Listen to the Full Episode:

O ne thing I’ve noticed as I’ve worked on myself and made changes to my life is that I experience something called change pushback. This pushback can come from our own brain when it gets uncomfortable, but that’s only one side of it. Change pushback also comes from the people around you. And that’s when thought work becomes more difficult.

How to increase your capacity for making positive changes in your life.

We all have those people in our lives who have strong opinions when we decide to make a change. And they might even resent our change. So, I’m unwrapping change pushback in today’s episode and showing you what you can do about it.

Tune in this week to discover how to navigate change pushback. I’m sharing the importance of acting in alignment with what you really want when other people have opinions of you and the changes you’re making, and how doing the mindset work I’m bringing you today will increase your capacity for making positive changes in your life.

If you want to dive even deeper into this work, the doors to the School of Self-Image will be open for just a few more days. Click here for more information and I can’t wait to see your beautiful face inside! 

Have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Click here to get your copy and learn how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.

What You Will Discover:

  • Why the bigger the change you’re making is, the greater the pushback you will get from others.
  • What change pushback looks like when it’s internal versus from other people.
  • Why this work is about so much more than just ignoring people’s opinions.
  • How to navigate change pushback from others.
  • The questions I ask myself when I receive pushback from other people when I’m making a big change in my life.
  • How to manage your brain to consciously decide for yourself who you want to listen to, and who you want to politely ignore.

Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

One of the things that I’ve learned to come to expect when I start to change is what I call change pushback. It not only happens from my own brain, but it also happens from other people. I know you know what I’m talking about; the people who start to resent your change or think you shouldn’t change or start to have very strong opinions about your change.

Well, that’s what we’re talking about in this episode; how to navigate change pushback. Let’s dive in.

Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.

Well hello, my beautiful friends. How are you? I’m doing great. My mom is in town, so it’s always fun to spend time with my momma. We’ve been sitting around in the evenings playing dominoes. I never thought I’d utter those words. But she likes to play, and I like to play games. So, I’ve learned to play dominoes, and we are having so much fun, starting from the big 12 down to the double-blank.

For those of you who play dominoes, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And I think I’ve mentioned it, but I’m moving. And for those of you within the School of Self-Image, you know what’s up. You know where I’m moving to. I’ll be announcing it here soon. But I’m in the process of packing up and moving to a new place. Super exciting. Lots of fun things happening.

I’m also really excited about next month within the school of self-image. But the time you listen to this, we’ll be starting in a few days for the month of August. And my focus for the entire month of August is on the topic of practicing the new you. It’s a practice. And you’re going to have resistance and obstacles. But I’m telling you, it’s so worth it.

In fact, when you join the School of Self-Image, one of the first things that I ask you to do is write your before and after story.

So, your before story is where you are now and your after story is where you want to be. And I have a process that I run all members through. And since starting the School of Self-Image back in October of last year, we have been receiving women’s before and after stories; the after that they’re now living.

And I was going through all of them yesterday and just had so much joy in my heart and just tears of happiness of what these women are accomplishing. And I pulled some snippets to share with the members, and I wanted to share them with you because it’s so powerful what happens when you step into your after story and you begin to practice it. All of a sudden, it becomes true.

But here’s what some of the women have said in their after stories, “I’m finally feeling alive again. I haven’t felt this good in years. I achieved my extraordinary goal. Everything, truly everything has changed. I feel unstoppable. My transformation is unbelievable to me and everyone who knows me.”

What I can tell you is that the work that we do within the School of Self-Image is the most powerful work you will ever do. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Your self-image is creating your entire life. And within the school, we focus on upgrading your mindset, your surroundings, and your style. These are the three areas that impact a woman’s self-image.

And one of the things that I always encourage my clients to do is to fall in love with the practice. Because here’s the thing, you all. If you are in such a rush to get to the end, to get to the outcome, you’re going to have so much resistance because you believe that life is better over there.

I am a big believer, when I look at my own life, that the reason why I’ve been able to create the results that I’ve created is that I fell in love with the practice.

Of course, I love it when I achieve my goals. I love it when I reach the outcome. But I know that, as Abraham Hicks says, “There is no happy ending to an unhappy journey.” And so, I’ve learned just to slow down and fall in love with the practice. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about next month.

We’re going to be talking about how to practice the new you. And what I’m going to be teaching are powerful concepts and tools as well as exercises that I use in my life whenever I’m ready to practice the next version of myself. So, if this work speaks to you, if you want support, if you want to be a part of the most extraordinary community of women on the internet who are now starting to meet up in person – so fun – come join us.

Here’s the thing. You can join as a monthly member and you can cancel it anytime, although our retention rate is ridiculous, the number of women who choose to stay. Or you can join as an annual member and commit for an entire year, which has its perks and benefits and bonuses.

But why not try it out? Really, there’s nothing to lose. Even if you come in for a month and you try it and you implement some of the things that you’re learning, your life will be better off as a result. So, head over to to read all about the membership. And I seriously cannot wait to see you inside.

I want to be reading your after story soon. Like, some of these women, within a month, are sending me their after stories. Change can happen that quickly, my friends, when you have the right tools and the right support, which you will have within the School of Self-Image.

But I was thinking about our concept that we’re going to be talking about next month on how to practice the new you. And inevitably, what ends up happening when you set out on the journey of change is that you are going to experience pushback.

Now, the pushback comes in two forms. One you can manage. And the other one is outside of your control. The only thing you can manage is your mind around it. So, you are inevitably going to have the pushback of your own brain.

The brain is lazy. It doesn’t like to change. So, whenever you go about changing, your brain’s going to tell you how ridiculous you are, how it’s not going to work, how you might as well give up, how it’s too hard. That’s your brain’s pushback. And it’s expected.

And I teach women within the school how to navigate that so they can keep the forward momentum. But in today’s episode, I want to talk about the pushback of other people. You know what I’m talking about. If you’ve every changed a part of yourself or changed something in your life, inevitably you probably have had pushback from others.

It seems like everyone has an opinion about how you should live your life. And we’re going to be going way deeper into this within the membership next month because this is one of the things that I coach women around a lot.

Women will go about going after their goals or changing and they’ll tell me, “But Tonya my husband doesn’t like my change. My mom doesn’t like my change. My friends don’t like who I’m becoming. How do I deal with it?”

So, I’m going to give you some things to think about that you can begin to practice in your own life. Because I have experienced this for a long time now, ever since over a decade ago that I decided to radically change my life. I’m not talking about just little baby changes. I’m talking about, “Oh my god, who is this woman? She’s not who she was a year ago.” That kind of change.

I’ve had to deal with people’s pushback; everyone from my immediate family, to people on the internet that don’t even know me. And last year, 2020, was probably the year that I received the most pushback from other people.

And what I’ve come to understand is that the bigger the change, the bigger the pushback. And last year was a big year of change for me. I left a long-term relationship, which I’ve talked about on this podcast. And people had a lot of thoughts about it. Some people were in major favor of it and some people were not.

I also completely changed my business. I created basically a brand new business. And people had a lot of thoughts about it. Some people loved it. Some people, not so much. And ever since then, I’m still getting pushback; people who don’t like the changes that I’m making.

And so, I’m sharing this with you all because this is something that I experience often. I feel like I’ve become an expert in dealing with pushback from other people. And I know that this stops so many of you. You’re so afraid of what people are going to think. You’re so afraid of not pleasing everyone. But if you’re trying to please everyone, you’re not pleasing yourself. It’s impossible.

Now, what I’m going to share with you is not about just completely dismissing people’s opinions. Believe it or not, I don’t do that. But here is what I do do when I start experiencing pushback.

The first thing that I do is I consider the source. Does this person know me personally? Or do they just know an image of me on the internet and they’ve been used to me showing up in a certain way, so when I go to change, it sort of rocks their world a little bit? That’s okay. But someone that doesn’t even know me personally, who’s never interacted with me face to face, I have to really stop and ask myself, why should I consider their opinion?

Now, it’s not that I won’t. But most of the time, I don’t. Now, every once in a while, someone who doesn’t know me will say something and it will trigger something within me that I want to go in and look at. And maybe it’s something that I don’t like. Maybe there’s a little bit of truth in it.

I have to do that self-assessment and be completely honest with myself. But nine times out of 10, maybe even more, the people that don’t know me, their opinions are not valid because they don’t have enough data. They’re just projecting onto me their image of me and who they think I should be.

So, you consider the source. But then I ask myself, does this person love and care for me? Because sometimes, someone that loves me and cares for me – I think about my mother or my daughter. If they’re pushing back on my change and I know they want the best for me, maybe I should go and look at it. Maybe there’s something in it for me to learn from and to grow from. Maybe I’ve gotten off course and I’ve lost my way.

Now, I will say that doesn’t happen as much these days because I’m really self-aware. Even though I still have my blind spots, y’all. But for the most part, the changes that I’m making are very intentional.

Now, years ago, that wasn’t the case. I’ve had my mother state her strong opinions about things and I ignored her. Turns out, your mom’s usually right. So, the first thing you need to do is just consider the source.

The next thing you need to ask yourself is, do I like my change? Do I like who I’m becoming? Is my life getting better? Because sometimes, people don’t like that your life is getting better. I actually even enjoy doing this podcast more, even though I just had someone say not too long ago that they don’t like this version of the podcast.

They like the old Tonya. They like the old French Kiss Life podcast. But when I step back and I look at my life and how I’m feeling, I’m so much better off. I’m so much happier even though someone else said that I seem less happy. That was actually a review that I got. They were like, “Tonya doesn’t seem happy.” And I’m like, “Oh my goodness, I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my whole entire life.”

So, people are going to have opinions. But you need to make sure that you like your change. You need to make sure that you are getting the results that you want. You need to make sure that your life is getting better. And then, if it’s not, maybe you need to listen to the pushback from the people who love you and want the best for you.

But here’s the thing, you all. At the end of the day, these people don’t pay your bills. They don’t have wake up and live your life. You do. So, what you think of you, what you think of your change is what matters the most.

The other thing that you have to do when it comes to other people’s pushback is to manage your brain around it. Because at the end of the day, you cannot manage other people. As I said earlier, everyone’s going to have an opinion. What if you let people have their opinions about how you should live your life and you decide for yourself what you want to think about how you’re living your life?

So, this requires that you are aware of your thoughts around other people’s opinions, that you’re aware of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Because if you go about changing and people have opinions about it that are not favorable and yet you’re moving in a favorable direction and you start telling yourself that maybe these people are right and they start causing you to doubt yourself, next thing you know you’re off course and you’re living the life that everybody else wants you to live.

What kind of life is that? It’s no fun. It’s not where the things that you want are hanging out and people pleasing everyone around you. So, you have to be willing to manage your brain around other people’s opinions.

It’s just like when someone told me that they don’t like this version of the podcast. That was their opinion. I had to go into my own brain and decide what I think about this version of the podcast. And I think it’s extraordinary. I love the content that I’m putting out there. I love that this podcast alone is changing women’s lives.

And so, while this person may have an opinion of who they want me to be and what they want me to put out into the world, I have to stay true to myself. I’ve been doing a lot of work around alignment. What is alignment?

Alignment is when your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions are aligned with your truth, your deepest truth. It’s aligned with your values. It’s aligned with your goals. I’ve been doing a lot of work around that.

And what I know is that it requires that you manage your brain and it also requires that you sort of tune out the world and just stay focused on you. And it’s hard, you all. I get it. It’s so hard. But think about it. If you’re standing there and you’re in alignment, let’s just have a visual right now. You’re in alignment, and all of a sudden, you turn over here to the right and this person says, “You should come this way.” And you start to move in that direction.

Now, all of a sudden, you’re out of alignment. Then from that point, then you look over to your left and this person’s like, “No, you should come over here,” and you start moving towards that person and what they think you should do and who they think you should be. And now you’re really out of alignment.

And this is what happens. We start moving out of alignment towards everybody else’s wishes and desires for us that we’re so far out of alignment that it can be overwhelming. But what I can tell you is you can get right back in, but it’s going to require that you tune out the noise and really get to know yourself again, maybe for the first time in a long time.

It requires that you ask yourself the tough questions about what you want, what you’re being called to do, who you are being called to be. And that is the work. But if you’re looking around at everybody else and what they think and listen to everyone’s pushback, all of a sudden, you’re so far out of alignment you don’t even know who you are.

And this is why managing your brain is so important. It’s why mindset is one of the core tenets within the School of Self-Image, because without managing your thoughts, you can’t manage your life. If you want to change your life, you’ve got to change your brain. It’s just how it works.

The other thing that really helps me when I’m receiving pushback is to think of what I want my life purpose to be. And I want to be an example. I want to be an example to my daughter, to my family, to my friends, to my clients, to you all. And you can’t be an example if you’re not being true to yourself. It’s impossible.

And while some people may not like it, some people may decide not to be a part of it, what I know is that people will respect you. My mom always taught me that. People may not like you, but make sure they respect you. And the only way to be respected is to be true to yourself. And you can’t be true to yourself if you’re trying to please everyone, if you’re avoiding pushback, if you’re not listening to yourself. So, focus on being an example, not being liked by everyone, not people pleasing everyone, but just being an example to everyone.

And the final thing that I want to say about dealing with pushback – and this is the hardest, even for me. Because at the end of the day, I feel like most of us are like this. We want people to like us.

And not only do we want people to like us, but I feel like one of the core fears of all human beings is being alone. So, there’s this innate fear that people are going to leave us. But what I know is that if you want to live an extraordinary life, an extraordinary life, you have to be willing to let people go.

An if you have a fear of people leaving you, I want you to think about how often you leave yourself in order to avoid pushback and to avoid being disliked. Really think about that. How often do you leave your desires? How often do you leave your dreams? How often do you leave your values because you’re trying to avoid the pushback or people please?

But there’s this beautiful thing that happens when you learn to live in alignment with yourself and you are true to yourself and you’re willing to let people go. You don’t try to beg people to stay. You don’t try to explain your changes to everyone so that they’ll like it. You just show up as the extraordinary, magnificent woman that you are and you’re willing to let people go.

But here’s the other thing that happens. And this is the best part. When you live in such a way, yes, there will be people that leave. I have had people leave me my entire life. And especially when I started changing. Because what I’ve come to realize is that when you change, others are faced with a choice.

And the choice is either, “I’m going to need to change in order to be a part of this person’s world.” Or, “I’m going to try to keep them where they are so that I don’t have to change.” Because change is hard. Most people don’t sign up for it. Most people will just live a mediocre life without ever changing because they don’t want to do the hard work. That’s just facts.

And that’s okay. If you like your reason, I’m all for it. But the problem occurs when you are listening to people who don’t want to change, when you are taking their advice, when you’re allowing their opinions to stop you from the change that you’re wanting to see in your own life.

So, in order to overcome this, you have to do the work around being willing to let people go. But the most amazing thing will start to happen. As you let people go that aren’t an energetic match to who you’ve become and who you’re becoming, guess what else is going to happen. New people are going to come into your life who are a match, who are probably very supportive, who probably are also growing.

And then, there might come a time where they decide to stop growing and you want to keep growing and you have to be willing to let them go. You can let people go and still love them. And I have found that that has been the best approach for me.

I don’t want to resist people and fight with people and not like people because they don’t like my changes. That’s their prerogative. I want to love people and let them be who they are and stay true to who I want to be. That’s the secret.

And is it scary? Does it sometimes hurt? Of course. But you know what I think? This is our one life. Do we want to let the opinion of others stop us living the life that we know we are here to live? And I know deep down, your answer is no. So, that means that you’re going to have to be willing to let people go so that you can stay true to yourself.

Or, you may choose to keep these people in your life, which I’ve done at times too. But you’re going to have to manage your mind around their opinions. You have to have a red velvet rope around your mind and you have to decide what thoughts you allow in. And just because someone has a thought about what you’re doing, doesn’t mean you have to let it past your red velvet rope.

You can be like, “Okay, that’s your opinion.  Love you. Maybe I still want to keep you in my life. But no.” And they may choose to leave. I’ve had that happen too. And you have to be willing to let them go.

But here’s what I know. If you want to live an extraordinary life, you’re going to have to navigate the pushback of change from yourself and your own brain, which is a full time job, but then also from others.

But when you learn to practice what I’ve shared in this podcast, you’re going to start changing at a faster rate because you’re not going to be taken off your course by the opinion of others. And in the process, what I have found to be true for myself is that I start to respect myself more. I start to enjoy my own company more. I start to have more fun in my life. And the result of all of that is I really believe, at the end of my life, I’m going to look back and be like, “Wow, you really did amaze yourself with what was possible.” Which is my purpose. It’s what I’m here to do.

And I want you to see what’s possible in your life. I want you to amaze yourself. And that’s what we do within the School of Self-Image. The doors are open for a few more days. I would love to have you inside to support you, to share these tools, and to go way deeper into this work with an extraordinary community of women.

I love you all. All my SOSI members, I live for this work and I am delighted by your before and after stories and I’m just so proud of the work that you’re putting in. And hey, listen, to my podcast listeners who aren’t members who are sending me messages that you’re applying what you’re learning in this podcast, I’m proud of you too.

I don’t care how you get to the place you want to be. I just love knowing that maybe, just maybe, my words encourage you. Maybe they help you on a day when you’re feeling stuck. And maybe, just maybe, your self-image is changing as we speak. And as you change your self-image, your whole life begins to change.

So, if you want to join us, head over to and I will see you inside. And for all of you listening, I hope to see you in next week’s episode. Cheers.

Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.

Enjoy the Show?

The Self-Image Manifesto

You’re Invited To Live An Extraordinary Life!