When you want to make a change in your career or business, the tendency is to look for the easy path. Our survival mind is always trying to move us from pain to pleasure. When we follow this instinct, we remain in a holding pattern safe in our comfort zone. Stepping outside of the normal way of being is threatening to us, even when it is so illogical to remain the same. This is why when someone says, "Follow the path of least resistance" we are fooled into thinking this is great wisdom. It gives us comfort to avoid conflict and pain.
Everyone has their own comfort circle that is different based on their early life environment. We are comfortable with certain types of people, places and even income. We want to have new experiences and reach higher goals, but the familiar is always more appealing on a deep level than the prospect of change.
I put off starting my business for over ten years. I kept waiting for the right moment until I got laid off and I was forced to make a bold decision to change. The easy path would be to find another job and get my steady paycheck, but the more inspiring path was to step outside of the familiar to try something new.
Stuck in Contemplation
There are many psychological theories on the process of change, but I find that the stage when you are just thinking about changing is the most difficult. You aren't happy in your comfort zone but also terrified of taking action or confused as to what action to take. You tend to look for an easy solution and that attempt keeps you in limbo. The key in this stage is simply to make a decision, any decision, and get moving.
Making the Commitment
The next stage after you made the decision is where the real discomfort kicks in. Things aren't flowing so you are tempting to return back to your safe zone. Your mind is screaming at you to turn around before it is too late and most of the time you listen to the fear. You are back to the beginning and returning to the uneasiness of being in limbo again.
I went through this cycle many times in my ten years of looking for the safe route and it lead me nowhere. I did not break free until I embraced the discomfort of change and kept moving. By stretching my limits I was able to start my own business that fueled my soul and change my annual income from my corporate job to my monthly income in just a few short years. This dramatic change would not have occurred if I remained in a resistance-free zone, waiting for a miracle to do it for me.
Conflict Creates Change
When a new life comes into the world, there are contractions. The muscles are undulating to push the baby out into the world. This process is painful to the mother and sometimes birthing our dreams can be just as stressful and uncomfortable. Your dreams are worth it.
A person's success can be determined in how much they allow themselves to be uncomfortable. There are so many wishful thinkers who are looking for their lucky break, a lottery ticket or someone to rescue them who never reach their dreams. They are waiting for the path of least resistance but it leads to a path of least existence.
Chaos, conflict and uncertainty cultivates your creativity and determination to find fresh solutions and innovations. The conflict of change is not there to harm you, but to help you grow and evolve. If you change your perspective about conflict you can learn to embrace them and love them. You will become a force that drives your life instead of one that is driven by it.