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Jul 17, 2024

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Resistance To Change

By Bryan Golden

‘We feel comfortable with what is familiar.  Routines offer safety.  Change takes us into the unknown.  Change forces us onto new paths.  Change is resisted because it is easier not to change.

Resistance to change isn’t based on logic, it’s based on fear of the unfamiliar.  Resistance to change limit’s your benefiting from new opportunities.  It provides a false sense of security.  You become more of a spectator rather than a participant in your future.

As resistance to change becomes ingrained over time, your aversion to change becomes involuntary.  It’s human nature to prefer the path of least resistance and it takes more effort to change than not to.

When Thomas Edison first invented the light bulb, it was not universally welcomed as the great breakthrough it was.  Actually, many people did not want it at all.  They were afraid widespread use of electric lights would enable businesses to work their employees 24 hours a day.  There was resistance to change from oil lamps and candles.

Jill worked as a receptionist for a busy doctor’s office.  She had been there five years and was very happy with her job.  Barbara, the office manager, was retiring and Jill was offered the job.  Although the office manager’s position was a promotion with more responsibility and pay, Jill wasn’t sure she wanted to change jobs.

Jill was a competent receptionist.  She was well liked by everyone at the office.  As office manager, Jill would be supervising the other staff.  Jill was worried about what would happen if she didn’t like the new job or couldn’t do well in it.  If things didn’t work out, what would she do?  Jill didn’t think she would have the option of returning to the receptionist position because someone else would have been hired to replace her.

Jill decided not to take the promotion.  She was too uncomfortable with changing her daily routine.  Jill’s resistance to change caused her to pass up an opportunity that most likely would have worked out to her benefit.

Jerry was a salesman for a computer manufacturer.  He made a good living and didn’t mind the job.  Jerry enjoyed speaking with people so he was comfortable with selling.  But there was something he enjoyed more than anything; Jerry loved to cook and made delicious meals.  His concept of an ideal life was operating his own catering business.

Jerry became laid off when the company he worked for was acquired by a larger firm.  Jerry had some savings so he could take his time finding the right job.  Jerry wasn’t worried about getting another job since there were lots of high tech firms in the his city.

Jerry contemplated starting a catering business rather than getting another sales position.  His friends encouraged him to go for it.  But Jerry was hesitant.  He was comfortable making a living in sales.  Starting and running his own business would be a major change.  It would be a lot of work and would take time to build up his income.

After much deliberation, Jerry decided to get another sales job and put off his dream for another time.  Jerry wasn’t comfortable with all of the unknowns associated with going into business for himself.  So Jerry choose not to change but to stay with the familiar.

As the previous examples illustrate, resistance to change tends to be limiting. There is usually more to lose by refusing to change compared to changing.  Unless there is a sound logical reason not to change, embrace change as an exciting new pathway to opportunity.  You will be glad you did.  In order to get the most from life you must be willing to change.

NOW AVAILABLE:  “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book.  Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper. Ó 2024 Bryan Golden