Why do we hang onto things we are familiar with and accustomed to?
I was reminded of a colleague who worked with me in local government during one of the many 4-yearly restructuring (in 1996), which would affect over 37,000 employees!
Jean had worked in local government for over 20 years and told me how much she loved her job, her team, and her environment; how safe and comfortable she had felt, and without realising, had mapped out the rest of her career remaining the same, without change!
I asked her about her last 20 years as first-line manager. She told me she had progressed from administration into management and over the years had taken on various roles, in different offices with changing teams!
I asked her what she loved about her role and environment and she spoke with such passion about how she just loved her life and work so much!
She began telling me about her feelings just prior to the last restructure. How much she loved that job, that environment, her former team. She hadn’t wanted that to change, but it did, and she did, and she had begun to love it SO much that NOW 4 years on, she didn’t want THIS job to change!
She realised that over the last 20 years she had undergone 5 significant changes in her role and environment, and that each time after the difficulties she had encountered with the fear of change, that the feeling of safety and security crept in very quickly again, where she felt comfortable again.
She realised change could be a great thing, and had been in the past, only she had focused on feeling unsafe and insecure instead of looking forward to feeling safe and secure only in a different way.
What is the lesson here?
We may be comfortable, safe and secure where we are, but the only constant is change, and that whilst there might be a short period of feeling unsafe and insecure, a new safe and secure feeling will return.