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Change is Hard Work…


Billy Crystal was right!  Change is hard work.

Although I’m pretty risk-oriented and make my living partnering with individuals and organizations going through change, I recently had to face my own denial and resistance.  Long story short:  I’m a techno-Luddite who was hanging on for dear life to Microsoft Office 2003.  There were many reasons why I needed to change so I stopped the dilly dallying, put aside my angst and finally took the plunge.  The smartest thing I did was retain an IT guru to advise and support me through he process.  I consolidated my old desktop and laptop and went directly to Microsoft Office 2013, bypassing 2007 and 2013.  Surprise:  the anticipation was far worse than the reality and I wondered why I hadn’t made the change waaay sooner.

Why are we so resistant to change?

  • Comfort:  It becomes so comfy in our own little  zone.  Life may not be great but, when it isn’t really horrible, it’s easy to hum along on cruise control
  • Confrontation:  It’s not easy having those “crucial conversations” when we disagree  
  • Control:  We want to take charge of our own lives but the challenge is becoming in control, rather than being controlled
  • Fear:  Many of us aren’t so keen on surprises so the unknown becomes a cause of real anxiety
  • Insecurity: All of us have our moments when we question:  what if I’m not good enough or smart enough or, doggone it, people don’t like me?
  • Negativity:  If, in the past, the what’s in for them was greater than the what’s in it for me, there’s little incentive to repeat the experience

Why does changing feel like such hard work?  Because changing does take work…and it does work!

  • Effort:  Is it possible to ”fake it til you make it” like Dr. Phil says?
  • Energy:  If we’re burned out, how can we muster, let alone sustain, the mental and physical stamina to keep at it?
  • Enthusiasm:  How do we stay positive when we’re not really engaged?
  • Expertise:  Why do some managers insist on fixing our “weaknesses” when it would be more productive empowering us to play to our strengths?

How we can we make change easier?

  • Commit:  We don’t have to agree with the change but if we can see the win-win for all stakeholders, it’s easier to make a conscious decision to engage
  • Read:  There are unlimited articles and books out there.  Ask for recommendations.  Find ones that resonate with you
  • Watch:   Ditto media on-line (Webinars, YouTube…)
  • Do:  Take action.  Sign up for a course, seminar or workshop.  Take a career assessment.  Find a coach or mentor…
  • Collaborate:  Most other people feel the same about change.  Join forces.  There’s strength in numbers…it is possible to bake a bigger pie and enjoy a bigger slice of it

Jack Welch says:  Change before you have to!  Become in control of your future not controlled by the present.