The Challenges of Change

“Everything changes and nothing stands still.” – Heraclitus

Change is an energy intensive process. It’s expensive from a time and mental energy perspective. Even the simplest decisions to adjust course require realignment and pause to recenter. It forces us to evaluate the internal status quo. It can ignite feelings of chaos and fear, mostly from leaving behind the current “known.” Things as simple as a new haircut to bigger events like moving across the country or a new relationship status (starting or ending) can all wreak havoc on us. Everything was fine before these things entered our lives; why disrupt it? I was fine!

Acceptance of and processing through change comes more easily to some; for others, any rattling of routine or their “world” causes an imbalance that isn’t always simple to reattain equilibrium. Larger organizations even incorporate change management processes into their business workflow to minimize issues. (I sometimes think I should try incorporating change management into my personal life.)

It’s interesting to see how each person responds to the norm being shaken up, particularly when they are not in control of that norm being moved – especially Chicago weather. Do you look for the potential in a new situation? Or do you reel back and focus on how this affects just your life? There can be an unwillingness of trying something out because you think you won’t like it or adapt to what’s coming down the line… how do you open the eyes of others to see what is possible?

There is always a cost involved in change. If I want to be a better runner, then I must sacrifice my desire to continually lay on my couch and run regardless of my lack of motivation some days. To improve my writing skills, I must set aside that new Netflix release and sit down to formulate thoughts on paper (or screen.)

Change, particularly when it happens in shorter periods of time and when the shift is bigger, can stress us and cause behaviors in us that may not fully reflect who we usually are. It’s during those times I’ve been trying to extend grace to others when I see how they process what’s happening vs. how I am dealing with the same change event.

A favorite phrase at work over the last few years as we’ve gone through transitions is “Change is Sweet.” But it can also be hard. And it can occasionally be frustrating along the way. As long as we recognize that the process is taxing and that we are gracious and flexible with one another along the way, we’ll be just fine.