If you have ever wondered, “Why do I hate change in my life?”, you are among the multitudes of people who ask themselves this question every day. There are many reasons you may be resistant to change. Perhaps you fear the unknown. Change often brings uncertainty, and naturally, you may be uncomfortable with this uncertainty.

COMFORT ZONE

Another reason you may hate change in your life is that it takes you out of your comfort zone. During our lives, we develop routines and habits that become familiar and even comforting to us. We are attached to the way things are. When change happens, our routines are disrupted, and the discomfort of stepping out of our comfort zones can lead to resistance.

STATUS QUO

Change can make anyone feel like they have less control over their circumstances. In some cases, this lack of agency can threaten one’s sense of self and make them question the status quo. Throw the status quo into question and something strange begins to happen – cognitive dissonance.

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE

Have you ever been in a situation where you had two opposing views on something, but found yourself unable to reconcile them in your mind? This phenomenon is commonly referred to as cognitive dissonance. It is the uncomfortable tensions you experience from having conflicting beliefs, values, and attitudes. Cognitive dissonance can also occur when your behavior contradicts your beliefs and values. When new information or circumstances conflict with existing beliefs and values, people may resist change to reduce the discomfort of cognitive dissonance.

EVERY WHICH DIRECTION EXCEPT FORWARD

Why do I hate change in my life? Me personally, I hate change in my life because it confuses me and trips me up. Every time something in my life changes, it makes me feel like I am taking ten steps in every which direction except forward. Here is how I approach life; I am the kind of person who likes to dig up the earth and sow seeds and tend to them until the roots grow deep into the earth and take hold firmly. When change happens, it’s like a gust of wind snatching up the seeds and scattering them on concrete.

HUMAN EVOLUTIONARY TRAIT

I often wonder if there is an evolutionary reason why humans in general resist change. Can it be traced back to some evolutionary aspect of our psychology? I am not an anthropologist or anything, but I am going to throw in some uneducated theories anyway:

Survival Instinct: Throughout human evolution, the environment was unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Those of our ancestors who were cautious about changes in their surroundings were the most likely to survive. Observing familiar patterns and routines could have helped early humans avoid unknown risks, such as marauding predators.    

Energy Conservation: Change consumes a lot of mental and physical energy. Our ancestors constantly had to deal with scarce resources, and so conserving energy was crucial for survival. It is possible that avoiding unnecessary changes may have been an energy-conserving strategy.

Social Cohesion: Humans are social animals. Early human societies relied on cooperation and strong social bonds to survive. Stability and predictability within the group may have been necessary for social cohesion, and members of the group who resisted change were more likely to maintain these critical social bonds.

HOW TO ADAPT TO CHANGE

Regardless of whether our dislike for change is a human evolutionary trait or not, change is nevertheless an inevitable part of life. We are better off learning how to adapt to change for our own sakes. Here are 3 tips I hope will get you on your way to being an adapting machine:  

Stay in the Moment: Dwelling too much on future events that haven’t happened or are yet to happen only leads to stress and anxiety. Instead of dwelling, acknowledge the changes that are to come, and then stay in the present moment. Focusing on the here and now can help you manage your emotions and reduce the anxiety or fear associated with change.

Make a Mindset Shift: The very thought of change fills us with dread. But a mindset shift in the positive direction can help us recognize thatthere are potential opportunities and benefits that may come from change. Try to identify these opportunities and benefits and take advantage of them to make the process of adapting to change smoother and more constructive. For example, packing up your entire life and moving to a new city where you have never lived before and have no relations can be a daunting task. But this may be an opportunity to meet new people and make connections that may give you a fresh perspective on life.

Plan and Prepare: When facing anticipated change, it is a good idea to take proactive measures to plan and prepare. Rather than taking drastic measures, think about the little things you can do consistently to prepare for the change. This might involve researching and gathering information, setting achievable goals, and creating a strategy for navigating the transition.

A CONSTANT

Why do I hate change in my life? Now that we have explored the What, How, and Why of this question, we would do well to recognize that change is a constant in life. Adapting to new situations and challenges is necessary, if not, essential for our well-being. Whether it’s a small bump in the road or a personal crisis, our ability to adapt can determine how well we navigate and overcome the challenges that may come with change.

CATALYST

Throughout human history, change has been a catalyst for innovation. Changes in the environment or circumstances required our ancestors to find novel solutions to problems or approach situations from a different perspective. In the same way, we too can use change as a tool for personal growth.

As the saying goes, Adapt, or Die.

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Feature Image: Adapt or Go Extinct by Artistrophe – Powered by AI-Generated Art   

Face close-ups of mermaids surrounded by seashells gazing into the distance, illustration from science fiction comic book by Artistrophe

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