Why is change always so hard? Routine is easy, but change is a monster put in the corner for fear that it will destroy everything in its path. So many people stay put in ruts and call them routines instead, rituals they actually can’t live without but that are destroying them moment by routinized moment. I don’t know about you, but change usually opens a crater in my stomach a mile deep. And yet it’s necessary more often than not.
But is change for change’s sake the way to go? Absolutely not. I’ll give you an example…
When I decided to move to Tennessee it was for a plethora of reasons, not the least of which was that I felt like I had run out of rope, that my options and my history were just too constricting, and Tennessee looked like the golden goose, the greener grass of mythology. Yet I hadn’t taken into account that I knew nearly no one there, that it was far from my support system, or that it was, well, Tennessee. It was change for change’s sake, and it turned out to be disastrous in the end.
Here’s another example…
A friend of mine felt stuck in her job, a job she had held for many years, a job that was as secure as jobs get, but she was burned out. She had had enough of doing everything for everyone else in a career that just hadn’t given back to her what she had put into it. So no matter how much she craved the security she quit her job, spread her wings, and went back to school to retrain in a job she knew she would enjoy, even though it was difficult to get into in the first place. Three years later, though, and there she was doing what she wanted, even though it made less than her previous job and the security wasn’t there.
And that was okay because she had a goal in mind. She wasn’t just running away from something. She was heading full bore into something she desperately wanted, and now she’s happy to go to work. The difference between me and her is that she faced her fears in order to get somewhere, while I ran from what scared me and ended up somewhere I wished I could have avoided. It proves the age old saying that change itself is never enough. Change with purpose, now that’s enough.
At least until you find you need to change again.