There are few things in business and in life that are constant and guaranteed. Possibly the scariest of these things is ‘change.’ As human beings, we like order, structure, and a sense for knowing what is coming next. What we don’t like to face is the inevitable shifting of our reality. When an event, whether in our personal lives or in our businesses, causes a shift in the status quo, stress and uncertainty build. The question becomes: How do you deal with the stress and uncertainty? This month we will look at what causes resistance to Change, the beliefs, attitudes, and experiences that feed the fear of Change, and lastly, what you can do to embrace change.
There are many contributing factors when it comes to resisting instead of embracing change. Three of these factors are your comfort zone, discomfort, and fear of the unknown.
- Comfort Zone - This is where you are most relaxed. You go through the same motions day in and day out, week after week, year after year. It has a good feel to it. A safety in the repetition. The problem is that the more comfortable you feel with the pattern, the more constricted the pattern becomes. The more comfortable your zones, the more resistant to change you become.
To expand your comfort zone, set a goal to try something new each week. It doesn’t have to be big, just something new for you.
- Discomfort - The human race doesn’t like to feel discomfort and as a result, we actively work to put ourselves into situations that provide comfort. This could manifest in the form of avoiding confrontation or capitulating to an idea or statement because you don’t want to “rock the boat.”
Pick an area of discomfort with the business and work on skills that break you away from the discomfort. If your discomfort lies in avoiding confrontations with employees, read one of our previous articles from last month.
- Fear of the Unknown - No one wants to be wrong or has the desire to potentially seen as something they are not. That fear causes us to step back away from the edge of the unknown; Causes us to retreat into ourselves and reinforce the idea that change is bad. The unknown can also be the fear of being wrong or in the case of a business, the fear of running off employees or customers.
Fight the fear of the unknown with a best/worst case scenario of the situation. There stands a real chance that the situation isn’t as bad as it may seem.
As we move forward this month and shed more light on the topic of Change, we challenge you to identify and analyze your comfort zone then work on expanding it, find what gives you discomfort and develop the skills to make it more natural, and recognize your fears and breakthrough to more productive activities. By starting with those areas, you are building the foundation that will lead to embracing change.