The pain of change

We are creatures of habit. 

Routine is one of those touted mandatory things that all successful people follow. Steve Jobs wore the same thing every day, the jeans and black turtleneck, so he never had to think about what he was going to wear. Read any “highly successful people do these three things” article and you’ll see the regular wake up time, the regular exercise, the routines that make up our lives. 

It is almost always easier to let things go, to not rock the boat, to stay stable and go with the flow. 

And yet, there are times when you can no longer ignore things that must change. 

Often you wait until you’re FORCED to make a change, when the situation is no longer bearable. Your spouse leaves you. You fall in love with someone else. Your company is acquired or downsizing. You find out your coworker is making more than you, when you’ve been there longer and do better work.

You just can’t take it anymore. 

Maybe you let it stew for a while and plan out what your next step will be or maybe you explode in anger or fear and do something drastic. 

Change is inevitable, whether you like it or not. It happens to you or you make it happen.

I have a good friend who recently changed jobs. He’d been at the same company for 20 years and was unhappy for at least 8. He was wooed away by a competitor. It took a year of convincing but when he made the move, he was so happy. He regretted waiting so long, berated himself for staying in an unhappy job for 8 long years. 

And he wondered if he hadn’t been pursued, would he have stayed at that miserable job forever, making excuses about why he couldn’t leave and hating himself for not being braver? 

When talking about change, another colleague who works at a bank told me that they eased this pain by offering new customers a “switch kit.” 

They identified the most painful things about switching banks and offered to take care of those things for new customers: they pre-ordered checks, gave customers a worksheet to write down their auto-payment info and then the bank did the work for them. They made it easier for people to make that switch. 

They listened to their customer’s objections and found a way to ease the pain of change. 

HR departments understand this when they design New Hire programs. They know that the pain of change is intermingled with the excitement of a new job. And that excitement can become negative feeling about your new job if the New Hire transition isn’t managed well. That’s why HR assigns you a mentor and gives you training to make your transition easier.

Can we get a “switch kit” for life, please? 

What can you do to make your own “switch kit”?

What needs to happen to prepare yourself? 

I love lists. I even put things that I’ve already done on my lists just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing them off that list. Here’s a quick list of how to start your own “switch kit” for that thing in your life that you’ve been putting off: 

  1. Imagine the future. Even if your dream seems crazy, your imagination is a safe place to start. Every new thing starts with an idea. 

  2. Think about what you want and why you want it. If you’re not sure where to start, look at your friends lives and imagine yourself living their lives. Can you imagine doing things that way, living differently? 

  3. Talk to people who are not your close friends. Reach out to connections who are doing the things you find interesting and just be curious. Ask questions about what it’s really like to work at Google, be a teacher or go back to get your MBA. 

  4. Make lists. Changing your life won’t happen all at once and if you think about ALL the things in your “switch kit,” chances are you’ll stay stuck. But once you make a list, you can start to do just one thing at a time. 

The bottom line

When you talk to people at the end of their lives, they often have regrets that you can avoid. 

Listen to that voice. Don’t stay underpaid, unappreciated or unhappy in your life. 

As far as we know, this is the only one you get, so make it count. 

One step at a time. 

Warmly, 
Melissa 

P.S. You know the ONE THING that will sabotage your success? Your mindset. If you don’t believe that you deserve more, then you will never convince someone else that you do. 

Check out my class  Fearless Mindset: Increase your confidence so you can take the next step.

Check it out HERE

Let’s connect! 

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