“To grow, you must be willing to let your present and future be totally unlike your past. Your history is not your destiny.” So said author Alan Cohen. This passage is about the flexibility of not only mindset but also willingness to embrace ‘change.’ After all, change is the price of learning. However, change is also resisted quite vigorously by not only leaders but also by their followers.
This is very confusing for some. On one hand, we are told that in order to progress we must continually learn, but if we learn, we have to change and we then resist that change and as we know, without that change there is no progress. Therefore, what we really need to ask ourselves is: “Why do we resist change?”
There are many reasons and theories to that question. I would like to offer just seven:
- Feels Different: Of course. It is not only different, but it may also feel awkward and it is definitely unfamiliar. Congratulations, you have just left your comfort zone. There is no growth in your comfort zone. You have to stretch your abilities, creativity, and potential.
- Status Quo: How many times have you heard: “We have always done it this way?” How many times have you said the exact same words? Why would you want to use yesterday’s methods in today’s technological world? Remember this, at one time you crawled on all fours and pooped your pants. Somehow, you managed to change to walking upright and use the bathroom.
- Hurtful and Messy: Change allows you to let go of habits and thoughts that no longer serve a purpose and have stagnated you. In some cases, it has actually caused you to recede. Without change, there are no new innovations, there is no creativity nor any improvements. Change is coming; your choice is to embrace it or get obliterated by it.
- Payments: There is a price for NOT making the change and that amount continues to accumulate interest throughout your life. There is no refuting the fact that without learning and growth, there is only lost opportunities and regret. Most regrets are based on what we could have or should have done but did not do.
- Unlearning: Change is a new way of doing things. In other words; you have to unlearn what you know to learn what you don’t know. This is what life is all about. You have preconceived beliefs on how things are to be done and you have learned to do it this way. However, there is always something else that can augment the skill. Knowing what you don’t know is one of the greatest insights one can possess. However, it is completely wasted if you do not do anything to know the things that you know that you don’t know.
- Fear: ‘A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc.’ I will submit that in the beginning, it may be painful, but was there not fear when you; started to drive, went on a date for the first time, went to a new school or grade, etc. You go through those quite easily. Therefore, why would it be any different now?
- Uncertainty: We as a society always treat change as a ‘worst case scenario.’ There is a saying that goes: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” If that is truly the case, then why did we move the horse and buggy? The unknown allows us some certainty in our evolution.
No change means no growth. Therefore, do not resist change, but rather embrace it. It is for your own good.