We are programmed to avoid change at all costs. It’s in our DNA. That’s because for thousands of years, change got us killed. What we know always feels safer than what we don’t know. In fact, if you’re not starving and your life isn’t in danger, every single part of you is saying “Don’t change a thing, this is all that matters!”
Because of this fear of the unknown, here are the top 10 things that are hard for us to change in the world we now live in….
Billy’s Top 10 Things That are Hard for Us to Change
1. Your job
What if a new job will be harder? What if I don’t fit in? What if it doesn’t work out and I wish I’d stayed here?
2. Your career
A job can feel scary enough to change, but a career change is even harder. There are so many more unknowns, so many more things that may not work out. As adults, we’re not used to not feeling like experts!
3. Your spouse
The hardest romance to leave is the one that isn’t too bad. If it’s horrible, it’s easier to get motivated to leave. But if it’s not horrible we worry “What if I can’t even find one as good as this? Maybe this isn’t as bad as it seems. Maybe I should just be happy with this.”
4. Your sexuality
I can’t even imagine how hard it is to change one’s sexuality. I assume it’s less a matter of “changing” it as it is more about realizing and admitting what it truly is (and maybe has always been). I would love to hear your comments on this!
5. Your home
Your ‘hood, your crib. It feels so comfortable because you know it so well. Our deep need to feel comfortable in the known wants us never to leave. It convinces us that danger lurks out there, outside of the comfort of our neighbourhood bubble.
6. Your beliefs
Extreme experiences in life (especially tragedy) can sometimes cause us to change our beliefs. But it’s terrifying to look at something one way your entire life, then feel like perhaps it was wrong and no longer right for you. That feels like our world is turning upside down, even if it’s the right thing to do!
7. Your mind
I see this a lot with leaders in organizations. They say one thing then feel like changing their mind will make them look weak. But it takes courage and a desire to improve in order to admit you may have been wrong before.
8. Your style
That haircut may feel like it will be hip forever, but it won’t. And sometimes we just get bored, or we realize we’re not the person we were before, so we want to change our style. But what will people think? Will we be judged for it? Will I no longer fit in?
9. Your phone!
Right?! You get so damn attached to that thing, all your contacts are on it, all your photos…. How can I possibly love my next phone as much as this one?! But it’s a perfect example of how quickly we can adapt to change. Before long we’re not missing that old brick of a phone with the crappy camera.
10. Your friends
Our “crew” is where we belong. It’s the people we’ve spent so much time with. But sometimes we realize a friend or two doesn’t really fit us anymore. We’ve changed, or they have. But letting go of friends is so hard because we’re programmed to belong to something bigger than ourselves. And what if we can’t replace them? Then we’ll be all alone!
Some of these things may apply to you, some may not. Some may really dig deep, some may seem silly (although, I promise you, what seems silly to you may not actually be silly to someone else). No matter what the changes we need to make are, sometimes just change itself is scary… and therefore takes Courage. So it’s time to face the fear of change.
Learn more on this and other courage-related topics in Billy’s book “Your Comfort Zone is Killing You” (available here). Or get in touch with Billy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a courageous day!