I’ve been reading the book “Mastery” by George Leonard. The book provides a great explanation as to why we are all resistant to change. Here’s an excerpt:
Backsliding is a universal experience. Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it’s for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed…Be aware of the way homeostasis works…Expect resistance and backlash. Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick or crazy or lazy or that you’ve made a bad decision in embarking on the journey of mastery. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that your life is definitely changing–just what you’ve wanted….Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change. (Mastery, p. 107-115).
I wanted to include another passage from the book that provides more insight to our resistance to change but I’ve got a limited amount of space so let me summarize it for you. The author explains that our bodies are programmed to keep things the same as much as possible and the most basic example is temperature regulation. If your body is warm, it sweats. If your body is cold, it shivers. Your body regulates itself to keep your body temperature the same regardless of the environment.
We all know that change is inevitable and in many cases change is good but change is difficult for all of us. We are creatures of habit and creatures of comfort and what we know and what is routine IS what is comfortable to us.
The author suggests that to fully reach our potential we must not only be open to change but we must look for change and opportunities to challenge ourselves. There is no benefit in change for the sake of change but if we are committed to getting better and doing better than we must always be in a state of change because getting better involves us changing ourselves or what we do.
I’m sure most of you, like me, want to do better at work, be a better parent, be a better spouse, learn a new skill or perform better athletically and the only way to do so is to accept and embrace change!