I am not so naïve to think that what I had written in “You have the power” is as simple and as easy as it sounds for everybody, as making a change means different things to different people. I have been searching the internet for articles on why people resist change when I came across a quote by King Whitney Jr, I do not know who he is, google does not know either and surprisingly even Wikipedia does not seem to know but I think it captures the way how most people feel about change:-
“Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.”
For many years I leaned towards the former perceiving change as a threat, mainly because I believed it would take me away from the things I wanted. Change that I had not instigated myself meant that I had a lack of control and I had a very rigid idea of how life was meant to be. I always perceived myself as quite open -minded but when I look back and reflect I wasn’t really, I was stuck in a rut and I actually felt comfortable in my rut. To do anything out of the ordinary even though my heart had a strong desire to do so meant that I would be standing out from the crowd, rocking the boat and it would have taken me away from my family and friends. However, there was a shift in my perception of change when I sold up and went travelling, I started to love change, I realised that that my obsession with controlling how things should be and my fear of change had blocked all the wonderful possibilities that life had to offer. These days I tend to go with the natural flow of life and I feel healthier for it. I no longer worry about how things should be. Change for me is like a breath of fresh air, sometimes it is not always wanted and I do feel scared but I know that within the change stands opportunity for new life experiences, to try something new and bring new people into my life. Change does not make our lives worse it can only make our lives better and richer and that is what life is all about, for me it is anyway. At the end of each year I do not want to look back and say yes, I have wasted my life this year thinking about all the things I want to do, instead I want to be ticking them off my list. Even if things do not go to plan, I do not worry and the main thing is that I tried.
There are times when I get myself stuck, I put blocks in my path and make up reasons why I cannot do something, I am only human after all. The big difference is that I spend a lesser period of time being stuck, 10 years ago it was a few years and now it is no more than a few weeks, I have learnt from experience that there is no point wasting time being unhappy. When I am stuck though I try to be as logical as possible, I look at what I am unhappy with or what goal I want to achieve, I consider what I need to do to make the change or move towards the goal. I look at what is stopping me from making the move. Usually the thing that stops me the most is fear, but my fears are always unfounded and anyway they are completely natural feelings to have when you are moving forwards towards a goal, a dream or some form of change. As long as I am completely honest with myself as to what is causing the resistance I can usually change the way I think and I am able to move forwards. It is worth remembering that:-
Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up” James Belasco and Ralph Stayer in Flight of the Buffalo (1994).