It’s not uncommon to find change uncomfortable or anxiety-provoking. The expression that humans are “creatures of habit” is a true representation of how our brains work. So when we need to do something new (or even harder—to do something old in a new way), it takes conscious effort. That’s not easy.
It’s ok to struggle with change as long as you actively struggle. That implies that you are working diligently toward making it happen. If you do nothing, or worse, if you struggle in opposition to the change, you’re weighing everyone else down and getting yourself further and further behind.
Use this simple quiz to reflect on whether your response to change has gone well beyond the natural reaction to learning something new into the destructive zone. (The questions are in order or severity with later questions reflecting more extreme resistance.)
- I silently disagree with the proposed change but I don’t voice my concerns
- I spend more time thinking about why the change is a bad idea than a good one
- I question why the change is necessary, even after the rationale has been explained
- I share my concerns and dislike of the change with my peers
- I am less productive as I spend time talking about the change
- I procrastinate and only comply with the change when someone follows up
- I share information to try to discredit the change or the person leading it
- I ignore requests to change my behavior and continue on as normal
- I use my influence to try to get decisions reversed after they have been made
- I encourage others to ignore the change directives
These are only some of the ways that you might be resisting change. Unfortunately, this resistance is bad for your organization and bad for you. Whether it's at work, in a volunteer effort, or in your family, resisting change will only get your branded as someone who slows things down. Try these three tips to get your head in the game.