Your Choices Create Change

by Alli Polin on June 21, 2013

Personal Transformation Can't Be Seen By Others But is Felt By You

I’m going home for the first time in a year.  After countless hours spent on FaceTime, I’m going to get to hug my parents, kiss my nieces and nephews, see friends and enjoy simply being present in the same room as those I love.  The past year has gone by in the blink of an eye but the lessons will stay with me for a lifetime.

When my family and I first decided to move from DC Metro to the Australian Outback, people were shocked it was a leap that I was willing to make.  I felt confident and excited about the adventure.  Why were the people who knew me best so surprised?  Some people judged my decision and were clear that they thought I was nuts, would hate it and need to prepare to leave or suffer through.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ~ Mother Teresa

When you find yourself in judgment of others ask yourself:

  • Is this really about them or is it also about me?
  • What is my judgment telling me about myself and my own fears, wishes and dreams?
  • If the other person has shortcomings, does it really matter?
  • How can I give them space to be who they are and support them, without compromising who I am in the process?

Everything was new and out of the ordinary when I arrived.  For example, I didn’t know how to drive on the left side of the road and the Indigenous people lived in the town but had a distinct culture separate from the majority white Australian population.   For the most part, I didn’t know what I didn’t know and although some things felt familiar, everything was new.  It was hard to imagine that new, after a year, would become normal.

“Newness opens doors to possibility.  Don’t shut them just because you’re afraid.  You don’t have to walk alone.” ~ Alli Polin (Click to Tweet)

When new feels overwhelming ask yourself:

  • What can you ground yourself to as you learn about the new culture?
  • Why did you decide to make a change?
  • What’s exciting about what’s present?
  • What feeling does the newness create for you?

After nearly two decades of successfully climbing the corporate ladder not only did I get off to start my company but also I simultaneously moved to the other side of the world to a really small town.  The challenges to my business were huge and I had to stretch and find new ways to connect with people, remember my purpose and give myself time to rediscover my confidence, competence and creativity.

“Overnight success never happens overnight.” ~ Alli Polin (Click to Tweet)

When success feels as slow as a snail and you’re struggling to stay motivated ask yourself:

  • Why does it matter?
  • Who is defining the timeline?
  • What would you be saying “No” to if you gave up now?
  • Who are you?  Are you willing to be kind to yourself and give yourself room to succeed?

Heading home I am a changed woman.  I have learned more about myself and what matters most.  I know that my siblings are expecting their 16 year-old sister Alli to come home; moody, dominating, nasty, loving, laughing and happy all in one person.   I’m sure that all of those parts of me still exist but I’ve made many choices over the past (many, many) years and I’ve changed a lot too.  The past 12 months have reminded me that my personal change will never stop as long as I continue to be open to not only looking at my world in new ways but also looking within.  It’s up to me to apply the learning, and grow.

“We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us.” ~ Jean-Paul Sarte

I’m left with this question:

If I’ve changed, does it matter if anyone else sees me differently? (Click to Tweet)

Here’s what I know:

  • My way of being will enable me to experience the people in my life in new ways.
  • Change happens within me, not to me.  I get to choose the way I react.
  • I will be responsive to others and meet them where they are without fear that it compromises who I am.
  • When I am a person, that is human, faults and all, I can accept someone else who is human, with their faults and all.
  • I don’t have to like everyone but I need to find a way to love and accept them if they are a part of my life.
  • Change happens along the journey and through the learning.  It’s more than just getting off a plane in a new place.
  • If I know I’ve changed, that’s what matters most.

What are your thoughts on personal change?  What about my question?  If you’ve changed, does it matter if anyone else knows? 

(Photo credit)

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Callie ~ Playfull Genie June 21, 2013 at 7:18 am

Great article, Alli – I wish you a wonderful trip home, filled with love and joyfull confidence!

“If I’ve changed, does it matter if anyone else sees me differently?” … once upon a time, I would have said yes.

That was based on the fact I had lived my life according to other people’s needs and desires. One of the greatest gifts I have received from my cancer diagnosis was the introduction to my True Self, where I discovered that as long as I was happy with the changes, then those that truly mattered would eventually see that these changes are positive. Most people fear losing control – even ‘tho control is an illusion 😉

If you stand proud and sure of yourself, knowing you are making decisions and steps to live according to your values – as you and I both have, Alli – then no, I honestly don’t think it matters if anyone else sees us differently. We are inspiring them to take steps to make changes in their own lives, which can only be a good thing, right?!

Happy holidays!


Alli Polin June 21, 2013 at 9:08 am


First of all, I’ve GOT to get to London to meet you! About two years ago, I took on an in depth study of what was missing in my life and most holding me back from doing the things I want to do… you know what was missing? PLAY! Truly being happy and having FUN! So many of the things that you do remind me of that ah-ha and why it was so important. Clearly, living in alignment with our values DOES inspire others to live their own.

I agree with you – it does not matter if anyone else looks at us and says “you know, there’s something different about you.” What matters is that in our hearts we know who we are and living the life we’re meant to live.

Appreciate you!!


Ali R. Rodriguez (@Ali4Coach) June 21, 2013 at 10:39 am

This is a wonderful article, Alli. Eye-opener for those who wonder and get stuck on the “Should I?” instead of listening to their instincts and know their talents all too well. Life as we know it, is …… an INSIDE JOB! And yes others will notice, even if they don’t tell you. You’ve got the sun shinning all over you.

Have a great, and fun trip home!!!


Alli Polin June 21, 2013 at 10:53 am

Ali! So true, too often we listen to everyone else BUT ourselves! I’ve already heard “maybe we were wrong… you seem… happy!” Plan to shine that happy all over NYC!

Many thanks, Ali!


Lalita Raman June 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

First of all a wonderful trip back home Alli. There are people who will always love you, the way you are, no matter what. Whether anyone will notice the change, I think you have answered it yourself. To me, I would feel nice if people whose words and thoughts mattered to me would see it. I believe if it is a real change, it is hard to go unnoticed. Yet, if our inner self is truly happy, at some point it will matter less and less what people think.

Those who care will aways love you for who you are. Love and Hugs Alli.

Safe travels.


Alli Polin June 24, 2013 at 7:48 am

You are too wonderful, Lalita! What a truth: “If it is real change, it is hard to go unnoticed” When we experience a shift that allows us to live a life in relationship, responsive to others as they are, you’re right… that’s felt beyond words.

Thank you!


Dan Forbes June 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Alli, I know you are looking forward to being reunited with your family again. I trust that it is a wonderful experience for you. I for one, think they will love the change they see in you.

I have enjoyed reading your posts and “taking” your Australian journey with you. You’ve learned a lot and have taught us a lot.

Have some fun, lots of fun while you are here in the States.

I’m glad we’ve met. You are part of my change.


Alli Polin June 24, 2013 at 7:52 am

Love that you have been a part of my journey here too, Dan! Appreciate your kind words and thoughts.


Amber-Lee Dibble June 22, 2013 at 11:09 pm

What a beautiful post!
What a scary question… My reaction? It seems to matter to ME that I HAVE changed… it hurts that others do not see it as such a monumental accomplishment that it feels like. But does it REALLY matter? Enough to go back? No. I suppose not. If they cannot see and truly amaze at the changes, then maybe they weren’t as invested in ME, as I am!

Oh, Ali, I wish I could hug you too! Enjoy every minute! How long are you going to be in the USA? (What a wonderful post!) I have it printing… it will help me remember that I didn’t set about making these changes FOR or BECAUSE of other people, but my own heart, soul and mind. And I LIKE me, like this.

I’ll be thinking of you, here, there, and there. When I am out, seeing what I see and thinking my thoughts and feeling all I feel, I will set aside some of each for you. Be safe.


Alli Polin June 24, 2013 at 7:56 am

Oh my gosh, Amber-Lee… I know exactly what you mean! Change does feel huge! How is it possible that there will not be billboards on the side of the highway welcoming me home and appreciating my change and journey? (Hope my family reads this blog… they still have time to get it done!)

Seriously, you’ve touched me with the most important question I need to ask and we all need to ask: If they don’t see the change in us does it matter enough for us to go back? Easy one: NO.

You and your HUGE heart have given me an awesome virtual hug. Thank you! We’ll only be there a few weeks that I’m already nervous will feel like a matter of minutes. Everyone better be ready for tons of camera flashes as I carry these next few weeks with me forward into the change that the next 12 months brings my way.



Johann Gauthier June 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Great post yet again Alli !
One quote really stood out for me:
“When you find yourself in judgment of others ask yourself: Is this really about them or is it also about me? What is my judgment telling me about myself and my own fears, wishes and dreams?”
This truly resonates with me presently from life lessons I have experiencing. As I’ve written in my most recent blog post I can’t control what others do or will do. It is very often disappointing to see people you love behave in such dire ways. Beyond the frustration there is the realization that we all have hearts and merit loving and compassion. Most of all, we have greatness inside and for having expressed mine like I have never before in my life I find myself with people that do the same. Positivity attracts the same energy.
I feel very blessed to know you Alli and for being inspired by you each time I read your thoughful posts. You have a caring heart.
Thanks for being there.


Alli Polin June 24, 2013 at 7:58 am


I appreciate you and the way you have committed to living an authentic, big, juicy life out loud so we can all be a part of the journey!

As far as I’m concerned, you totally understand that regardless of the judgement of others “hearts merit loving and compassion.” We are all human. We are all equal.

So touched by your words and posts bursting with heart and passion.


Alice Chan June 25, 2013 at 1:06 am

Beautiful post, Alli! Although it isn’t always easy to remember, what others think of us really ultimately doesn’t matter–oh the shock of me actually saying that aloud! (Don’t call my mother… :-)) So, yes, I fully, wholeheartedly support what you said at the end, that, if you’ve changed, what others think really doesn’t matter. Thanks again for this heart-felt and thoughtful post. Enjoy your visit!


Alli Polin June 26, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Thanks, Alice! What matters is that I’ve changed and am ready to embrace my family and friends fully as who I am accepting who they are too. Been here less than 24 hours and we’re off to a great start.


Lolly Daskal June 25, 2013 at 9:00 am

I feel honored in sharing your journey with you.

Change if seen or not seen, can be felt.

I for one, love who you are and celebrate all that you accomplish and will still create.



Alli Polin June 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Lolly – I’m thrilled that connection with you has been and will continue to be a part of my journey! I’m home now and one of the first thing my father told me was that he read my post. He does not often visit my site but was touched by this post and I think you’re right – it was more than the words, but feeling too.

Thanks, Lolly!


Karen Jolly June 26, 2013 at 11:56 pm


Thank you for writing out your feelings so beautifully once again. You really spoke to my heart. I have found that when people (especially those closest to us) react strongly to changes that we make it is usually their own discomfort they are facing. I lost some dear friends over changes I’ve made and it has always been a shock, because it had nothing to do with them.

I see now and can accept that change can make some people very uncomfortable, but I can’t let that keep me from moving forward –or as in your case, moving to Australia! 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful time back home with loved ones. I am sure they see huge and wonderful change in you and I hope you take great courage in that because you are such an inspiration! Your willingness to face the new challenges of your adventure has truly given me so much encouragement and I’m so grateful always for your sharing!



Alli Polin June 27, 2013 at 10:10 am


Your words mean so much to me! You’re so right, our changes can make others feel uncomfortable but we can’t let their discomfort stop us from moving forward. I too have lost some friends at different points in my life when my personal shift was not one that they connected with anymore. Like you I was shocked, and sad, because I had hoped that change wouldn’t drive us apart but instead just be different.

I’m home with my family now and it feels really, really good.

Appreciate you tremendously, Karen!


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