But We’ve Always Done It This Way! Embracing Change for the New Year
I grew up as the daughter of a Methodist minister. As any PK (preacher’s kid) knows, the parsonage can be an interesting vantage point from which to view some very pedantic behavior from some otherwise good church people.
One of the behaviors that irritated both my parents was the inevitable resistance to any type of change. When my father changed Sunday service from 11:00 am to 9:30 am to avoid the heat of summer in the days before air conditioning, the protest was loud and long.
The battle cry of those resisting change was always the same. “But we’ve always done it this way!” They would exclaim, as if repetition guaranteed a better outcome than innovation ever could.
Many years later, I see the same resistance in myself, and in the people around me. Nowhere does it show up more clearly than in my constant struggle to stay current with technology.
“What do you mean, I can’t use the same password for everything? I used to be able to! Why should I have to deal with unique passwords now?”
Of course, the reason in this example is obvious. New security measures dictate new passwords.
What is it in the human mind that makes us so very resistant to change, even when the change is obviously necessary? Familiarity is comfortable, and routine can become tradition/
My resistance to every upgrade sheds light on why it is so hard to create personal growth in our own lives.
The New Year always comes with our heartfelt resolutions to do better, but we usually backslide to our default behaviors pretty quickly. Maybe that’s not because we are weak or lazy. Maybe that’s because we are inherently comforted by routine, and therefore inherently afraid of the change that takes us away from our routine.
This year, I am going to try something different. Here is the prayer/affirmation/resolution I am going to use for this New Year.
In 2016, I will be willing to release the comfort of familiarity, whenever that familiarity is keeping me from something better.
In 2016, I will be willing to learning new things, and try new things, especially things that are outside of my comfort zone.
In 2016, I will embrace change, even if I am fearful.
I truly believe these affirmations could make a difference for me, and for other people. Perhaps, if we all released old ways that don’t work in favor of ways that do, we might find the whole world benefits from some much-needed change.