Why We Hate Change

March 29, 2012 by Rose Cook

People hate change.  There, I said it.  Change requires thought. It requires effort. It requires – well, change.  Who among us isn’t happy in our comfort zone?  It’s routine, it’s easy, it’s comfortable.  Try something new? Why? Life is challenging enough just balancing work and family, who wants to introduce change and throw off that equilibrium?  Have you ever tried to serve chicken to the family on pizza night?  Not a huge success at my house.  Something as simple as changing the expected Friday night meal can send the kids into whine mode.  Nobody likes change being forced upon them.  Whether it’s changing up the menu at home, office policy or something else, if someone is making us change then it’s in our human nature to resist.

Last month Lynn talked about the possibility that we are over-limiting ourselves, not taking chances because of the boundaries that either we or others have established for us.  We heard back from quite a few of our readers who found that message particularly meaningful.  One thought I had as I read Lynn’s message is that stretching those boundaries and trying new things requires change.  Change is scary.  In some ways change that is forced upon us is easier to deal with than self-motivated change.  We may not like it, but we have to adapt.

Self-motivated change is hard because it means taking risks.  Even when it’s in our own best interest to change, we often still resist.  Making a commitment to change is empowering and it’s hard work.  Breaking a habit or altering a mindset takes strength and determination.  As Lynn pointed out, you may limit yourself by not applying for a new position at work, but are you afraid that you won’t get the job, or are you afraid that maybe you will?  Change.

I remember a Dear Abby I read many years ago. The gist of it was a woman wanted advice about a career change and was very reluctant to take the next step. She wanted to go to college and was concerned that at 50 she was too old, plus would be close to 55 when she finished.  Abby’s answer to her was as simple as this, “And how old will you be in 5 years if you don’t go?”

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that we can all plod along in our comfort zone keeping the balance and not upsetting the apple cart and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, every once in a while isn’t it just a little more interesting to shake things up a bit?  Stretch the lines on the zone and challenge yourself to something new, exciting or creative.  It doesn’t have to be career altering or drastic, just try something different.  Something un-you!  I just started practicing yoga, something that was definitely out of my comfort zone.  I’d love to hear about the ways you’ve pushed out of your comfort zone, changes you’ve made or new things you’ve tried. Drop me a line.

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