Overcome the Fear of Change: How to Embrace and Adapt to the Future
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” - Benjamin Franklin
Change is hard. It can be messy, challenging, stressful, and worrisome. Despite these hurdles, trying to ignore change is always worse than facing it head on. In our world, a place where technological innovation occurs at an exponential rate, we can try to put our head in the sand pretending things will go back to the way they were, but that’s just not how life works. Embracing change is the only way to carve out a better future for yourself, both professionally and personally.
What Happens When You Resist Change
People hesitate to accept change for all sorts of reasons. Some fear a loss of control, while others find anxiety in the uncertain, or feel like they may be replaced. At every stage of our lives, we have some fear of the unknown. I know when I was in college (and I’m not THAT old), we didn’t even use computers in our classrooms. When you look back in your own life, you can appreciate the technological advances now and realize how it has benefited in you in your life.
When we hold ourselves back from the unknown, we only get in our own way, because typically, a decision has already been made to move forward. You may find yourself stuck in place, with nobody relating to your viewpoint which can lead to resentment and frustration.
When it come to technological innovation, can you think of a major innovation in the last 30 years that flamed out? The internet? Social Media? The cloud? You may be able to come up with a couple here and there, but for the most part, progress is the name of the game. At the beginning of all of those stages there were naysayers and doomsday predictions. However; the people that took advantage of the opportunity were able to get ahead of the game and help to shape the future.
The unexpected and unfamiliar parts of life can provide us with so much joy, inspiring us in ways we never thought possible. When you limit yourself to the same old patterns, you eliminate the chance for moments of wonder and innovation. With a new perspective, you may open up new possibilities that you never had thought of before for yourself.
How to Face Change with a Smile
Actually becoming an adaptable, forward-facing person may be the biggest and most difficult change of all. Humans are creatures of habit, and habits are harder to break the longer you’ve had them. In “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg suggests that “you can’t extinguish a bad habit, can only change it.” So if you’re bad habit is refusing to allow for change, you have to change that behavior in the first place.
That may sound confusing in theory, but it’s very easy in practice. For example, if you are somebody who is a picky eater, challenge yourself to try one new dish or type of cuisine every week. You may not like everything you try, but it will only take one or two delicious discoveries to open up your senses in new ways. The same principle applies to any type of aversion to change in any aspect of your life. Just like exercise to increase to improve your agility and strength, any mindset change we want to make in life takes practice too, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Applying a change of habit in your professional life takes a little more research and diligence. Understanding emerging technologies or applying revolutionary principles is a bit harder than forgoing fast food for sushi. The rewards, though, are more than worth it. People who embrace change and are open to the future possibilities are those who advance and find greater fulfillment in their work.
Here is a practice to try to shift your perspective:
Choose one technology, it can be as small as social media, or as large as a new automatic bill payment system you are looking to implement at work.
Each day dedicate at a minimum 30 minutes on your calendar to learn more about it. Find free webinars to watch, tutorials on YouTube, reach out to your network to ask them for their experiences, etc.
Gather your feedback and try it yourself. Try one part of technology each day, try not to take on too much at once.
After 30 days of utilizing the technology, then decide what you like about it, what you don’t like about it, and suggestions on how you can overcome the downfalls if in total you find it is a better solution for you.
Prepare suggestions for your teammates and other related parties of best practices you have found when utilizing the technology. Comparing and contrasting to how you do the same task now versus when you are in the new application.
When you become a productive and proactive part of the process, your suggestions are heard more openly by the parties you want to hear it. Rather than it sounding like you are being resistant, instead, with factual and balanced information, you may become a more integral piece of the process.
The Road to Embracing Change
I’m not going to pretend that being somebody who relishes change comes naturally to everyone. Some will have to work at it, stick with it, and never allow themselves to get stuck in the rut of the same old, same old. But when you finally do cross the threshold into embracing the unexpected, you open yourself up to an entire new world of possibility. You also may just have fun with it along the way!
Learn more about how we can help you make these small changes in resetting your mindset at www.amyvetter.com/theb3methodinstitute. You can begin your own journey today, with intentional practice, to start integrating your whole self into everything that you do. We are here to help you!