Change is the only constant. As easy as it is to say, most of us are not ready to get out of our comfortable cocoon. Hence, we resist change which comes from our fear of the unknown. We get used to our lifestyle so much (even if we don’t like it), that we are unwilling to adapt to the new circumstances or the transformations in life. Here are the stages of our natural opposition to change.
Change Is Never Easy
Whether you’re someone who prefers the comforts of home or you’re an adventurous spirit who loves to explore, change can be scary – even in the best of circumstances!
Even though we all have a natural desire for novelty and newness, the human psyche equates anything new or “unknown” with potential danger, and since we must face the unknown in order to embrace change, most of us instinctively gravitate towards the familiar, often avoiding change altogether.
Just to make matters worse, there’s a whole bunch of common clichés that tell us we should resist change at all costs. For example:
- You have to play the cards you’ve been dealt!
- Your fate is sealed – so just accept it!
- Once your bed is made, you have to lie in it!
Regardless of whether we’re rhetorical victims of the “cards we’ve been dealt” or we’re trapped in a “bed we’ve made,” we’re led to believe that we have little power to change, and therefore, once we make a major life choice, we must resign ourselves to the consequences – no matter how bleak.
As a result, we might pay the price by enduring problematic jobs, unfulfilling relationships, or challenging life circumstances. Fortunately, life comes with an automatic “fail-safe”!
While it may seem easier to stay in our respective comfort zones and resist change, the nature of life ensures that change is inevitable, and in fact, to compensate for any resistance, we each come equipped with an automatic “fail-safe” that propels us towards change – whether we like it or not.
However, make no mistake, we’re not talking about random change here, but rather, we’re talking about the type of change that moves us towards a higher purpose – and specifically, a purpose that is unique for each of us.
Much like an internal alarm, the “fail-safe” usually begins as a gentle nudge of dissatisfaction in some aspect of our lives. Even though we might be able to ignore this warning indefinitely, and we all have free will to do so, the longer we ignore the warning, the louder it becomes, and of course, this means that our “comfort zone” gets less and less comfortable, the more we resist change.
Therefore, if we’re willing to tolerate unfulfilling or difficult life circumstances or we’re waiting for a crisis to propel us into action, we set ourselves up for unnecessary challenges.
As the expression goes, “You can go the easy way or the hard way,” but either way, change is inevitable!
So, how can we overcome resistance and avoid unnecessary challenges while effectively navigating change?
Well, to answer this question, I’ve developed the “The 6 Stages of (resisting) Change!” Through this comprehensive guide, you’re about to learn how to:
- Identify your current “stage of change.”
- Understand the cost of resistance (what happens when you resist change?).
- Recognize and avoid unnecessary challenges.
- Embrace change by making conscious life choices (before challenges force you to…).
Keep in mind that by embracing change at any stage, we can avoid the unnecessary challenges associated with the next!
Stage 1 – The Stage of Complacent Discomfort
Unfortunately, our most important adult choices are often based on the limiting beliefs we inherited in childhood, and because our true dreams and desires are often overshadowed as a result, we may find ourselves chained to unfulfilling jobs or committed to ill-suited partners, or quite possibly, both!