People have been telling me that change is scary; that they’d do anything to avoid it, they hate change so much.
“Apple made me finally update my phone. I hate change.”
“I got a promotion. Change scares me.”
“Looking at old photos depressed me. I hate change.”
“Finally dyeing my hair. It’s gonna be red. Change scares me.”
“New people on the team. I hate change.”
Now I know there may be a few of you out there who actually like change and get excited about it, but you need to know that you are quite rare. Most people don’t like change.
For most people change sucks. It’s unnerving and uncomfortable. It forces us to face, and engage with, the unknown. It’s unpredictable and leaves us uncertain about the future. Change can have us feeling worried, anxious and even panicked, because we don’t know what’s going to happen next. And feeling all of that is just no fun.
It’s not surprising that we don’t like change when we look at how the brain works. We have an internal set point in the unconscious mind that is calibrated to send us danger signals whenever we even think about stepping out of our comfort zone. This is an instinct that served humans very well throughout history, but in this century is often firing false alarms.
It was absolutely appropriate for inner alarm bells to sound when a cave man encountered a bear as he ventured too far from the cave. But it is not actually a real threat or danger if you’re about to speak in front of 50 people, but those same alarms are firing and creating a fight or flight reaction within you.
The part of our brain that we can thank for this warning system is the psycho-cybernetic mechanism (pcm). And knowing how it works is the key to becoming change-ready.
The more you change, the easier it is to change.
In other words, we have to re-calibrate the pcm, so that the set point is higher and we can tolerate greater amounts of change without triggering that old alarm system.
It helps to recognize the feelings associated with the pcm alarm. Usually we feel a unique combination of nervousness and excitement when we consider a new step or a change. You’ve had this feeling before: a little anxious and a little enthusiasm. That’s the go-for-it feeling! Great leaders know how to calibrate on these feelings and they use them to let them know that it’s the right action to take!
Thankfully we have the latest mind-body tools to minimize the discomfort of stepping out of our comfort zone. It didn’t used to be as easy as it is now.
We have to build up our change muscles.
So go ahead. Step into something new today, and again tomorrow, and the next day. You’ll be building up your change muscles and will be ready for anything in no time!
Talk to me if you want some additional support with change. I have all the tools to get you good and ready.
I’d love your feedback! And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.
You may also enjoy this related post: 3 Reasons People Hate Change.
Until next time,