Changing Perceptions About Change
All of the human actions and decisions are based on the principle fact that we search for the most comfortable zone in our life. We avoid things that could bother us, shift us away from our comfort zone or put us in complex situations that we may be unable to handle. Remember the saying "better the devil you know than the devil you don't".
I read a status update on a social networking site which asked "Which pain is greater; the pain of changing or the pain of not changing?". It encouraged me to write the article on why we including me are so resistant and repellant towards change?
Remember Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) brought word of God towards people and the response of the people was that how can we abandon all that what we have seen our forefathers to believe in and practice? Ask the child who is happy in a school to change his/her school or shift to another city. Would you like to quit your ideal job in search of something better which you're not sure that exists or not?
All of these examples point out to the fact that we don't like to be pushed away from 'our comfort zones'.
But on the other end if we do not update ourselves and our organizations, very soon we will be 'endangered species' and in near future may totally become 'extinct species'. I often have cassettes with me and I wonder what happened of those companies that used to manufacture cassettes or camera film roll? All those vanished, collapsed and became 'extinct species' which did not adapted to the needs of the current era. Change and the thought to change should be first evaluated instead of resisted. Here are some steps that can make us adapt easier to change.
1. It's partial, not the whole:
People adapt slowly to change instead of a rapid, immediate effort to change. The resistance to change arises when we think "I'm not sure how's it going to be"?
Always believe that only some aspect of your life will change and not all of your life. You will still be the same person, can still do the things you are good at. Therefore it is not a new mould in which you'll have to adjust yourself.
Go step by step and it will be easier to cope up. You can revert back if you do not like the new change but give yourself some time before reverting back.
2. Alternatives and possibilities:
People who believe in absolutes and are stubborn follow a single approach in their lives. For them "My way is the only way". Research constantly tells us that there are 'plenty of other ways to do the same thing'. Not only newer ways are better and more easier but often the previous techniques and practices have defects and discrepancies.
Open yourself to the wide range of alternatives and possibilities. The easier you identify a good alternative, the more chances you have of survival. You cannot rely on postal mail to be as quick as the electronic mail. People who do not open themselves to alternatives actually stagnate themselves and do not prosper or progress very much in life because they are so happy and satisfied in their 'comfort zone' but things can change any time so you need to find more methods that enable you to survive if conditions around you change.
3. Have faith, have self confidence:
Believe that Allah is going to help you at all times. After this, have believe in yourself that you are going to survive. Your managerial skills are best tested only when you are put in an unfamiliar situation.
Talk about upcoming change with people who have been in a similar situation. It would give you insight on how you can cope up and manage.
5. Potential talent:
We all have more potential and talent that we think. The talent and potential is not discovered and will never be uncovered if we keep doing what we have always been doing. The best part is when we realize that we are good at certain things we never thought of.
Embrace situations which enable you to discover more about yourself. Tell yourself that you are just taking it as experience.
6. Be fed up:
You would not change until and unless you start to see the flaws in your current set up that makes your comfort zone. The thrust to change develops when you realize that there is need to do things better and differently. If you accept all situations as part of your written fate, you would make no considerable effort to change.
Written by Dr. Muhammad Wasif Haq, Islamabad, Pakistan.
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