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Why is Change So Difficult?
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Why is Change So Difficult?

Why do we stay away from the unknown and choose familiar options? Change is difficult when we tend to pick what we already know. The key is to learn and understand what life brings us to adapt.

Sura Aydin
March 28, 2022

Change is difficult because learning new skills requires motivation and effort. Deciding to change is the most challenging part. Before applying the qualifications to life or how you do work, outcomes are not always predictable for sure. People tend to choose what they already know over new things. You would buy from the shop that you already bought something before. You even trust a person more who looks like someone you closely know. Our mind says that you tried and have seen the results, go with the familiar one, or this reminds you of your close friend, they have probably similar personalities. Yet, unfortunately, going with the usual option and avoiding additional effort to improve does not benefit us.

If you understand the reason behind the resistance to change, you will handle it more manageable.

We can mention three reasons why people fail to decide to change and take action:

1. Fear of the Unknown and Charming Nature of Familiar

In this section, I will be discussing the phenomenon of "fear of the unknown" and how it is closely related to the "charming nature of familiar." 


Fear is a natural human response and very essential for life. Because with fear, we look for solutions to get rid of dangerous situations and stay alive or motivated in a sense. On the other hand, there is one more human response similar to fear: anxiety. We use the word anxiety very often in daily life. It usually refers to our stress level. When we stress about something, we also fear the results. Anxiety is how our body reacts when we cannot predict the future and expect something wrong will happen. However, we can define anxiety as feeling fearful about the danger that might occur in the future, while fear requires present danger. Tomorrow is always unknown but might be predictable. Prior experiences give us to predict the future, and choosing familiar options would make us avoid unpleasant outcomes. This predictability is why we would make standard and usual choices rather than learning a new skill or apply a different work path.

It is natural to stay away from the unknown because it is something that makes us feel uncomfortable. Once you're exposed to new things, you start to see them as expected, and they become familiar. That's why we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zones to grow and better ourselves.

2. Fear of Failure

The anxiety strikes when it comes to implementing new ways to live. Because transformation challenges your way of doing, it may cause you to lose the status quo and make you look inexperienced in what you do. That's OK. Because this is a fear that plagues many people as they are faced with the prospect of change. The fear of failure is not a good reason to avoid learning new skills or trying something new.

Fear of failure can paralyze you and keep you from taking any steps in the right direction. This fear can result from our past failures, which have given us a negative outlook on life. The problem with this fear is that it causes us to live in regret because we never took the opportunity to try.

Learning new skills and trying something new will give you more opportunities in life, but it all starts with taking those first few steps into the unknown and overcoming your apprehension for risk-taking.

3. Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a mental state that makes people feel the need to be perfect and unable to complete tasks. It can lead to procrastination, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Perfectionists are afraid of making mistakes or doing something wrong. They overspend time trying to make sure everything has been done correctly before they can move on with their lives. This excessive preoccupation with being perfect causes problems in their work life and personal life. Perfectionism is often mistaken as being a positive characteristic such as high standards or self-control. Yet, it can cause more harm than good if not appropriately treated. Perfectionism stops you from moving forward. It is an unhealthy habit that can lead to a lack of success and happiness. The best way to combat perfectionism is to focus on the process, not the result. If you focus too much on the outcome, you might be less inclined to try new things and learn new skills because you are afraid of being judged.

It is important to note that perfectionism doesn't only have personal grounds. It is also about work-life and applying new digital solutions to work while giving up on old traditions. With the obsession to be perfect, you might avoid learning new skills and close the doors to change. Improving the operations and communications is profitable both for you and your team. 

Change sounds difficult to many people at first. The key is to understand what's behind it.

When people talk about change, they usually talk about how they are scared of the unknown. They fear that change will force them to learn a new skill or give up something they are used to. Change can be seen as scary in some cases, but it is also a good thing and a chance for growth and improvement.

Some people are resistant to change, but it is necessary for the progress of society and the growth of individuals. It is essential to anticipate and prepare for change before it happens; we will be better prepared when change occurs. Accepting the need for change and trying your best is the key to hurdle. Another key is to understand why you try to avoid change and look to overcome the resistance. As I mentioned above, these reasons may vary, and some of them are fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and perfectionism. Even though they are all connected, the dynamic is unique to you. When you notice an avoidance to change, the best thing to do is listen to what's behind it.

AUTHOR
Sura Aydin

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