When something is good or bad, people will more often than not focus entirely on the bad. Take change, for example: Change can, absolutely, be positive, but, unfortunately, because it also has the potential to be negative, we're thrown into defensive mode, wanting to avoid change altogether.
But you can’t avoid change; you can, however, hate it. The problem with hating change is that your entire life is filled with it. Your life is filled with change, so hating change fills your life with hatred.
You can’t avoid change and you can’t allow yourself to hate it, either. What you need to do is learn how to use change to your advantage.
Let’s start by understanding why we feel such disdain for change:
1. Change brings the possibility of worse -- and nobody wants worse.
Things may not be spectacular right now… but we sure as heck don’t want them getting any worse. The question is always this: Are you willing to risk your comfort and your current level of happiness and contentment in order to be better off, to be more comfortable?
Some people are willing to take the risk, but most people aren’t. In fact, the older you get, the more risk-averse people tend to become. The older we get, the more afraid we are of losing that which we already have.
We spent so many years building what we now have that we don’t want risk anything crumbling. Unfortunately, this pseudo-stagnancy stops nothing more than our own personal development.
2. Real change requires a change of reality.
Changing your reality is one of the most difficult things a person can do. Imagine your whole world needs to change; where do you even begin?
This is one of the most difficult issues people face when trying to bring a significant change into their lives. The problem is that there's no one right answer.
Because everyone’s reality is composed differently, what bits need to be altered in what order will vary. Some people say it’s a switch that one day flips -- that you jump from one reality to the other.
I find that while some people do experience these “Aha!” moments, to be truly successful, you have to force change. You will have your "Aha!" moments, but you can’t spend your life waiting for the next one.
You need to slowly, but surely, phase into a new reality. The more seamlessly, in my opinion, the better.
3. Human beings only create change for one reason: They need to.
The problem is that we don’t want to need anything. We want to be self-sufficient. We don’t enjoy the idea of relying on anything or anyone other than ourselves.
We are only moved to change when an outside force moves us to. People don't willingly change major parts of their lives simply out of boredom.
We do because we believe we must. We believe that action is required and, therefore, we act. If we don’t feel that need to act then 99 times out of 100, we won’t. Neediness makes us feel uncomfortable. We want to stay comfortable and stay put.
People hate change because they’re lazy.
4. We fear going after what we want, changing our lives, because we fear that we will fail -- and we hate failure.
We fear failing to the point that we eventually fear wanting anything at all. We fear what we see as more inevitable failures. People hate change because it brings risk into their lives.
It brings the possibility of disappointment and hurt egos. It may bring the realization that we aren’t good enough, that there is more work to be done, that our journey still stretches for miles and miles ahead of us.
The wisest individuals understand that failure is a part of life, a part of the game we all play. It’s not failure itself that hurts so much. It’s more of the fact that your wishes are being denied.
You're going after the change that you want and you aren’t getting it. The harder you try to create that change, and for the longer you pursue that change, the more it will hurt every time you fail.
We hate change because there is so much pain and disappointment associated with it.
5. Change is what reminds us that time is continually passing.
It never slows. It never ceases flowing. Change serves as a reminder to our inevitable end -- to our mortality. Ever notice that the older people get, the less they like change? I used to think that it was because they’re set in their ways, but I don’t think that’s really it.
The older you get, the more you hate change because you realize your life is coming to an end. The more the world changes around you, the more you realize that things are not in your control.
You realize that whether you like it or not, you're leaving this world. Once this fact hits home, we start to grasp on to whatever we can in order to keep our world the way it is.
When things change, it’s the life we know slipping through our fingers like grains of sand.
6. Change is never entirely foreseeable.
It’s the unknown that really shakes us. Accustomed to failure, human beings understand that nothing in life is certain. You can plan all you want, but anomalies do occur. The unexpected, unforeseeable happens. We know that we don’t know, and we hate it.
Human beings are built to calculate future events, altering our actions in order to be best positioned to take advantage of the upcoming changes in our surroundings.
When we conclude that the future is, in reality, incalculable, it scares the crap out of us.
We don’t know what to do because we don’t know what is coming our way. We hate change because we hate not knowing how to be prepared for those changes ahead of time.
Change puts our lives at greater risk.