Do I really need to change?

Do I really need to change?

Whether we like it or not, the world around us is changing every day, every moment. People are born and people die every second; the wind and the sea changes its intensity; wheels are in motion and we travel to new places; new technology surpasses the old. Change is everywhere – constantly. It is inherent in every living and non-living thing. As humans, we are born to evolve and change physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.

There are two parts to change in our lives: i) the change that happens within us, and ii) the change that happens around us. The only part that we have full control over is the change that happens within. We may have little or no control over the changes that happen around us, or to us, and these are the times that we are most likely to feel threatened and agitated and resistant. It is when we feel that we have control in our lives that we are likely to feel more confident and secure and accepting of situations.

The truth of the matter is that we are not always in control of our lives, of the events that happen around us or to us, and some of these experiences are unpleasant. So why should I have to change and adapt to unpleasant situations in my life, especially when I didn’t cause them to be like this? The answer is “You don’t!” You don’t need to adapt to anything you don’t wish to. You have the choice to remain fixed in your standpoint and hold on as well as you can to the way things ‘should’ be or used to be, but the consequences of this can have negative effects on both yourself and others around you.

Perhaps it is worthwhile to try to understand why you may not wish to change. For most people, resistence to change is based on fear, such as:

  • Fear that I will lose out financially, professionally or socially
  • Fear that I may become socially or professionally isolated
  • Fear of the unknown: I haven’t been down this road before; how will I cope?
  • Fear of loss of power, money, friends or my goals/plans
  • Fear /mistrust of the source of the change – boss, government, earthquake (the unseen and unforseen)
  • Fear of loss of relevance, or loss of favour/popularity (if my position for a particular change is not accepted)
  • Fear of injustice for self or others
  • Fear of conceding defeat from my fixed standpoint

If you can understand and acknowledge your reasons for resisting change, you can decide whether you wish to continue to hold onto your fears, or take measures to reduce them and become more accepting of change. When work managers are proactive in working with change management strategies, employees’ fears can be identified and addressed openly and honestsly with the intention of finding ways to best support people through change.

Effects of resisting change

  • We can become angry and bitter
  • We can be left behind professionally and socially
  • Our negativity can have detrimental effects on others, particularly our loved ones
  • We fail to learn from new experiences or create new opportunities for ourselves

It is possible to acknowledge and reduce our fears so that we may have greater acceptance of, and even work with, circumstances of change that are beyond our control.

We have a choice as to how we move through our lives, and foundational to this is discernment about aspects of change. We do not have to change with every new thing that comes along, nor is it in our best interests to be constantly oppositional or resistant to change. If we are Attentive, Intelligent, Reasonable and Responsible in our discernment, as per the Four Essentials for Managing Change (from previous article), we are more likely to embrace the changes that can improve our lives.

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails. Anonymous

We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden. Goethe

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Another brilliant blog Marg! I love the way you have broken down fear and it’s devastating effects. I’m loving your blogs and the depth of reflection they offer. What an honour to know and call you my friend!

  2. Marg, am absolutely loving your Change series.

    As someone who has had to challenge her thinking from a lifetime if learnt behaviour that resulted in severe anxiety and depression, I have had to overcome fear of change. But just as I think I have learnt all lessons, my “teachers” (good and bad) appear in my world to teach me more.

    Thanks for been a good teacher after just having a “bad lesson”. This blog will be printed and hung up in the “pool room” 🙂

    • Margaret Lambert says:

      Thanks for your comments Megan. We can learn so much when we are willing to take learnings from the ‘bad lessons’ – thanks for teaching me too!

  3. Iain Waller says:

    Marg
    Love your work! Simple clear and concise … And good advice.
    Thanks

  4. ckmatthews says:

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful but I do disagree with some of what you wrote. I think it is worthy to note that adapting to change doesn’t mean that you have to accept it. There are a lot of changes happening that is not good for society but they are indeed happening. We have to learn to adapt (and I do mean we HAVE TO ‘else we fall prey to the negative effects) but we do not have to accept something that is bad as something that is good. Especially in America – we have the freedom and the duty to fight negative change and work towards making it right.

    Not accepting a change does not mean we will endure the negative effects – we can fight change without being negative – but not adapting is condemning yourself to the negative effects.

    I am concern with this part of what you wrote, “It is when we feel that we have control in our lives that we are likely to feel more confident and secure and accepting of situations.” I can only speak for myself but I have never felt like I had control of my life no matter how hard I tried – but it wasn’t until I understood that I never would that I learned how to be accepting of new situations. I am only grateful that I acknowledge this before the most devastating change in my life – when my oldest son was killed. I know it was this knowledge that protected my sanity and maybe even my life.

    At least this is how I see it. I humbly accept any correction in my views as I know you have far more education than I in this area. My education beyond community college was through the school of hard knocks.

    It would honor me if you would please read this and tell me what you think about my views on how to build trust in yourself? http://cksprojects.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-trust-in-yourself.html

    • Margaret Lambert says:

      Thank you for your comments and I have more respect for the school of hard knocks than the paper qualifications! To lose your son is devastating and a change that I am sure no parent would want to accept. Somehow you have found a way to accept changes when you didn’t feel in control. The section that you disagree with has to do with feeling in control. I did not mean to suggest that we need to be in control to accept changes, but “It is when we feel that we have control in our lives that we are likely to feel more confident and secure and accepting of situations.” My suggestion is that there is greater likelihood of a person feeling secure and confident and accepting of a situation if they have had control over it in the first place, e.g. a person chooses to move house (he is in control of this move) versus a person is evicted (no control). This is not isolating people who have never felt in control as not being able to accept change. You are right – not all change is good, and each of us must discern which changes are worth accepting, fighting for or fighting against.

      • ckmatthews says:

        Yes, you are right – there are some situations that we do indeed have control over. I guess I was viewing it from a different perspective – an over all perspective rather than any specific situation. Thank you.

        I guess I just can’t relate to the idea of one who feels in control as being one who would more likely accept or adapt to changes. While there have been certain situations I have had control over I have never felt in control – but it could be because I never really made an effort to take control. Interesting thought but it is true.

        I can look back and see where I tried to control others who I felt were interfering with what I was trying to control in my own life. But as I further contemplate this I know that I retook control by eliminating them from my life. Most of the time I see this as a good thing but then I realize that that instead of learning how to get along with difficult people I just eliminated them from my life. Not so sure this is a good thing. Because while my life has less stress in it now – I am, for the most part, alone. I do have a small support system, family and church family but for the most part I am alone but for the most part I like it that way. Only a small part of me actually feels lonely.

        So, in summary, I suppose I was more in control of my life than I originally thought. Just now I am questing my ability to control my life and have positive results. But I do believe I am on a better path these days than I used to be since I started going to church and seeking God’s wisdom.

        Thank you for helping me see this.

        • Margaret Lambert says:

          It sounds like you are very open to self-reflection which is our best teacher. The first part to changing anything in our lives is self-refection and identifying the factors we would want to change. It’s great to hear you are on a better path now and have some good support. Thanks for sharing your reflections.

  5. Thanks CKMatthews and Marg – interesting reflections

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