Archive | September, 2016

A Change is Gonna Come!

24 Sep

Every time I hear the word ‘change’ I automatically break into song, singing ‘Am I supposed to change, are you supposed to change?”

Last week on two separate occasions I was presented with change I didn’t like. First up, my secret website that I watch all my shows on decided to revamp itself with a new, fancy layout. It was frustrating as I struggled to navigate my way around. I couldn’t find anything. But thankfully there was a link to the old site whilst they fixed the issues with the new website. I was like what’s with the changes; I like the old one fine. People always want new, but is new always better?

The second event happened one Thursday morning as I headed to Starbucks for my usual Sausage Buttie with brown sauce. At first I couldn’t find it. Why? They had a new package. When I picked it up, I noticed the bread was thicker and I could hardly see any sausage. I contemplated still buying it. But I thought I don’t want a mouth full of just bread. I put it back and walk out in a mood. I didn’t even get my signature hot chocolate. Starbucks, that change just lost you £6.24. I went to work really sad and bothered that they had just gone and done that to me. Why did they have to change what was working so perfectly for me? Why? Why Change?

I told Hubby about this and referring back to a cooking incident that happened weeks before, he responded with, “Omotola, you don’t like change. Why are you so resistant to change?”

And it really got me thinking about change. Who likes change? When you’re so used to things being done a certain way or you are comfortable doing only what you know. The very thought of change whether big or small made me sad. I resisted change so much because it reminded me of how far I have to go and I felt it didn’t take into account how far I have already come, only to change course. It was overwhelming and the temptation to stay the same was always so appealing. But I had to ask, what if my resistance to change has stunted my growth? And I have failed to realise or even accept the way I’ve been doing things, actually isn’t working out for me? I had to come to terms with the notion that if I REALLY wanted my life to be better, there were so many things I would have to change.

So after a lot of reflection and battling internally, I looked into some reasons I felt why myself or those I know are resistant to change.

 

“They say the truth aint pretty…”

“They say the truth aint pretty…”

Pride

Sometimes accepting change means admitting whatever you’ve been doing, however long you’ve been doing it for, isn’t working, hasn’t worked and probably never will. That can be a big knock to the ego implying you aren’t as smart as you thought you were. If change is suggested by external voices we feel it is an attack on our person, an attempt to redefine who we believe we are. Rather than see it as an opportunity to be better, we hear ‘the way you are is unacceptable’ or ‘you’re not good enough’. We believe we are the ‘experts’ of our lives, so if anybody knows how we should run our life, of course it would be us right? Having to learn new ways makes us feel incompetent especially when it’s been this way for a while and we hold dear our past success and achievements.

 

Fear

When there is no guarantee that the change will be any better than our current situation, we resist it. Fear of the unknown causes us to be comfortable with the known even though we are not happy, satisfied or advancing. We don’t even know why we are afraid of change, we just know (or believe) we don’t know how to do it any other way.

 

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Unwillingness

Change can mean letting go of our beliefs, our opinions and who we think we are. And sometimes we just do not want to let go and upset those around us who expect us to be the same. We don’t want to lose our position in social circles or professional affiliations. We don’t want to close the door on that friendship, even though the dynamic of the relationship has changed. Or feel the void of a constant that is now embedded even if the ties are unhealthy and detrimental to our growth. So we dwell on past hurts, pains and failures, or we hold on to the idea of who they should be rather than the reality of who they are.

 

a6930bdac99071f05e06364e95848b6aSecurity

Change can be seen as a threat especially to someone who is used to moving from place to place and has finally found a place to call home. Because we are settled, we feel safe. Some of us find security in routines because they are familiar; we know what to expect and that makes it easier to manage our expectations. So when we are required to do something that catches us off-guard or takes us out of our comfort zone, there’s bound to be some resistance and reluctance to accept. Change that is thrust upon us leaves us feeling powerless.

 

It doesn’t make sense…

People struggle to implement things they do not understand and are unlikely to exchange it with something they understand and can visualise its path. With external changes, if a person is not able to explain clearly why the change is necessary, it’s only natural it will be met with resistance. Lack of understanding, leads to confusion, and results in unhappiness.

 

It takes a strong person to weather the storm of change!

It takes a strong person to weather the storm of change!

Laziness…

As the saying goes, ‘The lazy man hates himself’. Sometimes it’s not the change we hate, but the fact that we are too lazy to see it through. Resistance to change comes in the form of excuses; reasons why we can’t change, why it won’t work, how we’ve tried it before, or that it’s not necessary. But deep down, we know something, if not everything, has to change. For some of us it’s easier to complain than it is to change.

 

To conclude…

Whatever our reasons for resisting change, we need a change in perspective; to see it as an opportunity to learn new things and grow. Change does not happen overnight. Like the transition between hot and cold, there is a process of freezing and boiling so be patient with the progress and stand firm till the end, taking it ONE DAY AT A TIME. Change is crucial to survival. Like a caterpillar changing its whole being, transforming into a butterfly, it is a tough transition. Change can be hard. Like the Eagle that has to break its beak and pluck its old feathers, it is a painful process. Change is dependent on YOU and you can accept, embrace or reject it. It starts off as a subtle nudge, and then the push gets stronger causing uneasiness. It eventually escalates to the point the pain of our current situation demands we take action. So make the changes where necessary before it is forced upon you.

"When you change yourself, you change your world!"

“When you change yourself, you change your world!”

 

I’d like to leave you with a story that challenges me on the path of resistance (There are various versions of this story).

The Japanese master Nan-in gave audience to a professor of philosophy. Serving tea, Nan-in filled his visitor’s cup, and kept pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could restrain himself no longer: “Stop! The cup is over full, no more will go in.” Nan-in said: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

In order to change we must humble ourselves, empty our mind of our conceptions, things that keep us stiff, stuck and stubborn and make room for the new, different way. And even if we make the change and it doesn’t work we can revert back but at least we tried another way. You can reject it, or accept it but either way, A Change Is Gonna Come! So EMBRACE IT!!!

Finding Calmness in the Midst of Craziness.

Ms Tola, xx

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