Change is threatening
Change is threatening (see my earlier post: “Why is Change so Scary?”).
There is no doubt that, for most of us, keeping things as they are, is comfortable and easy. So we are tempted to dip our toe in the water slowly, to minimise the shock. This is completely the wrong thing to do in times when change is absolutely needed, to respond to a scary array of economic, social and environmental threats.
How do you get into a swimming pool? If it is lovely and warm, then is really doesn’t matter. But what if the water is a little colder? What about getting into a stream or the sea when the water has a distinct chill?
What Type of Person are You?
Maybe you are someone who steps in gingerly, trying to minimise the shock. By the time you are ready to take the final plunge, you are cold, miserable and fearful of the shock. On the other hand, maybe you just jump or dive straight in. There is a moment of shock, and then your body’s defensive mechanisms kick in.
It’s about your Strategy
Now look around at the other bathers. Nobody envies those who get in tiny step by tiny step. Many of us, however, are in awe of those who dive straight in and start swimming immediately. Is the water any less cold for them? No. Are they any braver than us? No. They simply have a different strategy.
What would happen though, if you saw a small child struggling in the water? Would you dip a toe in to see how it is, then gingerly splash a little water on your calves? Maybe then, you might get a little water on your hands and rub it carefully on your shoulders, so that, over three or four minutes, you are ready to start swimming out to the child. Nonsense!
Urgency Changes Everything
Change is the same. In a benign environment, you can dive in or take your time. It really does not matter. But when urgent action is necessary for survival, dive straight in. Let your body’s defensive mechanisms protect you from the shock.
The “so what?”
When things get tough, dive straight into change, immerse yourself in it, commit to it whole-heartedly.