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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norton

Overcoming your own resistance

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

My birthday is coming up this weekend, a milestone after forty that tends to be bittersweet at best. It’s not the aging process that gets me. In fact, I revel in the Shakespeare quote, “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”

What bothers me more than the lines around my eyes is a new rigidity in my thinking that occasionally crops up.

I find myself thinking:

Really? Another new platform? This technology is going to kill me. Does anyone else miss paper?

Ugh, this initiative again? Been there done that, gave the t-shirt to Goodwill at least ten years ago.

Why does everyone else look so on-trend? And, when did people start saying on-trend?

My mentor in change management, Don Harrison, taught me that you can expect to see the greatest resistance to change from those with the most invested in the status quo. It won’t be from the new folks who have everything to learn and nothing to lose. It won't be from the top executives who have earned the right to take new risks. It will be from mid-career leaders, the ones who have invested years working to achieve success based on a certain set of cultural norms and expectations.

I have always considered myself open-minded, but I am learning that even with a natural disposition towards curiosity, as I age, I have to work harder to overcome resistance to new ideas. I have to actively fight the cynicism that comes with so many laps around the block.

If you find yourself resisting change, ask yourself:

Am I willing to dismantle my current reality for a better future? What is my discomfort really trying to tell me? What fear is underneath this gut response?




 


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