“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”- Winston Churchill
Resistance to change is common and a natural phenomenon. Change usually interferes with our autonomous mode and can make people feel that they have lost control over their territory. It’s not just political, as in who has the power. Our sense of self-determination is often the first thing to go when faced with a potential change coming from someone else. Even biologically, we are hardwired to resist change. Part of the brain—the amygdala—interprets change as a threat and releases the hormones for fear, fight, or flight. Our body actually protects us from change. However, resistance to change hinders adaptations and progress. One needs to go with the flow of change and not put up barriers against it. Here are the top 10 reasons why we resist change.
We resist change sometimes because we lack information about future events. It represents fear of the unknown. Lots of us don’t know how change will affect us and we presume it to be for the worse.
People with a high need for security are likely to resist change because it threatens their feelings of safety.
Usually, people don’t want to disturb their status quo and hence prefer to do things that are easy and comfortable to do. This is why people don’t want to shake things up or to try something new.
- Concerns about competence
Change is resisted when it makes people feel stupid. They might express skepticism towards change but deep down they believe their skills will be obsolete.
- Past resentments
The ghosts of the past are always lying in wait to haunt us. As long as everything is in a steady state, they remain out of sight. But the minute you need cooperation for something new or different, the ghosts spring into action. One should know how to heal the past and only then can they embrace change.
- Increase in responsibility
Sometimes, a change may add more work and responsibility to the existing work of the people. To run away from this, people resist change.
- Improper communication
If the need for the change is not communicated to the people in time and in an acceptable manner, then it can lead to resistance. A sense of participation in the change process, reduces the extent of this resistance.
- Emotional turmoil
Those who are forced to accept the change commonly experience emotional side effects.They feel a sense of loss over past ways of doing things. This generates resistance.
- Loss of power and control
There are times when a change will reduce the power base of an individual, group or unit and the prospect of such loss of power will create resistance, even though such change may be considered good as a whole.
- Peer pressure
People resist change because people around them oppose it. They obey the group norms for fear of social boycott.
These are the some of the main reasons why people resist change. However, change allows us to move forward in life and experience new and exciting things. Learning new skills or working on your inner self can bring about changes you never knew were possible.