Word Count: 519  |  Time to Read: 2+ minutes  |  NOVEMBER 2014

I have an uneasy relationship with change.


On the one hand, I love variety. I play music on "shuffle" to ensure different artists and genres show up in the mix.  Ironically, this is symbolic of the life I've spent continually looking to change things up.

And yet, there are many types of change I actually resist: A new house that might block our view, a new airline schedule that removes the most convenient flight, new client billing requirements.  These changes are unwelcome annoyances that I tend to resist, sometimes mightily.


I believe we all have our own uneasy relationship with change.  We talk about "change management" as if change was something that could be manipulated and controlled.  The idea of "returning to normal" and the "new normal" are ready parts of our vocabulary as if "normal" exists as an island of "no-change."  We all fall into the belief that when big change occurs, "things eventually settle down" and return to constancy.


But, things always change despite our best attempts to bring it all under our control. Just when we think we have achieved a state where we can relax, something changes and wham! everything shifts again.

The plain fact of existence is that everything is subject to change.  Change is a 100% predictable reality.  To be sure, some things change at a very, very slow rate, which creates a false appearance of static constancy.  The fact is, EVERYTHING is always changing all the time. Rationally, this is easy to grasp. Just look around. Continual change is everywhere.  



In organizations, leaders often:

  1.  ignore the inevitability of change when they fail to create the capacity to respond to unpredictable and inevitable change;

  2.  or, they react to change as if "good management" is somehow able to avoid the impacts of natural change; 

  3.  or, they seek a state where good results are sustained indefinitely. 

In our daily lives, we spend a great deal of energy being frustrated by change and resist the truth that all things, ALL THINGS, are changing.  Or, if you're like me, you spend a great deal of your time fretting about how things might change and the potential impact of pending change.


I think it's the human condition to wish for the security of constancy.  As emotional beings, we desire to hold onto "good" things coupled with the fear that "bad" things will never let go of us. However, we need not be slave to this wish.  


We do in fact have the capacity to deeply accept the truth of change and to work with the flow of it in our relationships, in our work, and in our lives.  This capacity starts with a deep personal awareness of how we actually resist change and what it takes to let go of that resistance. 


Out of this awareness, we can better see that real security springs from the ability to live in the flow of change rather than in futility, swimming against it.


Change is how everything works. Make sure you leave room for it.