A Thick Skin Is A Gift From God

We live our lives in constant transition. We’re always going from one stage or phase to another, usually trying to get to somewhere we’ve never been before. It is virtually impossible to stay in one spot, unless we’re content with the hardships that result from arrested development. The wear and tear of daily living are only worth putting up with if you’re trying to get somewhere—if you’re trying to reach something. However, in light of your desire to want to change, your external environment might not always prove to be accommodating.

This external environment can refer to the places that you frequent, your situation at home, friends, even your work environment. For example, if you’re thinking of starting your own business, your family might question your actions, your current responsibilities at your job might become unsustainable in the long run, or your friends might wonder why you haven’t spent time with them. If you change, your environment’s relationship with you will have to change as well.

Any lifestyle changes you decide upon will provoke a reaction from your current environment, but you need to be resilient and stay strong. German politician Konrad Adenaur said, “A thick skin is a gift from God.” Many times there is no avoiding the inevitable conflict that results when we are going through a transition in life. Life transitions are meant to be disruptive, since they’re all about fundamentally change. Sometimes they are not very difficult and over with rather quickly. But usually, going from one state to another is impossible without some sort of effort.

When we feel that our friends are going in different a direction than we are, it is pretty easy to start losing touch with them. You’ll want to talk about one thing, while other people may want to talk about something else. For example, shortly after graduation, you and several of your high school classmates might have frequently spent time with each other and shared similar experiences. Fast forward a few years, and you all might be living in different places, around different people, going after different things. Initially, because of similar lifestyles, you all might have experienced greater solidarity with one another. But once you all grew up and chose/pursued your own path, relating to one another might not have been as easy anymore.

You can be criticized and ridiculed for doing just about anything, so you might as well pursue what you want. Brace yourself for reactions from your friends/family/coworkers, but make sure to hold steady. You’ll find that over time, you will move on from your current situation into one that is more congruent with you. But you have to be able to withstand initial judgment and hold your ground.

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