Why Change is Hard & What to Do About It
It's never easy to start something new, even when you're open to change.
As I reflect back on my first month with Echo Consulting, I can relate to the uncomfortable feeling that comes with entering the unknown and taking a leap. Prior to joining the Echo team, I spent many years coaching and training women business owners around navigating self-employment, guiding them through their fear and uncertainty so they could make smart decisions moving toward their future. When I joined Echo, I had a new, exciting opportunity to use my skills and practice what I teach, forcing me to step out of my own comfort zone for positive change.
Change: The Great Unknown
People resist change for many reasons, but there's almost always some element of fear involved. Even when it’s positive, change is bound to be uncomfortable.
- Maybe there's a lot of moving parts involved, like a cross-country move or a company restructuring.
- Maybe you're trying to change too many things at once (ex: New Year’s resolutions), putting you smack in the middle of overwhelm and chaos.
- Maybe you're not actually sure that the change you're considering will be worth it and you're afraid that you won't get the results you're looking for.
- Maybe you’re afraid of failing. True, you might fail, but what will happen if you do nothing? Well, nothing...at least for now. Eventually, you’ll find that you need to change something whether you want to or not. And it’s important to remember that we can miss out on some amazing opportunities and experiences when we get too set in our ways.
Not all change requires a big life change. You don't have to make a career change or move to a new city to try something new. Maybe you want to start a new habit, try a class, or take up a new hobby. Maybe you want to introduce a new product/service for your business at the beta level, or hire your first employee. Be open to the possibilities!
Whatever change you’re considering, here's where to start:
- Be realistic. When you have realistic expectations, patience, and clear goals, change can be exciting and fun!
- Stay curious. Curiosity and fear can't co-exist, so practice curiosity and think of this new thing as an experiment. No pressure.
- Take your time. Don't try to change everything overnight. Be patient, as hard as that can be. You need time to observe the results of your efforts and adjust as needed.
- Clarity is key. Get super clear on what you want, why you want it, how you will gauge success, and when to pivot if needed.
- Ask for help. Enlist the guidance and assistance of others who have experience and insight that can help you. It’s great for accountability, too.
- Have an action plan. Once you've identified your goals, it's time to identify all the steps that need to happen to help you reach those goals. That's where a trusted partner can help. For example, if you're looking to improve your company's systems so things run smoother and you have a bigger profit, we can help with that.
- Start with one thing and take the first step. Just one step is all it takes to start moving. Then take another step, and another, and you're on your way.