Why You Need To Take That Uncomfortable Step
Change is scary.
There’s a comfort in stability, in consistency, in predictability. I know what to do, where to go, how to do it. There are no unforeseen circumstances, no surprises for me to react to, and as a result, my heart rate and blood pressure stays constant and manageable.
There are plenty of times when that’s a good thing. Stability allows us to hone in, cultivate and develop a particular skill, for example. That stability can also breed process discipline - allowing us to perfect what we are doing, sometimes to the point where we can “do it in our sleep”.
Therein lies the problem, at least over time.
At some point, that stability leads to inertia. At some point, the incremental value of that stability is less than the value of change that accompanies it.
We see this at many points across our professional lives.
We know what we’re doing, inside out, but don’t seem to have same level of enjoyment as when we started.
We feel constrained from doing what we feel we can do, and left to operate within the constructs that we have been asked to do (or have allowed ourselves to be asked to do, if that makes sense).
We’ve resigned ourselves to operating in a haze, a rut, a constancy of emotion - sedation? - to the extent that we feel that we are simply going through the motions.
The fact is, that the only solution is change. Of some sort. It could be the role, the department, the team or the organization. But change in some fashion is the only solution to shift us from where we are to where we need to be.
I realize that there are those who believe that this level of consistency and stability is essential for them. That could be, but it’s hard for me to accept that.
Because, the defining element of our individual existence is surely passion. It’s surely the drive to influence, to shape, to make something happen. In my mind, our ability to truly BE, to truly exist, is tied to our ability to to grow, and evolve. It’s what brings joy, and kills cynicism. (In fact, if you’ve found cynicism creeping into your vocabulary, thinking and actions, that’s a flashing signal.)
Yes, sometimes change means taking a step back in some form or another. Because it means rethinking what we do and how we do it. It means re-establishing our faith in ourselves, who we are and what we can do. That’s par for the course.
So, yes, change is scary. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, though.
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” —Helen Keller