When Creating Change Feels Hard, Keep This in Mind
Changing something in your life, work, or business can feel hard. Really hard. It can feel painful, messy, and scary. It can trigger emotions that can feel challenging to navigate and overcome.
As a result, people often retreat, feel stuck, and sometimes even give up altogether on the possibility of creating change for themselves. It can keep people stuck in a status quo that they no longer want.
I know first hand what this feels like. I have navigated many personal and professional changes since I left my corporate career twenty years ago to design my ideal life and work.
Leaving a successful corporate career after 14 years felt very scary at the time. Struggling with those difficult emotions and how hard it felt to leave the perceived security of the known for the uncertainty of the unknown resulted in me delaying taking the leap for quite some time.
I have also made big changes to follow my dream of experiencing living in different countries. I left the UK in 2006 and lived in Ireland for 7 years before moving to Canada, where I now live. There have been many other personal and professional changes over the years too.
Navigating the uncomfortable feelings, uncertainty, and the unknown can feel challenging and hard to process.
But here’s the thing. If I hadn’t been willing to step into the pain and discomfort that comes with creating and navigating change, I would have stayed stuck in a status quo I no longer wanted. I would have been throwing away my desire to design life and work that felt meaningful and fulfilling to me.
What people often overlook when they are just focusing on how hard creating change can be is this:
Creating change feels hard. But staying stuck feels hard and uncomfortable too. So, whichever option you choose, you are going to go through uncomfortable feelings.
But there is a difference between the two. It is this:
The permanent pain of staying stuck is far worse than the temporary pain of creating change.
When you choose to settle for a status quo you no longer want, is unfulfilling or not meaningful you stay stuck ongoing in those difficult feelings of being in something you don’t want and doesn’t work for you.
Yet, the pain of the change process is temporary. When you have navigated the process and come out the other side, the discomfort, uncomfortable feelings, and how hard it feels go away.
And that is an important thing to keep in mind when change feels hard because it puts you in a position of choice.
You can choose the ongoing pain and discomfort of feeling stuck or the temporary pain and discomfort of the change process.