When You Flip the Script, Sometimes People Flip

When you take risks, follow dreams, embark on adventures, or do anything else that challenges you to become a superior version of yourself, you force the people around you to change even if they’re not ready and willing to change.

In a sense, you are a character in someone else’s narrative and that’s not exactly a bad thing. The people you know are also characters in your narrative. As long as the characters in our lives make sense, we tend to feel comfortable and we enjoy the story. Nobody likes a story with a messy incoherent plot. Suspense is fun, but not chaos. Now imagine the people in your life: they’re going through their daily routines, following their own dreams, building their own futures, protecting their own cherished belongings, and then you come along and say “hey, I know you’re busy writing your novel and all, but I need to deviate from the script and completely change my character’s story arc.” Now they have to scramble, regroup, revise, and somehow find the energy, time, and perspective necessary to save their precious project. When you take creative risks, you become the equivalent of a big-time film producer who barges on set in the middle of production and announces “I need you guys to change this from a romantic comedy into a sci-fi/action film about zombies and werewolves.” Imagine the shock, the outrage, the fear, the anxiety, the criticism. It’s not always this dramatic, but you get the point:

It’s impossible to take charge of your narrative without forcing the people who’ve already cast you as a character in their narrative to make significant script revisions that they probably never planned to make.

Remember this the next time someone freaks out at your ambitions and creative undertakings. It’s not personal. They’re just going through the stress and anxiety of having to rewrite the script for a story they’ve fallen in love with. Someone is probably going to do the same thing to you someday. So be easy on them. There’s no need to adopt a “they’re all haters” attitude every time someone protests or gets a little uncomfortable with your risky ambitions and creative ideas.