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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Don't Get Rid of Your Fear of "A" Change

I facilitate training on change management. I have a fairly good idea about the importance of change and the good it brings and yet, there are times when I find myself frozen in fear as change stares me in the face. I must admit that at times fear gets the better of me and turned my back on the need for change because I couldn't live with the risk involved.

I maintain that despite the occasional fear, I am a change advocate and considers that I have a good change batting average.

Fear of A change just like any other fear is a normal mental or physical reaction to danger. Fear is a defense mechanism. We need it to survive. To be unafraid of anything is to be suicidal. I believe that it is not only normal to fear A change , it's absolutely necessary to be afraid of it.

When a change is bound to happen or necessary we need to recognize the fear that comes with it. Face it, process it and then validate it. Not all changes are acceptable. We need to weed out the necessary from the unnecessary. We cannot just change for the sake of changing. It has to be meaningful and rewarding. Fear is necessary when they are valid and legitimate. Fear helps us recognize the dangers and plan the change so that dangers are minimized.

Fear of change is different from fear of A change. The former is wholesale fear. I seldom see peole who have it. Fear of A change is rational, normal and common. It should however not stop us from embracing change. The next time you find yourself considering a change. Recognize the uncomfortable feeling that comes with it. Ask where it's coming from and then ask what steps towards change you need to make in order to effect a smooth transition.

Oh, and let me throw in a line that Gwyneth Paltrow's character said to Ben Afleck's character in that movie "Bounce": 'It's not brave if you're not scared.'

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