Back to top

How people will unanimously react to your name change

I've wanted to visit Jamaica since watching the Tom Cruise movie Cocktails back in 1990. Ha! It only took 26 years. Think about it... what seeds could you plant today that will flourish in 26 years? Or 26 months...? Or 26 days...?

You almost guessed it...

A while ago, I wrote about 5 Reasons Why I Changed my Name. The short story is: spiritual transcendence and yet another reinventing.

Ever since that post, many have chimed in shyly and hesitantly, on how you too would loooooove to change your name, but are concerned... or worried... or afraid... Since last Sunday, a few of you have taken a guess at what the unanimous reaction of my legal name change was!

You guessed a mix of surprise, upset, supportive and unsupportive. You almost guessed it...

What will "they" think?

The very, very, very first reaction wasn’t judgement. It wasn’t curiosity. It wasn’t shock or surprise. It wasn't support.

The very, very, very first reaction was, what will "they" think?

Replace "they" with: your mother, your father, your family, your neighbours, your clients, your peers, your followers, your readers, your cat, your cactus, and your big toe.

Every single person's first reaction was complete and utter concern with someone else's first reaction. Fascinating, isn't it?!?

How did your mom react?

Did you tell my sister, what did she say?

How are your clients handling it?

What about those who knew you before, what did they do?

It was predictable because...

That first reaction was predictable because I've known thousands of women who don't fulfill their greatest potential because they/we live under the tyranny/fear of what others think (whether they actually think it or not)!!! 

It has stopped many a great entrepreneur from launching their business, many a great writer from publishing their book, and many a great explorer from moving overseas.

It was unexpected because...

That first reaction was unexpected because my inner child was 1,000,000% sure the first reaction would be:

  • judgement, because they don’t understand why anyone would do this
  • criticism, because they themselves would be too afraid to do something like this, or
  • shaming in the form of “who do you think you are?” or “don’t you have any respect for your family / heritage?”, because change makes them terrifyingly uncomfortable

Oh yeah, judgement, criticism and shaming did come my way. Just not as the first reaction. It came after when the fear and discomfort became too much to bear for them.

It was sweet because...

That first reaction was sweet because many just didn’t know how to react. They asked how others reacted so that they can react accordingly

1. My clients were the first to jump on board, to my surprise! They traveled with me through 16 countries while I coached them. They were my greatest loves and we were each others' lifeline during that time.

2. My colleagues were the second to switch over, out of respect, mutual admiration, and belonging to the same tribe.

3. My close circle of friends were the third. Though they tried to be the first, they’ve used Tina so often during our Skype dates and emoticon wars that it took time and gentle reminders to switch over.

4. My outer circle of friends were the fourth. They'd sincerely apologize each time they called me by the “wrong” name. It was so endearing, it made me tear up each time.

5. And my family, of course, are the last to convert. They have known me the longest. It's gonna take time and/or it may never happen. Oh well.

It was sad because...

That first reaction, of complete and utter concern with others' reaction, was sad because it had absolutely nothing to do with me or my name change. 

It had everything to do with looking themselves in the mirror and painfully seeing how they, themselves, have lived under the tyranny of what others think. And when you don't like what you see, it's terrying because:

  1. you know you've got to change and it's gonna hurt like a mofo
  2. you know you'll never change and living with that is gonna hurt like a mofo

So, what will it be?

So, what will it be? Live under the tyranny of what "they" may (or may not) think or live free? Yeah, I thought so ;)

It would mean the world to her... Forwarded this message to one person, and she will pay it forward to just the right person.

Courage is contagious! Pass it on! And next week I'll break down the half dozen reasons why I legally changed my name and why you should never let paperwork get in the way of your spiritual transcendence. 


xo, Ella