The Pain Of Change And Why It’s A Good Thing
Just recently, I have found my mind lingering about on the subject of change. Why? Maybe it is because the year is nearing a close or maybe it has to do with some things that I am dealing with on a personal level. To be honest, I really don’t know. Despite the reasons, though, I find myself coming back to this topic. Change, it seems, affects us all, on both a personal and professional level. For some, change can be welcome and freeing, like a change of scenery. Other changes, however, bring with them pain and struggle. The problem, it seems, is that all change brings with it an unknown factor that leaves everyone in its wake guessing the outcome and future. This, I think, is why people fight change. We, as a society, fear what we do not yet understand or already know.
While most will agree that entrepreneurs have to be able to “stand out from the crowd,” I truly feel that this is of the utmost importance in the realm of change. Whether in business, society, or life, entrepreneurs are the ones that are generally the first to embrace innovation, start a revolution, and indulge in the unknown. Is it easy? Hell no. Is it necessary? Absolutely! For no matter how mysterious or peculiar the world beyond the here and now may seem, it is never more than an idea or two away from the everyday norm. For everything we have today, somebody somewhere had to make a change and step out into the unknown.
In his book, Soaring Higher, motivational speaker Pat Mesiti wrote “You will not change until the pain of staying where you are becomes greater than the pain of change.” As I read this earlier today, it really made me think. Pain is always present, even in the places that we know intimately. But, like a body that has become used to an old wound, our souls and minds become used to the pain that we experience everyday and that somehow makes it easier to manage than a new kind of pain that comes from changing. Mesiti also said “Change doesn't occur by chance. It occurs by choice.” How then, do we make this choice? According to Mesiti, you have to tip the scales in the direction of change.
Upsetting the balance of pain in our life sometimes happens without our consent. An uncontrollable event, such as a spouse leaving or the death of a loved one, can cause a major change without much resistance. But let’s talk about the ways that involve us more directly. Particularly, the ways that great entrepreneurs of the past and present have used to turn the tables on a comfortable place. The ways that require a choice and some action.
1. Step Back
Have you ever tried to solve a crossword puzzle or read a magazine with your nose pressed to the page? It’s pretty difficult. Oftentimes, we fail to see the benefits of change because we have our proverbial nose too close to the situation. By stepping back and disconnecting a bit, new clarity has an opportunity to materialize.
2. Don’t Look Too Far Ahead
One the other hand, sometimes we are looking too far into the future for our own good. We talk ourselves out of an idea because the analytical calculations have too many variables in them. What we have to remember, though, is that change effects more change. Taking one step into the future may open up doors, or close off scenarios that we never even knew existed. Sometimes a little faith is all it takes.
3. Don’t Glamorize
Finally, be very careful not to glamorize things that do not deserve it. People spend their whole lives stuck in a place that is far below their potential because they glamorized it until it looked better in their own eyes than where they should have been. Our own minds are a powerful weapon, and can be used both for and against our own good. Be realistic about your current position and if it isn’t what it should be, push to change it.
In my own life, I often find myself asking how a change will adversely affect me, my companies, employees, loved ones, etc. Oddly enough, though, I find myself not giving the same due diligence to the opposite side of the coin. As entrepreneurs, we have got to be wise enough and brave enough to also ask how NOT changing will affect our lives and futures. Sometimes, this is the scariest scenario of all. But, it also may be just the thing that pushes us to the place to make a difference.
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