The Fear of Change

The iPhone 4I don’t know about you, but when I see the notification on my phone or computer that says “New Update Available” I panic a little bit.

It seems that these updates are coming more often now, and just about the time I get used to the way things are, there’s an update that causes things to change.

Sometimes I put it off and ignore it.

Sometimes I embrace it and do it immediately.

Sometimes I ask someone else about it to see how it went for them.

I respond differently every time.

In fact, we all respond to change in different ways, because it affects us all differently.

Some of us ignore it and hope that it will go away.

Some of us embrace it and are actually excited about what the change will bring.

Some of us want to get consensus to see if others will be happy with the change, than we step into it.

Here’s the truth about change:  It’s Coming. It’s ALWAYS Coming. I hate to tell you this, but you can’t ignore it and you can’t avoid it. It’s coming.

This is what happens when you allow fear to keep you from embracing the change:

FEAR will Paralyze you.

You’ll be stopped in your tracks, you won’t be able to breath. The fear of change, of something new, might upset you, it might cause you to freak out.

FEAR will Isolate you.

Some people have learned to adjust with the continual change that is coming. If you can’t learn to adjust, you will be left behind, you will be isolated.

FEAR will Embarrass you.

You will be asked about something that is constantly changing, and you need to be able to be informed and able to communicate how you have addressed this particular area of change.

FEAR will Discourage you.

We don’t like to be stuck. When we see things changing around us, it’s easy to get discouraged, to lose hope, to feel overwhelmed.

Here’s a little secret:  While I am sometimes very quick to embrace change, there are other times that I resist it. There are times that I don’t want anything to do with it, in fact, there are times that I fight it.  Sometimes change just comes too quickly. Sometimes the change makes things worse. Sometimes the change is really inconvenient. Sometimes I just don’t want to change!

How are you doing with the fear of change?

Think of a recent change you’ve embraced or ignored:  How did you feel through that process? How did it work out? What could you have done differently?

Don’t let the fear of change keep you from identifying and addressing the change. Figure out what your comfort level is, and don’t get stuck!

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu

*For more on CHANGE

Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world. Russ' passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness. Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 29 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. Write directly to Russ at: rcline@extremeresponse.org www.extremeresponse.org www.leadermundial.org twitter: leadonesource, leadermundial

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