It could be a co-worker. Maybe an unhappy partner or spouse. Maybe even your best friend or sister.
It’ll be slipped into a conversation in a seemingly harmless moment.
Someone will say something longingly about “The Old You.”
“I miss the Old You.”
“It’s nice to see the Old [Insert your Name Here] is back.”
“The Old You would never have said that.”
Old You statements have many levels of meaning. It’s hard to know exactly what is being said. But let’s take a stab at it:
“Gee, I wish you’d go back to the days when you had no boundaries because it was much easier to prioritize my day without having to think of your schedule.”
“You used to not threaten me. I liked you better then.”
“Now that you have all these dreams you’re creating, it’s making me think of where I’m not following my own.”
“I miss connecting with you, and I don’t know how to do that other than with a slight dig to get your attention.”
“I’m scared you’ll leave me behind, so I’m going to see if I can get to you because even a bad connection is a connection.”
How you deal with The Old You moment is up to you. But I promise you one thing: The minute you defend yourself, the game is on. The hook is in. You’ve done exactly what their comment was designed to get you to do:
After all, it’s tender territory when you make the changes you’re making. It’s a vulnerability that few people relish, and fewer people deliberately intend. And no one, least of all you, knows where any of it is leading. You just know you’re in the right place, and that you want to keep growing because you’ve never felt so alive.
So, respond to Old You remarks with care. Have compassion. Smile.
And then quietly remind yourself:
There IS no Old You.
There’s no New You either.
There is only Essential You – always becoming, always surprising, always in this present moment.