People need to change in order to survive, to evolve.
In order to survive.
In order to evolve.
The part of me that loves change gets that change leads to growth and evolution.
I want progress, momentum and growth. I do.
So, why do I still feel the nagging twinge, that resistant feeling to change? That feeling of wanting to stay put, in my cocoon, safe and secure. There is such a fine-line between my love and hate relationship with change.
In today’s organizations, perpetual change is a constant that equally challenges and excites. We experience the pain in the challenge and yet, we can be energized and excited by the possibilities of progress. Another fine-line paradox.
As organizations grow and prosper, they adopt new technologies, hire new talent and introduce new processes. The evolution of the workforce begins a cycle of growth and prosperity. In organizations set in their ways, this cycle comes with a transition period that kicks off both a challenging and an exciting process for the people involved.
The transformation of change is beautiful and ugly at the same time. Change can be messy. And there is a gestation period as well, the promise of a new beginning and a much needed period of maturation and development before an orderly change takes hold, when we can break free and fly with the change. I’ve often experienced paradoxical feelings of confusion leading to inspiration. And, there in lies yet another fine-line paradox! Now we’ve got a pattern. Love-hate, challenge-excitement, confusion-inspiration.
Recently, we’ve adapted to a new technology at work, a series of new software programs. I leaped into the new tech with excitement, eager to put new processes into action. Then, reality set in.
The learning curve felt much steeper than when we decided to change to the new technology. I began to feel the angst of shifting my habits. The process felt like spooning aged molasses from a jar left in the back of the cupboard. It was hard work, tedious and slow. I struggled. I reverted to old habits. The more I focused on the slow and tedious, the more the process was slow and tedious.
I regrouped and asked myself: “Why did we change to the new technology in the first place?! It was then that the strength of my convictions to adopt the change reined free. I felt my inner tenacity take hold, for inspiration to fly. When experiencing change, I found it especially helpful to ask a series of reflective questions:
On a scale of 1-10, how committed am I/are we to this change?
On a scale of 1-10, how excited do I/we feel about making this change happen?
What would increase that score? (acknowledge the fear, clearer steps, more support and resources)
What is the cost of not changing?
With commitment, you’ll find the will power to persevere through the inevitable adjustment to change. Give yourself permission to feel the range of emotions from fear to hope, hate to love, resistance to enthusiasm. Acknowledge what you need to learn and know from the fear, the hate and the resistance. I have learned time and again, confusion precedes inspiration.
With the will power to persevere, you’ll refocus your energies on the inspiration behind the changes. You’ll remember what you already knew and had forgotten in the fog of overwhelm. With re-focused energy, you’ll inspire newer and better ways of doing, relating and being.
The more I explore the dichotomy of loving and hating change, the more I realize the range of emotions expands our potential as humans to grow at a deeper level.
Joan Jett said: “Life is strong and fragile. It’s a paradox… It’s both things, like quantum physics: It’s a particle and a wave at the same time. It all exists all together.”
Love and hate live together, pleasure and pain live together. It is important to see the range in the experiences of love and hate, joy and sorrow, change and status quo. We challenge ourselves, and others, to raise the stakes. We take more risks, learn from the past and reap the rewards of change. We more than survive and evolve, we become the best that we can be individually, collectively and globally.