Change is hard.
And so, like with many things that are hard, we often do our best to avoid it.
Sometimes, we are left with no choice. After all, when the house is on fire, there’s nothing to do but run out out the door.
But instead, if that house is just a little too confining or the wrong layout or misplaced for our needs, we’ll engage in all sorts of mental gymnastics to avoid making a change.
And of course, this doesn’t just apply to homes. It’s true when it comes to careers, to appearances, to habits and to relationships. When we’re not quite content, but there is a lack of an urgent need to change course, we’re in a state of limbo.
“I’m fine where I am,” you say.
“I don’t feel at peace with myself,” you think.
“I’ve been doing this for years, why change now?” you say.
“If I don’t make a change now, I never will,” you think.
“At least this is a known entity. The alternatives could be worse,” you say.
“But I won’t know unless I try,” you think.
“I could fail,” you say.
“I am stagnating,” you think.
There are no clear and consistent signs that deciding to make a change is the right choice.
Yet there are four indications that the challenge of change is preferable to the temporary comfort of staying put:
There Are No More Variables Left to Change in the Current Situation
I am going to continue with the house analogy here, because it make this easy to understand. If you’re unhappy with your home, it makes sense to first paint the walls and install a new area rug. If that doesn’t improve your feelings towards the house, maybe next you invest in a more substantial remodel. Yet at some point, if you’ve addressed all of the logical variables that can be modified and you’re still not satisfied, it’s time to move on.
Staying With the Status Quo Has Begun to Feel Like a Grind
There are always times in life when we have to put our heads down and simply push through to get through. Yet all of life shouldn’t feel like mile 60 in a 100-mile race. We are creatures of inertia; we’re very good at doing what we’ve done and less skilled at changing direction. Yet maybe that is exactly what needs to happen if the groove carved by trudging the same path feels like you’re digging your own grave.
You Approach the Thought of Change With Both Excitement and Fear
Not only is change hard, it is scary. It requires a leap of faith as you leave behind the implied security of the known terrain. It asks you to meet new challenges before you’ve proven yourself. Yet at the same time, change can be exciting, as all new and interesting things are. When fear and excitement are playing a fairly-matched game of tug-of-war in your mind, it’s a solid indication that you’re going the right way.
There is a Feeling of Lightness When You Make a Move Towards Change
When we’re in the wrong situation, it weighs on us. Pulls us down. If you make a decision towards change and feel relief (even if you’re still having doubts), that’s quite telling.
Change may be hard, but that’s no reason to avoid it.
After all, everything worthwhile in life takes effort.
Make sure your efforts are aligned with your goals.