Side EyeIt’s Lent season and with that many people announce the changes they want to make in their lives. They proclaim the thing or things they want to give up to become better. I was talking with a friend a few days ago. The friend was mentioning to me about how they wanted to stop swearing so much. I sort of smirked; as this friend of mine is quite the sailor. Yes they are. They stopped me in the middle of my smirk and stated, “I’ll show you. I can stop cursing.” I retracted my smirk and said, “Ok. I believe you, but don’t do it to prove anything to me.”

My friend’s adamant point of proving to me that they could stop cursing made me realize that sometimes in life we are quick to make changes in our lives to prove something to others. That’s the completely wrong reason to do it. Yes, the initial change may be premised by a true desire of obtaining something different and better from life. However, it made me think about how our desire to change should never include trying to prove a point to anyone else. It somehow lessens the importance of the desire. I’m definitely guilty of this action at various points in my life. I can say the changes I made that were totally all about me changing and I could care less what others thought were the most long-lasting changes.

The point is there will always be people around you that will doubt you. There will always be nay-Sayers. The best thing you can do for yourself, however, is to ignore the nay-Sayers, and give them the side-eye and keep it moving. In the end, when you’ve achieved that goal; when you’ve become better than you were the day, week, month, or year before, those same nay-Sayers will see it and won’t be able to doubt you any longer (at least on that goal).

Take this message and analyze why you’re making the changes in your life. Is it to show others you can do it? Is the change completely for yourself?