The native green lizards happily occupied the lower branches of Florida’s trees. Scientist decided to invite their Cuban cousins to the party. Their cousins seemed to enjoy the lower branches too which led to limited space and food so the local green lizards decided to make a move.
They abandoned the lower branches and moved up into the treetops. But what they didn’t realise was that up high in the treetops the branches were thinner and smoother. To be able to hang onto these smooth branches, the lizard’s toe pads grew bigger and their scales got stickier. In just 15 years they got sticky feet. True Story.
The great thing about animals is that they generally allow evolution to happen. They don’t resist it. Imagine what would have happened if the little green lizard were stubborn like a human and decided that they liked the lower branches and they weren’t moving for no one. Maybe they would have encouraged their brown cousins upwards or maybe they would have all suffered from limited resources and perished.
So take a look at your own life and ask yourself if you are resisting change or are you happy to let your feet get sticky?
Ready for Change?
At this time of the year everyone is talking about change, new goals, new habits, new year, new you! Are you lapping up all the good advice on the subject or are you cynical and judgmental about how it never works. Maybe it has nothing to do with New Year, maybe you resist change at all times of the year but unfortunately that is not the best solution for a happy life.
Change is a natural part of being a human being but as human beings we tend to resist it to differing degrees. There are some that try to hold onto things a little longer than they should and others who sit doggedly refusing to be anything other than who they have become accustomed to. But there are many reasons why people resist change and some that can be easily overcome when you realise that life can be better if you learn to embrace change.
Is It Fear Based?
Sometimes we resist change because we fear what it may bring. I often have clients who come to me because they don’t like the jobs that they are in. They tell me about all the reasons why they need to change but then they find more reasons for not changing.
Fear often keeps us stuck, our subconscious will devise a million ways for you to avoid change in case it doesn’t work. One of the roles of your subconscious is to keep you safe so when you start thinking about taking a risk watch out for all the subtle ways in which it tells you, you shouldn’t.
One great piece of advice that has helped me is to never make a decision based on fear. So if you trying to make a decision, and you create a For and Against list. Check that the dominant argument against is not based purely on fear. Take the example of moving jobs, if you stay in the role you are in because you are afraid to take the financial risk of changing jobs then it is probably the wrong decision.
Obviously there will be other factors to weight up, decisions are never so cut and dry, but life is short and if we waste our time doing jobs and staying in situations that don’t make us happy that’s a lot of wasted time. Another reason for resisting change is pure stubbornness.
I have spent most of my life resisting habits. Believing that routine and structure would restrict or limit me in some way. I would go out of my way to do the opposite of what everyone else deemed a good idea because I didn’t want to be told what to do.
How did that work out for me?
Not so well as you can imagine. Most of the time the only person that suffered was me until I had children and I realised that lack of structure and discipline was not in their best interest.
I often see this behaviour in clients. There is a little rebel inside them that self sabotages because it makes them feel fleetingly in control. “I don’t feel like doing that so I’m not going to do it!”
The momentary satisfaction of taking control of the situation and not being led by others is short lived and leads to other complications and disappointments. If you recognise yourself in here, that’s good, awareness is the first step to change.
Once you realise that you are hurting yourself and this is not the way to take control of you life you can take small steps to change and take back your power. A third reason for resisting change can be overwhelm.
Having too much to do and carrying around too much in your head can prevent any forward movement. Overwhelm often comes with a cluttered fuzzy feeling in the head which prevent us from making good decision, problem solving or simply thinking clearly.
It often comes with general disorganisation but not always. If you are disorganised that is a great place to start to shift the overwhelm. Start to declutter your life and you will create a little space to think. When I got organised both in my home and my work life it was the catalyst for me to change my life and make better decisions about my future.
life can throw us a lots of challenges and obstacles but if we are one of those obstacles it makes it even more testing. When change feels scary overwhelming or even just unattractive, starting very small is the answer. Making small changes or creating tiny habits can help give us the confidence to move forward. It is much easier to commit to a 5 minute walk a day than 60 minutes or washing a dish every time you use it rather than cleaning the house everyday. Breaking things down and gradually committing to change in my experience is the most effective strategy for long term success.
If like me you think getting organised may be the catalyst to a better life, check out my Workflow course here