Why is change so difficult?


Being a change agent seems to have come naturally to me, with personal campaigns starting at the age of 10! Yet, when change happens in my life I am no different than anybody else…..argh!!!

So why do we all struggle, to some extent, with change and how can you help others when change is needed?


I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘comfort-zone’ many times and can easily identify when something is in or out of your comfort zone, even being able to define how far out something is. Because we naturally aim to avoid pain and distress in our life the obvious place to reside is our comfort-zone, so when someone suggests or makes us move beyond the limits we have set, our ‘fear emotion’ is automatically triggered and our sympathetic nervous system kicks in with the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response.


Our ability to counteract these reactions and the speed in which we can return to our normal physiological state is dependent upon our previous life experiences, habits and current emotional level in relation to all other aspects of our life.


So if the immediate reaction to change is fear and this results in fight, flight or freeze responses, why as a change agent are we surprised when people respond to our great idea in one of the three most common ways:


  • Defensive – being argumentative and even accusatory

  • Disappearance - suddenly become very busy with other things or literally just disappearing!

  • Unresponsive - listen but don’t act


So what have we learnt works best to help people overcome their fear of change?


1. Explain the need for change in a way that means something to them


2. Be clear that their involvement matters in designing the right solution


3. Describe the support they will get whilst they lead the change themselves



Contact us today to see how we can help

#change #qualityimprovement #codesign