While change can many times be inevitable, we, as humans, frequently challenge change as if our lives depend on it. This is perfectly normal, but not always healthy. Resisting change can be a tiring fight. You do not have to continue through life, fighting the rising tides of change that will continuously be heading your way. Instead, you can work to understand why you are resisting change so you can better deal with changes coming your way and make the most of your present and future.
- Primitive Brain
Did you know that there are parts of our brain that haven’t evolved one iota since we climbed down from the trees? It’s true. That primitive brain has one job—to keep us safe, so the species survives. This is the reason why when we decide to make a massive pivot in our world, we feel fear and self-doubt. The next time you experience this as you set out to make a positive change, smile and know it’s just your primitive brain and that you don’t need to obey it. You’ll be just fine!
Changes frequently bring uncertainty in many forms. Be it starting a new job and not know what your days will be like or if your new coworkers will like you or moving to a new state and learning a new town and community. Uncertainty triggers our bodies into fight or flight, both of which cause us to resist change even when it is imminent.
- We Hold on To Impermanence
Most things in life are not permanent. Seasons, jobs, relationships, it all comes and goes. Frequently when things change, we hold on to the past. Telling stories of a summer-long gone, focusing on a past job that you miss, these are all signs that your brain is not letting go of the past, and therefore will continue to struggle to move forward with change.
- Fear of Failure
Fear of failure is an enormous beast that manifests itself in many ways. It can lead to perfectionism, anxiety, and resistance to change. Change always brings unknown factors into play, and with unknown factors, success cannot be guaranteed. Resisting change allows an individual to put off potential failure, safeguarding their psyche from the burden of dealing with it. However, putting off change can, in a weird turn of events, lead to eventual failure.
For many people, resisting change results in white-knuckling ways of life, relationships, and careers that are no longer serving them. While this fight to stave off change in all reality is entirely futile, it becomes a security blanket for many. When you feel yourself going down this stubborn path, take the time to stop and dig deep into your own reasons why you are resisting change. Question your motives, your fears, and come up with a game plan that will allow you to face change with confidence.