”It is not the strongest of species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” - Charles Darwin
Why are many of us so resistant to change?
Do you like change? Are you excited by sudden shifts in your daily life? Maybe you're one of the few who love change. Maybe you run in the direction of every opportunity and are a huge fan of the unknown. I know some people like that.
They're far and few between.
The majority of us have some reservations about change. They're blameless, of course -- change can be scary. It's way more comfortable to stick to what's familiar. At least weknowit well. Even if what's familiar to us is uncomfortable as hell, who knows what kind of risks we assume when we lean into change.
But the big reason that change is scary is because of our natural fear of the unknown. But what if the unknown isn't that scary? What if the things we don't know are those things that can improve our lives, fulfill us, and bring us closer to our potential?
Four days before my 19th birthday, I began working at a bank. At the time I was working full time and a full-time student. I began as a receptionist. A week later I was in the International Dept. A week after that and I was in the real estate department.
I loved it there.
Though I didn’t know squat about real estate, I was a fast learner and made friends with all the other early-twenties coworkers in the real estate department. At the time, the RE department and the legal department shared the space. But that wouldn't last long. Soon, the legal department would move up to their own space on the 3rd floor. Legal would be the "it" department to work in.
The older General Counsel, a whip-smart, cigar-smoking Cuban in a three-piece suit, Dr. Martinez, had apparently been watching me crank out words on my Selectric typewriter. He asked if I could retype the real estate mortgage the bank used for all their closings.
I’ve never been one to pull the "that's not my job" line. Though I didn't work for him, I was flattered that he’d asked. The 25 page legal sized document was soon complete. Every i was dotted and every t crossed in a day. Dr. Martinez was impressed. I was delighted.
He told me that, when they moved up to the 3rd floor, he was taking me with him. Of course I didn’t really know what that meant. I was having tons of fun with my group of friends in RE to want to go anywhere.
A few months passed.
I’d met my future husband in January. We were engaged by June to be married by November and pregnant by October.
My life was building up around me while the newly-minted legal department was unveiled.
Lo and behold, Dr. Martinez didn’t forget what he'd said. Apparently, he'd spoken to my boss without my knowledge. My boss assured me that he'd hate to lose me, but he knew what a great opportunity it would be.
I said ‘no thank you’.
I was not ready for a change. It didn't matter if it meant a better career or more fulfilling work or a better office or whatever. I was having too much fun in the RE department. Besides, I was in college for a totally unrelated degree. I fed myself that classic line that this is not what I'd be doing after I graduated.
But Dr. Martinez was persistent. He insisted I reconsider and his legal assistant did the same. Eventually, my husband caught wind that it would double my salary in a day. He insisted I reconsider, too.It was a great opportunity I couldn't pass up.
Hesitantly, I agreed and packed up my Garfield memorabilia and pictures of my pink Mustang. I moved upstairs and set them back down in my new office in my new career.
That one simple decision changed the course of my life. Dr. Martinez taught me how title worked, way back when you actually had to do the title and know the whole process inside and out. They even paid for my paralegal studies at FIU.
Over the years I learned and honed my skills. Eventually, I grew enough in my experience that I opened my own title company. It provided a great living for my family and gave me an opportunity to spoil my children big-time.
I loved every minute of the 28 years that I did title.
Then a mission trip and a professional certified coaching program at UM taught me how much more I loved coaching and philanthropy than I loved title.
I had no problem flipping that switch again because I had embraced every blessing that came with change.
For me, life's about reaching beyond your comfort zone and allowing yourself to become who you are destined to become. Give God permission to use you for his great work. You're a part of a story bigger than yourself, and when you fear change, you might not get to see the best chapters.
Embrace the discomfort that can come with change. Allow yourself the wonder of seeing what’s on the other side. I promise it will be magical.
Cynthia Ocelli said: For a seed to fulfill its greatest expression it must come completely undone. Its shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it looks like complete destruction.
Embrace change and express your potential.