The great Greek philosopher Heraclitus said that “change is the only constant” in the world. He believed that the idea of permanence was a mere illusion that people believed in to go on in life. As we think about it, we realize we are constantly under some kind of change. Change is everywhere, as we grow older, not only do we see a physical change in ourselves but it also gives a certain emotional maturity leading us to change our perspective on situations and events.
Despite change being so inevitable and all around us, we as human beings, are creatures of habit and more often than not, we respond to change with resistance. If you looked around, you’ll find examples of it all around you. We see that in a friend who has been smoking all his adult life, we see it in him when he is unable to quit the habit despite knowing detrimental effects of it. The only thing that is destined to happen to anyone who is born, is for them to age. Nobody can escape it, but we still see some people trying to hide from it, live in a state of denial. After bringing to everyone’s notice about our reluctance at accepting change with open arms, it is important to understand this behavior, it is important to understand why we show reluctance in accepting a certain change even after recognizing that it is good for us.
As mentioned earlier, human beings are creatures of habit. It takes us a long time involving a lot of reinforcements and conditioning for us to develop a habit or to learn a certain behavior. So, when a new change is brought in, then we observe this change being met with some resistance by individuals. New changes will bring with them new problems and that is something that people do not like to experience. Learning about a new technological change and having to use that in their daily lives instead of the one they had been already using is not easily accepted because with that new technology, there will be new set of problems and their solutions that they will have to learn thus individuals have a tendency to try and stick with the old way for as long as they can. Another reason why people do not accept change easily is because they are afraid to be different from the peers. For instance, if all your peers are heavy consumers of alcohol, chances are, you would also start consuming alcohol, in order to be a part of the social circle and not be outside it. Abraham Maslow, the famous American psychologist also talked about people’s need to be a part of the group and any change that threatens their position in the group will be met with a certain amount of unwillingness to accept it. It has been observed that sometimes people also resist change because of their lack in faith in the person in the position of power, making those decisions. If the government comes up with a certain change in the way the state functions, it is important for the people of the state to have faith in its government, then only will those changes be executed.
Having said that, it would not be right to assume that change is always met with resistance because, as mentioned earlier, we are all under constant change, irrespective of whether we are aware of it or not. So, it is important to understand why and what makes an individual change? One of the most common reason is when a person is motivated to do better. The spirit of “if they can do it, so can I” is one of the biggest reasons why people change. Being inspired by others and then bringing a change in yourself is a very healthy way of accepting change. One instance of this is when you hear stories of formerly overweight individuals now living a fit life, it inspires others to switch from their unhealthy lifestyle to healthy one. As we know, a particular behavior or habit is learnt over years, gradually, with time we grow as individuals and what seemed like a great idea in your twenties could seem harmful to you in your fifties. So, time and age also play a critical role in determining our stance on change.
As proved by researchers and psychologists, incorporating change in our lives is not a one-day task but in reality, it is a whole process which requires a lot of motivation, dedication and support from others. This just further proves that even though change is difficult to accept and include it in our lives, but it is not impossible, we just have to set our minds to it, and there is nothing we cannot do, that’s the power of the human mind and will.