Why Do We Resist Change?
None of us want to stay the same forever. But it can be hard to make changes, even when we know we need to. So why do we resist change?
Some of the most common blocks and barriers are quite obvious when we think about change. Namely fear. And more fear!
Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of getting it wrong. Fear of looking stupid, or worrying about what other people will think. These are the most common ones that we all experience at some point.
If you’ve ever experienced change, then it’s likely that you’ve come across many feelings like this. And it’s completely normal. When we choose to step outside of our comfort zone, we are entering into the world of the unknown. And when we’re faced with the unknown, our brain can go into overdrive, as it tries to keep us safe.
This is a good thing, because it can stop us from taking unnecessary risk or putting ourselves in harms way.
But some element of fear can also be beneficial, because this is where we learn the most. And overcoming that fear can be lead to a new level of confidence. Adrenaline sports and activities for example give us a big old dose of dopamine, and give us a natural high. And if you’ve ever challenged yourself to do something really scary, the confidence buzz you felt afterwards was possibly worth all the worry beforehand? Maybe.
But there can also be some other side effects of change that we may not have considered. For example, sometimes making a positive change for ourselves, can affect how others see us. And we might (consciously or otherwise) not want to put ourselves in a position where we stand out.
Rather than worry about what people might think if we fail, we also worry about what they’ll say if we succeed.
We might feel that if we succeed at something, other people might not accept us, or we might not fit in anymore.
Again, this links into the fear element. But a fear of success is probably less talked about. It could be something to consider, if you’re feeling some resistance to change, but can’t work out why.
Either way, accepting that feeling uncomfortable is a part of the change process can help us to anticipate it more, or put in some safety factors. If we anticipate what might happen, we can plan for it.
We can’t foresee everything that could possibly go wrong of course, none of us are fortune tellers. But we can be more welcoming to change with a little practice.