How to Embrace Change and Make it Positive : Under30CEO How to Embrace Change and Make it Positive : Under30CEO
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How to Embrace Change and Make it Positive

| February 19, 2010 | 7 Comments

changeIt is not a question of IF major changes will occur in our lives, but rather a question of when and how often they will occur.

We will experience change in many areas of our lives – our homes, our beliefs, our careers, our health, our friendships, and our love lives. Change is inevitable and it occurs regardless of whether or not we are prepared for it.

For the most part, people resist anything that may be uncomfortable. This is because there is a part of us that wants to keep us safe.  Change often forces us to venture into unknown terrain.  The unknown could bring disappointment, rejection, and fear.  But no matter how much we may resist it, change happens.

Sometimes change happens against our will, such as the athlete who is struck with a career ending injury or the family who has to relocate because of a job transfer. However, sometimes we initiate change on our own, such as choosing to end a relationship or take on a new job.

Many people feel that it is easier to initiate change if they’re unhappy. If we’re unhappy, we can ask ourselves, what’s the worst that can happen if I make this adjustment in my life?  Can things really get any worse?  People wait until they are in debt before they make the effort to learn about financial planning.  Or they wait until they are constantly arguing with their partner before they enter couples therapy or end the relationship.  They wait until work has become unbearable before they look for a new job.  In other words, if it’s clear that we are unhappy, we are more willing to expose ourselves to the risk of change.

The challenge in initiating change comes when we are comfortable. If we are comfortable with the status quo, then why should we change?  If we are comfortable, then change appears to be something that could bring us more bad than good.

But what if being too comfortable is a sign that we need to make a change? What if complacency means that we aren’t thinking big enough or stepping outside of our comfort zone as often as we should be?  What if being comfortable means that we are not challenging ourselves to accomplish all that we could accomplish? What if it means we are selling ourselves short?

When we get too comfortable in a relationship, or at work, or with our daily routine, we may find that our results and happiness in those areas begin to diminish.

Those who achieve the most in life are those who think the biggest.  And thinking big requires initiating change before change is needed. The people who do this successfully are those who are able to recognize when they have become too complacent.

They have the foresight to recognize that stepping outside of their comfort zone in certain areas of life may provide them with a great learning experience. Their attitude leaves no room for regrets, and they are willing to accept the risk of change because of it provides an opportunity for growth and achievement.

They still may worry at times about what will come from the change, but they associate that feeling with excitement and possibility, rather than fear, rejection, and disappointment.

As a coach, I challenge clients to recognize these opportunities for growth and excitement.  I also support my clients through the challenging feelings of fear and insecurity that may arise when they decide to initiate change.

In summary, whether change occurs due to internal or external conditions, it is important to consider the benefits that change may bring.

Here are my questions for you:

  • What areas of your life have you become too comfortable with?
  • What change(s) could you make that could potentially bring more excitement, growth, and opportunity into your life?
  • What is the last major change you made in your life?  Was it a scary choice to make that change?  Looking back on that change, has it been beneficial?

Zak Kraft is a personal coach who helps small business owners focus on the key result areas of their businesses.  His coaching program helps them to think bigger, to achieve more consistent results, and to spend more time on the parts of the business they truly enjoy.  Check him out @

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Category: Personal Branding, Startup Advice

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  • Srinivas Rao

    I'm not sure where I've necessarily become too comfortable, but I think your points are spot on. This has been my favorite post @under30CEO this week. As far as changes I could make, I could invest more money into my side/blogging business, but I'm already on my way to doing that. For me, the last major change I made was walking out of a job that I hated with a passion after 6 months of searching and only 2 weeks. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made because I'm happier and I make more money now. Like you said change is difficult because it's unfamiliar territory.

  • Clinton Skakun

    Wow this post almost fits perfectly with a lesson I learned this week: people are addicted to comfort and they might even kill to resist change.

    After learned that I asked myself this question: How can I get more uncomfortable? Almost everything that's comfortable is somewhat dangerous long term. Things like avoiding calling certain people, getting out of bed too late, putting things off until the end of the month etc.

    As writing this comment I came to another conclusion: if I wasn't so comfortable I might be happier.

    Great Post!:)


  • Jared O'Toole

    Glad you like it Srinivas! I would say that was a huge change you made which is great. To many people hesitate or never make that big change at all which is the worst thing you can do. Most people come out of change for the better because if you were %100 happy you wouldn't even be thinking about change in the first place.

  • Jared O'Toole

    Great Clinton! People are definitely addicted to comfort. When you step out of that comfort zone is when you learn more and grow more.

    If you noticed our interview yesterday that was us stepping out of our comfort zone. And its been a blast!

  • thebaumgroup

    Change is difficult at first; then change becomes natural, normal and begins to open new learning opportunites for you. Embrace change to make a difference in your life. The choice is yours.

  • thebaumgroup

    Change is difficult at first; then change becomes natural, normal and begins to open new learning opportunites for you. Embrace change to make a difference in your life. The choice is yours.