6 Forces Resisting Change

by  Mike Henry  |  Self Leadership

I recently wrote a post titled 5 Ideas To Direct Your Best Energy Toward Your Greatest Purpose. We need to mobilize leaders. Personally, I want to hate my laziness,  television,  surfing, and anything keeping me from impact.  I hope to connect with a movement of leaders who are driven to make a positive difference.

Many people don’t want to pursue a great goal. Change forces us to expend energy and take risk. Always what we have, our current state, serves as either a weight to drag us down or a counter-weight that launches us into the future. If we’re content enough, we never pursue change. We risk elevating our purpose and making our greatest impact. But if we’re miserable enough our current state can launch us into new and greater impact.

Change requires leadership. We don’t need anyone to lead same.

I often say that the key to change is misery. You can solve any problem in the world if you can find someone with the solution and make them as miserable as the people with the problem. Lack of misery enables status quo. Comfort lulls us to sleep and to emptiness.

In fact, I thought of 6 things that we tend to hang on to rather than pursue a greater life. See if any of these ring a bell with you:

Fear of the unknown – “What’s going to happen?” Do you find yourself thinking of the negative outcomes of a new venture or the positive ones? Many people can find the obstacles, few can find the path. Be a pathfinder.

Risk of loss (like power, authority, or money) – “That won’t work for me!” Often closely related to a fear of the unknown and a negative predisposition, we often take the bird in the hand rather than seeing what’s out there for us. In the end, whatever we hold can sink us or elevate us. It’s your choice.

Risk of embarrassment – “What if it doesn’t work?” Lack of confidence and fear of others’ opinion of us can be paralyzing. My plan each day is to screw up early and get it over with. The first failure each day is the hardest. From then on, I’m free to pursue the grandest and stupidest ideas I might have.

Plain old laziness – “I don’t care.” Often this results from the lack of a compelling mission. Most of us have things that we care for greatly. Your place in the world is where your greatest passion intersects with the world’s greatest need. When you get there, you won’t be lazy. Keep looking.

Passivity or Apathy – let someone else do it. Similar to laziness. Focus on the benefit. Give everything you have for the greatest possible outcome. Passivity and laziness and the status quo are so boring in comparison.

Chaos (or the unsettled state of change) – “Why mess with it?” Or “How does that help?” Often this is a desire for comfort, closely related to Laziness or Passivity. Desire for comfort is my greatest weakness. I most constantly rehearse the feeling I’ll have when my dreams are realized.

Can you think of others?  Please take a minute and share your thoughts.  What tempts you to embrace the status quo?

The status quo is a liar. It’s never better than what can happen when committed people serve others. Don’t let the these 6 forces resist your path to a life of impact.

Related posts:

  1. 5 Ideas To Direct Your Best Energy Toward Your Greatest Purpose
  2. War with Apathy
  3. 5 Harsh Truths Every Aspiring Leader Needs to Know

Photo © Tony Campbell – Fotolia.com

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About The Author

Articles By mike-henry
Chief Instigator (Founder) of Lead Change Group and VP of IT for a mid sized technology company. Passionate about character-based leadership and making a positive difference.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

paul wilkinson  |  28 Jun 2013  |  Reply

Mike nice piece. We are continually meeting forms of resistance to change, sometimes positive resistance which can be channeled towards success, sometimes negative resistance.
We use business simulation games to help create buy-in, create positive energy and confidence and tackle resistance.

Here are some more we’ve discovered

attitude: not understanding or feeling the sense of urgency for the change. What are the consequences if we don’t change. Ansering the questions ‘what’s in it for me?’ how will this benefit me, sometimes this isn’t obvious. In a busines simulation people feel and experience the benefits of a changed way of working, less stress, more in control, time to do other things…..these help change the attitude towards the change.

Lack of management commitment: this scores number 1 world wide in our ABC (Attitide, behavior, Culture) – worst practice surveys into change. managers who don’t walk the talk, who don’t lead by eaxmple, who don’t support, facilitate, enable, empower and help motivate people to change.

These were a couple of more examples we see.



Mike Henry  |  28 Jun 2013  |  Reply

Great additions Paul. Thanks very much for the additions. Mike…

Susan Mazza  |  28 Jun 2013  |  Reply

Powerful Mike! I especially like “The status quo is a liar!” It breeds complacency that actually puts at risk the very thing we are trying to protect. Nothing stays the same. The biggest cost of all to me of resisting change is the experience of life and if being alive that we get from getting out of our comfort zone and making a difference.

Mike Henry  |  28 Jun 2013  |  Reply

Susan, thanks so much for the comment and the additions. I appreciate your travels outside the comfort zone. Mike…

Christopher Avery  |  28 Jun 2013  |  Reply

Nice Mike. Thanks. (And hello Susan!). I sure appreciate what you (both) do and who you are.

I like this: “the key to change is misery.” And I also like learning that there is another key to change, which is discovering one’s freedom, power, choice, and ability to learn and grow. Both are true. I’ve changed due to both and the second is more fun.

Mike Henry  |  28 Jun 2013  |  Reply

Thanks Christopher. I often say that for impact. The misery can be the result of understanding the difference between where you are now and how free you can be to learn and grow. It’s the gap between where we are and where we’d like to be. Thanks for the comment. Mike…

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