I did something not too long ago that was pretty shocking. It created quite a stir. Yes, I did something so dramatic that it caused intense stares, gasps of surprise and looks of astonishment from friends and colleagues alike.
Was it something illegal? Something scandalous? Surely it was outrageous. Well, actually, no. It was really quite normal. I cut my hair. Yes, that’s right. I cut my hair.
And even though I really liked the new style, it seemed as if no one else did. I was questioned about it — a lot. It became the central point of conversation. I would attend meetings and the first 15 minutes would be spent discussing my hair. Friends, colleagues, even casual acquaintances seemed totally perplexed about why I did it.
I started to wonder, did I look that bad? Then, as I was just about to lose all sense of self, I realized that these reactions weren’t really aimed at my hair. Well, truth be told, probably some were. But I think far more were aimed at the act of change that my hair represented.
I had committed a real, obvious, concrete act of change. And that action served as a catalyst for interesting conversations and some important lessons. Yes, I learned a whole lot, not just about hairstyles, but about change itself.
Change is scary.
Even if it’s someone else’s change. It seems that change of any kind will elicit plenty of reaction and even some anxiety. We find comfort in the familiar, even when we really don’t like that familiar much anymore. Comfort can still seem better than the risk of change. And, when someone seeks out change, actually creates it, this can really upset the entire status quo.
Change causes a whole lot of doubt.
When we make a change, even a small one, we take a step out onto the road of uncertainty. And that’s when weird emotions and doubts come into focus. You start to question yourself and your instincts. You wonder what have I done? Why did I change something that seemed to be working? Will this change affect how I am perceived? Will it affect who I am? What’s going to happen next?
Change makes us embrace uncertainty.
But, once you’re traveling that road of uncertainty, there’s no place to go but forward. You have to embrace the unknown and just keep going. You have to learn to be quiet and listen to your inner voice and instincts. They tend to lead you in the right direction. You somehow find the right people along the way. And, you usually find the right place at just the right time.
One change often leads to many more.
Once you make a change, other changes seem to follow. They get easier. They certainly feel less risky. Instead of running from change, you find yourself marching toward it with confidence. Yes, one change, no matter how small, will usually signal many others are on the way. It’s like dominoes. It’s only a matter of time before more changes appear.
Change can be pretty great.
And as you get comfortable with change, you feel less frightened about pretty much everything. You feel self-assured, liberated, even excited about the possibility of new and different. All of a sudden, you find yourself open to new ideas and opportunities. Yes, you realize that change can be pretty great. Change can take us to all kinds of awesome, incredible places…