus is on trying to change others, it can become overwhelming which can worsen anxiety and make it even more of a challenge to practice our own self care.

Neglecting self-care can have negative consequences on our health.

Sometimes we attempt to change others as a way to boost our self esteem, or because of insecurities or to compensate for feelings of inadequacy.

If we have no direction or are dissatisfied with our own lives, it’s easier to try and change someone else, rather than dealing with our own issues and fixing ourselves.

Some Questions to Ponder!

When we focus on trying to change or control others, we may not even realize that it’s happening, so maybe it’s time to step back and look at why this could be happening.

🕹️ Are you unfulfilled or unproductive in your own life and if so, why do you think you’re so unfulfilled or unproductive?

🎮 What are you afraid of?

🕹️ What’s the motivation for attempting to change others, are you concerned about their well being or trying to meet your own desires?

🎮 Do your relationships with others suffer because you’re trying to control them, and what would happen if you stopped?

🕹️ How can you focus on accepting this person as they are, while setting healthy boundaries and protecting your own well-being?

🎮 Allowing others to make their own choices is a great way to show respect, so are you willing to accept this person the way they are, even if they have no intention of changing? If not, what will happen if you continue the need to change them?

Take some time to reflect on your behavior by answering the questions, and see if anything surfaces for you.

Should and Shouldn’t!

Stop Trying to Change Others, it's Exhausting!One way to know if you’re changing or controlling someone is if you use the words should or shouldn’t.

I used to try to convince my husband that he shouldn’t be spending hours playing computer games, or that a friend should stop eating sugar, or that my mom should’ve exercised more, or that my Dad should’ve eaten better,

All it did was cause stress and disappointment.

Trying to change someone else is exhausting, because it requires a significant amount of emotional investment which can lead to frustration and disappointment.

Instead, try focusing on accepting others as they are.

This can foster healthier relationships and personal growth for both parties.

Once we realize we’re not in charge of what others think, say, or do, a big weight lifts off our shoulders.

It’s not our responsibility for how they choose to live their lives, it’s theirs.

The minute I start ruminating about how others need to change to do what I do, whether it’s following a plant based diet, exercising daily, starting a podcast, or keeping a clutter free home, it causes anxiety!

Sometimes I still catch myself in the should and shouldn’t game, wishing people were different.

Now I’m more aware and catch myself to do my best to redirect that same energy into on my own self-care.

Watch the podcast here!

13 Self-Care Ideas!

  1. Engage in physical activity, by joining a gym and doing cardio and strength training or taking an exercise class. You can also go outside and walk, swim, dance, etc.
  2. Sit quietly each day and practice mindfulness or meditation to observe your thoughts.
  3. Socialize with friends by meeting them for coffee, a meal, or even a walk, once or twice a week. It’s important to have meaningful connections and positive / balanced conversations with like-minded friends.
  4. Write what you’re grateful for in a hard copy journal or in a journal app.
  5. Find different ways to relax by getting lost in a good book, sipping tea, taking a nap. You could also take warm bath, or catch up on your favorite streaming series.
  6. Focus on healthy eating by learning new instant pot recipes.
  7. Get creative by drawing, writing, painting, or crafting to keep you in the present moment.
  8. Find the joy in the moment and practice mindfulness in every day tasks like brushing your teeth, washing dishes, or doing laundry. This keeps us engaged in the task at hand, rather than being distracted by worries.
  9. Spend time in nature, and take in the beauty by listening to the birds and other sounds.
  10. Learn a new skill by attending a workshop or taking a class in person or online.
  11. Write down something you could improve upon, and describe the steps to make it happen. This builds self-awareness, encourages growth, and increases self-confidence.
  12. Create a list of things you’ve done well in the last 24 hours, to shift from a negative to a positive perspective,
  13. Do a brain dump, to remove all the thoughts from your head. This is a way to clear your mind and gain clarity.

Did any of these self care ideas resonate with you?

TOPIC: Stop Trying to Change Others, it’s Exhausting!


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