Why is change so hard? Especially when we need or want it.
We are forced into or desire a transition and transformation into something better. We have a dream of who we want to be and the life we want to have. Something to go after.
To go for it, or not to go for it, that is the question –
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of my outrageously less than desirable situation,
Or to take Arms against this mediocrity,
By opposing it and pursuing something I really want and need to do.
–Blogger’s reapplication of Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Why is Change so Hard?
Our brains are actually wired to resist change. Literally, we are wired that way. It’s a defense mechanism that originated in our primal days.
Yet, just doing it, taking action, achieving momentum and motivation can be transformative in and of themselves. These actions are empowering, validating and provides movement toward something better.
After listening to hundreds of highly successful people in literally thousands of videos and podcasts, I have consistently heard one fundamental key to success from them all: Just do it!
The difference between those who succeed and everyone else isn’t based so much on education, experience or social background. It is the fact they did it.
Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and virtually every single person you would consider successful at anything just did it. This is the single critical principle they preach. Without it, nothing happens. They say there’s nothing magical and nothing that’s not within every human. It is as simple and daunting as taking the first step. This is their answer to why is life so hard?
Paul K. is a longtime friend and colleague and he spoke of his brother John who is now in his mid-fifties and who agonized for years about how he didn’t like his job and was constantly worried about his company folding or laying him off. Paul kept encouraging him to “start now” and move onto something else inquiring, “If money was no object, what would you do with your life?”
After much resistance John finally just did it. He went after what he really wanted to be: a pastor.
It was really, really, really challenging for him to take that step and it has been really, really, really hard to go through the effort and education to reach his transformative goal. But worth it? Absolutely. It is not just the destination but also the joy of the journey.
And the destination became something he never expected. He is now the employed pastor in a corporation.
John says he has a newfound respect for his brother because Paul has been able to perpetually reinvent himself changing areas of focus, learning new skills, pursuing different types of opportunities to ride and survive the evolution of the video and live event business sector. A trait I share with him. Change comes naturally to people like us and we even embraced it (sometimes grudgingly).
Maybe it’s in our DNA. I think it’s out of necessity. Better to suck it up and change than die a slow death.
Your talents, experience and skillsets are a foundation for succeeding in all of those changes.
So which type are you? Are you someone who would just as soon tolerate “the devil you know”? Someone who hates his or her situation but nevertheless is “comfortable” because it is familiar?
Or are you ready for change and embrace it.
Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset means you are willing to endure the slow drip, drip of dissatisfaction, unhappiness and discontent every day for the rest of your life.
If you need to change, do it and do it now. It won’t get better only harder (just like the situation) and you’ll be miserable.
I created New Way Forward because I felt my life literally depended on it. Here was my mega fear: I didn’t want to be on my deathbed deeply regretting I didn’t go for it.
If the change is something that literally feels good and feels right in your gut, then it is absolutely worth whatever you have to do to get it. That feeling means it is right.
There will be struggles, doubts, and obstacles (just like any situation including the current one you want to change). But you put the same energy and attention trying to maintain the status quo as you do change paths. And changing your path is more exciting, fulfilling and hopeful.
John realized it would take him four to six years to get to that special day when he would fully realize the fruits of his efforts (it took five).
But he did it. He is reaping the rewards of a rewarding life and the joy that he did it.
So the question for John then and for you now is this: When that date in the future comes, how do you want to feel?
Will it be a day of regret and sadness because you didn’t pursue a better path and meaning to your life?
Or will it be a day on which you are reaping the benefits of your choice and efforts? A day on which you are happy and fulfilled. A day when you can look in the mirror and feel pride, satisfaction, and happiness because you took the step into the undiscovered country and put forth the courage and effort to be in a new and wonderful situation.
So is the question isn’t just why is change so hard?
To be. Or not to be. That is the question.