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Which Will It Be?

WhichWillItBeThings change so fast and so relentlessly. Who doesn’t find themselves wanting to stop the merry-go-round and just cling to the comfortable and familiar every now and then? And who among us never resists change?

Of course, resisting change done to us is one thing. It can be a necessary and healthy thing to do. After all, not all change is good. But here’s the crazy thing. We often see ourselves and our clients resisting change of our own making!

Now why in the world would we ever resist change we ourselves initiated?  Because change … even good change … is stressful.  Our aspirations aside, we want things to be smooth and predictable.  Most of us crave comfort and security.  We dread the unknown.  So, the impulse to try to freeze things where they are is understandable.

But it can’t really be done.

We tend to think in terms of “the way things are” … the status quo … something at rest.  Mentally, we freeze the frame of a moving picture and think of it as current reality.  The problem with the status quo is that it doesn’t exist.  The quo is never status.  Time and change never stand still.  Nothing ever IS.  It’s always becoming.

So, if change is occurring constantly, avoiding change isn’t an option.  The big question then becomes, are you going to be more actively involved in what your world is becoming or are you going to be more passive and take what you get?  Are you going to create your world or fit into one that others are creating for you?

Now, I’m not saying one choice is better than another.  Either way, there’s a tradeoff.  Be a mover and shaker and you’ll also more than likely be a roller- coaster rider with a life full of big highs and big lows.  You’ll feel the exhilaration and satisfaction, but often pay the price in terms of stress and big disappointments of one kind or another.  That describes me.  That’s what I relate to.  I wouldn’t have it any other way, despite the drama!

On the other hand, find a comfortable niche to mold yourself into and you lose a degree of autonomy over your life and the sense of satisfaction that comes with self-motivated achievement, but it’s a lot easier on the nerves, simpler, more peaceful, and less demanding.  Depending on who you are, happiness lies down one of these paths.

Of course, it’s not as if it’s all or none.  At some times, we all need a safe place to hide out and catch our breath.  And nobody wants to be boxed into a boring life with no challenge or excitement whatsoever.

But what I think happens is that most people don’t make a conscious choice about what they want.  They just kind of fall into what fits their personality.

The upshot?  The mover and shakers do what they do by default.  Consequently, they find it hard to sit still and enjoy what they have.  They tend to keep pushing the envelope despite the costs, while the people who are comfortable in their box have a hard time expanding out of it.

We often see a problem with people who have found a comfortable niche deciding they “really should be” more creative, adventuresome, and entrepreneurial.  But their hearts aren’t in it.  They do it because they want the freedom and the rewards that come with forging their own way and calling their own shots, but as soon as all the accompanying stresses start to show up, they get stopped immediately.  Square peg … round hole.  The fit isn’t there.

These are the folks who want the benefits of creating their own world, but when it comes down to it, they don’t want to pay the price of having to put themselves out there.  For example, they have a hard time picking up the phone and calling people to ask for things or standing in front of a group to speak about who they are and what benefits they offer their clients.

The key is to be honest with yourself.  Look at the tradeoffs and decide which approach you really want to take in your life.  And then, appreciate what’s good about your choice, rather than feeling cheated by the price you have to pay.

If you can do that, you’ll live a happier life.


Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!