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Today’s prompt is: ‘If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?’

That’s a tricky one. Let’s take this hypothetically, for now. Assume that I am an introverted, withdrawn, shy person, who prefers her few close friends to a slew of many, not-so-close ones. Now, suppose I decide to change that about myself. Then, I become this sociable butterfly, flitting into conversations seamlessly, staying up to date on the fashionable trends and becoming an engaging, gregarious talker. So, what happens now? The close friends realise that you don’t fit into their well-knit fabric anymore and slowly, you separate yourself from the group.

On the other hand, assume that I am a brash, outspoken person who cares tuppence what people think and go around, voicing my ideas to the world at large. Let’s say I decide to change that about myself. Then, I become more conscious, watch my words, weigh my thoughts and tread carefully on people’s feelings. What happens then? The ones who despised you initially are going to say that you’re putting on a show for the benefit of a select few.

The interesting fact about change is this: no matter what you change about yourself, there will always be someone out there who has a problem with the way you are. It doesn’t matter what you do. How people perceive you is never going to be a ‘Win-Win’ situation. Even the saints of the world aren’t spared. A kind thought, a good deed, a well-written article – all these are viewed as two-edged swords. There will be a group of readers who will comment, ‘ So what? It’s not like she’s the only one facing that’. And, they’re not wrong either.

What DOES matter, however, is the reason that you should choose to change.

If you must change, do it for yourself.

Not for your friends, not for your family, not for your well-wishers- just for yourself.

On that note, if there is one thing that I could change about myself, it is the way I have expectations about people, incidents and situations.

If I can let go of expectations, I can then be ready to face the possible outcomes without disappointment.

Ifย  I can do a task for the pleasure that it affords and with no other outcome in mind, then I can be sure that I will reap that pleasure.

If I can invest in a relationship with no demands placed on the other person, then the resultingย bond is sure to be more powerful.

If I can write a blog post, without worrying too much about the impact that it may have (or the views that it may get ;), then I can enjoy the writing process for what it holds.

If I can just BE, live in the moment, savour the pleasure that is right here, right now, then I think there is nothing left to change.

NaBloPoMo November 2013
Categories: Uncategorized

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Aparna · November 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm

That's a good resolution to live by Shailaja :).. it's something I aspire to as well.

Shailaja V · November 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm

And for a large part of the day, it works, Aparna. But I'm still working on making it happen effortlessly. Thanks for commenting so promptly, as always! ๐Ÿ™‚

Michelle Longo · November 7, 2013 at 2:59 am

Such good points. You really can't please all of the people all of the time.

Shailaja V · November 7, 2013 at 3:11 am

Absolutely. And trying to do that makes you feel bad about yourself, when there's nothing wrong with you. Thanks for the comment!

Jen and Tonic · November 7, 2013 at 6:00 am

“If you must change, do it for yourself.” It took me so long to realize this. For so long I was changing myself based on what I thought other people wanted from me. Now that I'm evolving for myself, I find that my choices make me much happier.

Shailaja V · November 7, 2013 at 7:44 am

That really is the key, right? And, we evolve much better when we can accept that fact.

Shailaja Rangarajan · November 7, 2013 at 11:52 am

Lovely blog Shailaja ๐Ÿ™‚ The reason for most of our frustration is we do what is expected of us rather than following our heart. And we believe that we will be loved or better accepted by doing that. How stupid can we get ! If I am not happy, how can I make others happy ?

Shailaja V · November 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Thanks so much, Shailaja! Yes, isn't it amazing how much stock we put in other people's opinions? And we tend to get brow beaten and cowed down by those expectations, making us miserable, when we alone are responsible for our own happiness!

meena · November 8, 2013 at 7:24 am

Good one…with expectations – I faced a lot of disappointments when people did not reciprocate what they should have as I felt I deserved the same. I was there when they needed and they never realized when I was need. That frustration and disappointment made me very moody and I have absolutely changed and stopped expecting. I do if I want to do and don't expect anything in return. makes it simple better n easy

psychochef · November 16, 2013 at 4:03 am

Changing to please ourselves; letting go of expectations; living in the moment – simple, practical advice that is sometimes so difficult to live by. Thanks for the reminder.


Shailaja V · November 16, 2013 at 5:37 am

Sometimes, the simplest of things are not that simple to follow, are they? And the people we meet don't make it easy either. But, it's a process and I'm learning ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

Wicked World of Lucas · November 16, 2013 at 8:13 am

Such an interesting post. There's an old saying – You can't please everyone and I love your slant on this. Popping over form #archiveday

Shailaja V · November 16, 2013 at 8:28 am

Thanks for popping over ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you liked it ๐Ÿ™‚

Natalie DeYoung · November 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm

I go through this. There are things I wish I can change about myself, and then I remember some of those truths you mention…

consciouscacophony · November 17, 2013 at 1:03 am

This reminds me of a quote I love from Brene Brown: โ€œBecause true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.โ€

Shailaja V · November 17, 2013 at 3:45 am

We are all in the same boat, Natalie ๐Ÿ™‚

Shailaja V · November 17, 2013 at 3:49 am

What a beautiful quote! That's going in my collection.

And I have to say, I love your name! Conscious cacophony – that really is all it is-making sense of the noise ๐Ÿ™‚

Stacie · November 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Very true! Now I have “Just the way you are” running through my head.

Shailaja V · November 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm

You know, my mom always says that if I keep singing or humming, I must be happy. And, you know what? She's right!

Robin · November 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm

I really like what you wrote about the reason someone might choose to change. When I read this prompt, a whole bunch of negative things popped into my head. I decided I really didn't like that. I wrote about something else ๐Ÿ™‚

Shailaja V · November 19, 2013 at 3:40 am

Actually my first reaction to the prompt was more defensive. The notion that there's nothing wrong with the way I am, dominated more. Then I realized that I could do away with certain things that kept me from being happy.

Barbara Dixon · December 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Whoa this post was really hit home for me. Letting go of expecatations is really important. I never really thought of it that way. What a burden to be lifted! I will have to give that a shot.

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