Exploration: change and what it means to you
The first in my series of exploration, of who we are and why we act the way we do. I am going to discuss change and what it will mean to you. We all have our approach and understanding to change. For some change is essential and it's one of the defining characteristics of life. For others change is forgetting the old and forcing new ideas. For some it's painful and to be avoided for fear of failing.
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
This quote was from a scientific perspective but can be useful to all of us in our everyday lives.
For us to grow and to conceive new ideas change needs to happen. As humans, we feel secure in our comfort zones where we feel safe from the unknown, for the unknown brings fear. However clearly, as human beings, we possess something which can push past that fear. If it were not true, then we would still be stuck in that cave never having explored the beauty of the world around us.
To first explore our world, you must first conquer your feelings around change and how we find comfort in defining our boundaries. These boundaries are not inherently wrong; they are designed to protect us from dangers, but they become damaging for our well-being when we limit our possibilities. For some, this becomes a fear a failure, that we might let someone else down or not be good enough. It breeds the idea that it should be avoided, despite the evidence that in fact, failure is useful, if not essential to our growth as a well-balanced human being.
For the process of change to happen the focus needs to be on the person, not the environment. We are less likely to accept change if it is forced upon us, a choice someone else is making. If you believe the change is right for you, you are more likely to implement it. Think of a time at work when your manager insists you do something, but you do not wish to do it, you are just not committed to that task.
“People don't resist change. They resist being changed.” - Peter Senge
We are taught from a young age the understanding that action is often greeted by reward. I will do this task for this reward. I will tidy my room, and my parents will let me play my video games for example. So, with this idea in mind why would we implement change if there was no reward. It brings up the question does an incentive have to be something of value.
Another thing to consider with change is the time frame. How long do we want to take to implement that change? Often the focus is on the task but not the time factor. A good example is when people make new year’s resolutions say giving up smoking or losing a bit of weight. It is often abandoned because the time frame is not right for them but because they are focused on the change. They have not prepared themselves for what the renewal means to them.
The final thing to contemplate when it comes to change, and one which probably matters the most, is why do you want the change. What is your purpose for the change? What will you gain and how will it make you feel once you achieve it. We can often spend so much time focused on the start and how we will get it, without thinking about what we will feel by the time we get to the end. It can often leave us feeling unfulfilled as the end achievement doesn't match our expectations.
I end this article now with a question for you:
What change do you want in your life and what are willing to do to achieve it?