Everybody has something about themselves they would like to change. If you’re like me, you probably have multiple things you should change. If change is constant, why is it so hard?
Before you answer, let me share an experience I had earlier this year with a good friend and colleague of 20 years. My friend called to let me know she was leaving for another job. Yes, it’s a great opportunity for her and I do wish her all the happiness in the world, but what about me? Did she once think of the impact her job change would have on me? Surely, she knew the cascading affects her departure would have on the overall leadership and productivity of the group? She had to know how terrified I’d be, losing an advocate and trusted colleague at this stage in my career?
As if this news wasn’t crippling enough, what transpired next was eye opening.
The moment my mind moved beyond its temporary paralysis, my mouth went into overtime, shocking my ears. My words were full of self-doubt, anxiety, and guilt. Not my guilt—her guilt for blindsiding me and hurting me in this way. I was anxious and full of fear. I must have needed air because at some point, my mouth stopped and my friend began to speak. She simply said, “I have turned down promotions to avoid dealing with ill feelings from colleagues. I have let my fear of upsetting you and others limit what I want to do. Not anymore. I am through resisting change and now it’s your turn.”
Fear of change can stop us from reaching our goals. The lack of anticipation and planning for obstacles is a common reason why development fails. Having a clear sense of the effects change can have on you and others is critical to reduce anxiety and increase success.