Quit Whining and Embrace Change

I am about to embark on a journey that most people dread.

I am moving (and in my world, that means both my home and my office.)

My family moved about 1,000 times when I was a kid. OK, maybe not 1,000 – but definitely over six times. There were times when I attended a different school every year. I have such a negative Pavlovian response around moving that my heart rate will increase if I even see a moving box. That’s why I’m the world’s best tenant – once I find a place that I like, I stay there for a long, long time.

This has caused some…um…discussions with my husband. I’ve been pointing out everything that I don’t like about the new place. It’s too far of a commute. It’s not walkable. I don’t know if I’ll like it. It’s in the suburbs. I’ll miss my gas range.

My dear hubby’s favorite line right now is, “Sweetie, not all change is bad.” I can’t print what my typical response is, but it’s along the lines of “&#(*^#%#.”

Finally, after two sleepless nights in a row, I had what Wayne Dyer calls a “satori” moment. “This isn’t so bad,” I thought. “All will be fine. Everything is on track.”

I decided to quit whining and embrace change.

Personal change is hard – very hard. Changes within an organization can be even harder. That’s because change is usually implemented (and managed) by committee. One person is typically gung-ho (the evangelist,) while the other team members are feeling various forms of “Meh.” Instead of jumping on board and embracing change, people start nit-picking the process.

For instance, you’ve probably heard variations on these statements…

“It’s a bad time financially to make this move. Let’s put it off another quarter.”

“I like everything about this change except for X. Maybe we should shelve the project until we figure it out.”

“We’ve hired someone before and it didn’t work out. Why should we trust someone new?”

“What kind of guarantees can we get? I don’t want to do this if it may not accomplish X (typically an impossible goal.)

“Why should we change? Things are working.”

Or, if you own your own business, you may think…

“Everyone else is doing so much better than I am. Why bother marketing?”

“I’d like to start offering X service, but I don’t think I know enough.”

See, it’s a lot easier to complain about change (or postpone it) than embrace it. Change means you have to do things differently. Work with different people. Be in new surroundings. Go through unknown frustrations. Or, in my case, live in the ‘burbs.

And yeah, when you’re burned out and tired – it doesn’t seem quite worth it, somehow. We may not love our progress, but we’re comfortable with how we got here – and mixing it up seems too damn hard. Or scary. Or complex.

We’re all like that. It’s OK.

The key is to recognize when your need for comfort is screwing up your opportunity for growth. If your content marketing campaign is suffering because you don’t have a plan – quit whining about being “too busy” and hire someone. If you aren’t seeing the results you need to see, quit whining and try something else. It’s hard to catch yourself in those whiny moments and focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. But if you can, you’ll feel remarkably less stuck – and it will be easier to figure out a plan B.

Granted, your plan B may not work either. And that means trying plan C and plan D. The key is to keep on going until it does work – because it will, eventually. Change is messy, but growth is always guaranteed (from both a personal and business standpoint.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some boxes to pack.

7 replies
  1. Judith says:

    Moving from the city to the suburbs is a big change, so I understand your reluctance. As you pointed out, change in an organization isn’t any easier especially if the idea came from someone else – now if only you could get everyone in the organization to gain mass enlightenment.

  2. Amy C. Teeple says:

    Good luck with the move Heather! I can completely understand your desire to stay put.

    Not a huge fan of change myself, I have realized that sometimes you just have to do it.

    A great quote from the movie The Shawshank Redemption is “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” That is true for our businesses. If you’re not open to change, you can’t live and grow, which means you are just dying.

    It’s not easy, but we all have to be aware of potential changes and be willing to change.

  3. Matthew Newnham says:

    Hi Heather,

    Love your article – thanks as always. :-)

    Reminds me of what my spiritual teacher refers to as FGO’s (F’ing Growth Opportunities!); not comfy, but ultimately, we’re here for growth and learning, or the game is over.

    And as the world speeds up and we all seem to accelerate towards and through more change and FGO’s, we’ll all need to do a lot less whining and a lot more stretching…

    Now, time for me to get back to it and walk my talk…

    Best wishes from a rainy and cold-ish Edinburgh (not too different from Portland…)


    • Heather says:

      Matthew! I was just thinking about you the other day. It’s great to hear from you!

      Yes, those FGO’s are a challenge, aren’t they? I like to say that the longest dirty word in the language is “comfortable.” As soon as you get comfortable, growth stops. :)

      Enjoy the rain – I know that I am!

  4. Melanie Rembrandt says:

    Good Luck with the Move Heather!

    When it’s all over with, you’ll look back at this and laugh. I’ve moved 13 times, and it’s a lot of work. But you get the chance to discard a lot of junk in the process and “start fresh.”

    All the best,

    • Heather says:

      Hey, Melanie!

      13 times? Wow. I moved a bunch as a kid, but not so much in the last 15 years. I AM enjoying the purging process – right now, I’m giving away more than I’m moving. That makes me happy. :)

      Thanks for the good wishes! :)


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