02 Dec “That’s How We’ve Always Done It”
It never ceases to amaze me how people can be on the brink of utter disaster and still respond with “but that’s how we’ve always done it”. Even though they know that something isn’t working right, they remain stubbornly opposed to change. Why? Complacency feels secure. We keep with the familiar because beyond that is the great unknown and it’s hard to trust the unknown. Yet, if we keep doing things the same way, what hope is that anything will get better? It’s like arrogantly saying I’m going to stay exactly as I am and I want the world to revolve around me. That would be nice, but I’ve not be so fortunate as to ever have that happen. No, the world around us changes and we either have to adapt or end up feeling like we are constantly swimming upstream.
Now, I’m not suggesting change for the sake of change. If somethings not broke don’t fix it. But if it is broken, we should fix it. So, what’s the best way to do that and make it not so scary? Here’s an easy 10 step process:
- Admit there is a problem
- Let go of what was and deal with what is
- Decide you don’t want to live with this annoyance anymore
- Get the facts you need to consider
- Weigh all the options
- Get everyone on board and excited for progress
- Make changes
- Evaluate the results
- Share the results
- Get feedback
This benefits of following a process like this are that it is slow, organized, knowledge based, and inclusive. People don’t respond well to sudden major changes that they don’t understand. That is an assault to our security and stirs all kinds of negative emotions. If you explain the problem, most people will be compassionate. They are more apt to help because they feel they are part of progress and included in the decision making. Everyone likes to have their ideas acknowledged and to be part of something. It’s exciting and makes everything flow easier. It’s when change is shoved down their throat there is backlash and resistance.
If tackling major problems seems too overwhelming at first, then try it out on some smaller issues. Take one minor problem and do the steps in order. Get comfortable with making changes in areas that aren’t going to make or break you. In time it will become second nature to everyone involved and soon you can start to take on the bigger issues. I am an analytical type of person. I hate when life feels chaotic and there are too many options to choose from, or worse no options. When it happens, I have to find ways to contain it in order to maintain my sanity. Following a more methodical type thought process helps me feel some degree of control. Obviously, there a millions of things in life we cannot control, but we have to find ways to cope and adjust. Allowing ourselves the ability to make the decision to change gives us a sense of power. These things are happening to us, but we are going to be proactive and limit our losses. We aren’t just going to sit back and take it.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But, I’d rather go down trying than feel helpless. We don’t have to accept the way it has always been as they way it’s always going to be.