Individuals and organizations wrestle with the Illusion – one of the LIES That Limit™ – that things are not supposed to change. Attachment to this false idea is time- and energy-consuming. It often leads to a drop in productivity and effectiveness.
When change happens, and it always does, we seem surprised that a new set of conditions has emerged. We respond by resisting and trying to hold on to the old – the way it was yesterday. We expend tremendous time and exert excessive energy fighting against the new condition. Fruitlessly, we’re slow to accept what “is.” We become incredulous and act as if change is not supposed to occur. Things are supposed to remain static and predictable.
The Illusion that things are not supposed to change slapped me up side my head recently as I wrestled with yet another change in the status of my mother’s medical condition. It has moved to a new place and I am stuck in the old paradigm.
As the depth of the change started to sink in, my instinct was to scream, “NO!” This, I did NOT want. I felt stressed, tense, exhausted, confused and overwhelmed. I was attached to the idea that, “This is not supposed to be happening.” I was committed to, “NO!” and resistance are the same. Both produced unproductive, unnecessary stress.
While I could easily blamed the situation for generating the stress, the truth was, I was producing every ounce of the stress I felt. The stress was coming from my mental and emotional resistance to current reality, to present-day fact. The stress is what I created with my reaction and all of the resistance I felt was driven by my fear, sadness, anger and sense of helplessness. Resistance is opposition, struggle and fighting. It generates friction or drag. Conditions were moving in one direction and I was pulling in the opposite direction. In two days, I exhausted myself in a fight against the inevitable.
Once I took off my blinders and saw the Illusion I was battling – the Illusion that things aren’t supposed to change – I decided to go with the momentum of the change and see what it holds?
As long as I am stuck in the mindset that screams, “NO!” to the “new,” I can’t see clearly – I can’t see all sides of the new condition – the losses, the gains, the parts that are neither good nor bad, just different, and the parts that will remain the same. And surely, I’m not open to interacting and living effectively with the “new.” I had to end my temper tantrum at the fact that things are changing and relax into the altered condition. I had to accept it, acknowledge its presence, and see what it holds before I judged the “new.” From inside the “new,” I can better define reality and more effectively determine the right action and reaction.
What’s your best practice when faced with change? How do you eliminate the stress that comes with change and embrace the “new.” Tell us by Friday, April 8th and we’ll share your advice with the LIES That Limit™ community in the next Spirit of Purpose newsletter.