We can choose some changes, but some are out of our control. For instance, we can choose whether to take a job in a different city, but we can’t keep our children from growing up and moving out of our houses. We can’t eliminate risks, but we can learn to manage them.
Let’s take a look at twelve hurdles that can make change difficult as offered up by the workbook Discovering Your NorthStar. We will look at six of them in this post then the final six in our next post.
- The Law of Inertia.
The law of inertia states: An object at rest tends to stay at rest. Some of us simply refuse to take any steps of change at all. We have the privilege and the responsibility to choose many of the changes in our lives: where we work, who we marry, where we live, our friends, etc. Too often, we take the path of least resistance, hoping things will just work out. Actually, we abdicate many of these decisions and let others make them for us.
- The Comfort Zone.
Some of us look at the changes that need to be made . . . then we look at the way things have been . . . and we conclude that it is much more comfortable to stay right where we are! For many of us, our main goal is not success and progress; it is avoiding change unless it is absolutely necessary. We fail to realize, however, that we pay a very high price for remaining stuck in the quagmire of mediocrity.
- The Fear of Failing.
Some of us have very high standards for ourselves. Our reluctance to change is not because we are comfortable where we are; The reluctance stems from the dread of trying and failing.
Some of us are simply happy with our lives and have no compelling motivation to change. Perhaps we have paid the price of change earlier in our lives and now reap the rewards. Change requires a strong commitment and a tenacity to wade through the situational mud that is always a part of making progress. Satisfied people don’t have that commitment and tenacity.
- Misperception of Benefits and Liabilities.
If we aren’t convinced that the benefits of the change outweigh the liabilities, we will fight change as long as we can. And that can be a very long time! Many of us love our routines and we want to stay in our comfort zones. It is often helpful to make a written, detailed list of benefits and liabilities as well as pros and cons for an anticipated change. Seeing it in black and white often qualifies our nebulous fears and quiets the internal storm. On this list, we should include the risks and losses of not changing as well. This will give us added perspective.
There is always a price to be paid for any significant change. Some of this price is paid up front in the time we spend planning, explaining, and dreaming. Another price we pay is the stress we feel as we experience the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure. We also suffer when others don’t understand or believe in our vision. That hurts. This is the moment when many of us throw up our hands and quit because the price seems too high. But in the process of change, misunderstandings are so common that we need to expect them! If we anticipate them, we won’t be caught off guard and thrown off track. In the middle of the change, the price may be sleepless nights trying to figure out what steps to take next, or thinking about the loss of friends if we have to move away. But here, too, if we have a clear vision and anticipate the price, we will be ready to meet those challenges.
- A Lack of Effort.
Change requires action. Even changes that are thrust upon us require action so we can respond properly. Many of us talk about taking action. We dream about what steps to take. We may even write out a plan, but some of us still avoid taking those steps at all costs! (On the other hand, some of us are compulsive doers. We jump to action without careful reflection and planning.)
Do any of the above statements resonate with you? If so, which ones? Are you avoiding change? Are you scared of change? Then you may benefit from having your LifePlan conducted. Click here to learn more about what is involved in having your LifePlan conducted.
Interested in talking with Virgil about coaching, consulting, training or speaking with your leaders? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow me: @virgilgrant