Why You Need to Embrace Change
The ability to adapt and respond to change is getting more and more important. As technology and other aspects of society move at an ever accelerating rate, you can easily get left behind if you resist change. In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the reasons that it’s so important to be open to change as well as some tips on how to embrace change more freely.
Why Do Most People Fear Change?
For the most part, people are creatures of habit. They are comfortable with doing things in a way that’s familiar. It’s easy to get accustomed to the status quo, even if it’s not the most efficient or even pleasant way to do things. There are many reasons that people often resist change.
- When we’ve always done something a certain way, it can be threatening to try something new.
- Parents, teachers, employers and friends may have been telling us for years that certain things will never change.
- It takes time, research and work to adapt to changes. Our natural laziness often kicks in and we revert back to what’s familiar.
- Some changes are beneficial while others can be harmful. It’s not always easy to identify which is which.
Resistance to change can manifest in any number of ways. It can be something as simple as refusing to use a new technology. People have resisted almost every technological advance, from the automobile to the personal computer. This doesn’t mean you should simply buy every new gadget that comes on the market. It’s important to take a close look at new innovations and see whether or not you can truly benefit from them.
If you’re in business, resistance to change can be fatal. For example, people who owned video stores and didn’t see the warning signs that their industry was becoming obsolete suffered serious consequences. The point is not to accept change for its own sake, but to analyze each situation carefully and decide when change can work in your favor.
Develop a “Just Do It” Attitude
If you wait until you feel completely comfortable embracing change, you will probably not make many changes, at least not voluntarily. It’s simply human nature to have a certain amount of anxiety about doing things differently.
It’s similar to jumping into a pool or lake that you know is going to feel cold to your body at first. It’s much easier if you just jump in. If you dip your toe in the water and try to acclimate every part of your body to the cold, you may talk yourself out of it. If you just jump in, however, you’ll feel cold for a couple of seconds and then quickly adjust.
The same is true for many types of change. If you can logically see that making certain changes will be advantageous, the best approach is to just do it, even if it you’re not completely comfortable with it.
Adjusting to Change is Easier When You Have Help
In some cases, you may need some help adjusting to change. Here are a few examples.
- You can see that economic trends are forecasting that people are buying fewer and fewer of the types of products your company makes. You have to find a new direction for your business.
- You move to a new country where you don’t speak the language, either for business or personal reasons. Or you may be doing business with people in other countries and need to learn a new language to communicate with them.
- You need to learn a complicated technology or software program for your business, one that you have no experience with.
- You want to change careers and need training or a degree.
These are situations where it’s usually easier to enlist help. This might mean finding a personal mentor or coach whom you trust or seeking some type of formal education or training. Learning new skills is often easier when you have someone to help you. If you’re not sure how to go about finding the right information, you can take it step-by-step. You can ask people you know for recommendations. You can do online research. You can visit a local college or technical school that offers the type of training you need and ask questions.
When it comes to finding a coach or mentor, you may be able to leverage such a person without having to pay. Think of what you might be able to do for this person. Perhaps you could arrange some type of barter or partnership.
Why You Should Build a Diverse Network
The wider your own personal network, the easier it is to find what or who you need at any given time. That’s why you should always be looking to build your network, even when you don’t see an immediate reason to do so. This is always helpful if you have a business or are seeking career growth. Even at other times, however, it puts you in a better position to adjust to all types of change. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Build your list of contacts on social media sites. LinkedIn is particularly useful if you do B2B marketing of any kind. Join groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Follow influencers and people in your industry on Twitter.
- Join forums. Forums are still a good way to find people who share your interests. It’s also a great way to network. Don’t use forums to blatantly promote yourself, though. You’ll get better results by being sociable and contributing to threads. Your forum profile and signature can let people know what you do.
- Attend business conference, trade shows and local networking events. Even in the digital age, it’s important to meet people in person.
Next Weeks Blog:
Part II: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
This week’s article continued a 3-part series on “change”. The first article was titled, Open Doors. Due to all the feedback (many thanks for that!!) I have started my 2016 book, titled, “Unleashing The Power of Change”. Please continue to forward topics that are important to you.
I will keep you updated on the book. Our latest book, “Coaching The Super 5%” also deals with change and leadership issues. Check it out if you get a minute.
Thank you so much for all that you do to support and encourage the PerformOne community…and promoting the help of each other.