Posts tagged: Change

Making decisions in pencil

September 26, 2016
making decisions in pencil

A few years back, I was at a career crossroads and fortunately had an insightful coach to guide me.

I’d always imagined my life as a chess game where I could see multiple moves out — if I do this, it puts me in position for that, which will ultimately land me at my goal. My crisis was that I no longer saw the chess board and I couldn’t tell how the opportunity I was considering would play out in the long
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Why are we afraid of change? How change affects our social lives

September 12, 2016
change relationships

This is part four in our series exploring the science of our discomfort with change.

In the first post of this series, when we explored how human beings handle uncertainty, I mentioned a dream job across the country that you might, or might not, apply for. I mentioned how scary it can be to consider all the unknown outcomes of such a decision, such as where you’d live or whether the job would live up to expectations. But there’s another facet to such decisions: the impact of such a major life change on your relationships. Taking a job across the country could mean leaving family, friends, and a romantic partner behind and having to start over among strangers.

When I interviewed experts in a range of fields about how human beings make decisions, break habits, and handle things like loss and uncertainty, several of them cautioned against thinking solely in terms
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Why are we afraid of change? Examining the allure of habit

August 29, 2016

This is part three in our series exploring our fear of change.

“Lizards don’t learn very much,” writes neuroscientist Marc Lewis in his book, “The Biology of Desire.” “Their repertoire of skills is innate.”

By contrast, mammals have brains that “are designed for learning — they are designed to change — in sync with their environments.” We humans have evolved to adapt to cold weather, to fashion new tools, to adventure to new lands.

So why is change so hard for us, when we are, apparently, so used to it?
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Why are we afraid of change? How fear of loss holds us back

August 22, 2016

This is part two in our series exploring our fear of change.

Why is it so hard to give up what we have in exchange for something that seems better? It turns out, there’s a lot of research into how people make decisions in the economic arena that can help us understand why it can be difficult to change course, even when we say we want
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Why are we afraid of change? The science of uncertainty

August 15, 2016
Fear of change

So many of us struggle to change careers, to leave a bad relationship, to go back to school. In my social circle, I can think of just two friends who are notably good at change; the rest (myself included) tend to freeze up when we consider breaking with the past in a significant way. Neuroscientist Dean Burnett’s new book, “Idiot Brain,” addresses the ways our brains trip us up. I asked him why humans might be wired to resist making changes even when we say we want them.

“In an evolutionary sense, the brain doesn’t like uncertainty. Anything uncertain is potentially a threat,” Burnett
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How I changed careers (and found work that is truer to my nature)

July 11, 2016

Rachel Cohen is a licensed New York social worker, freelance writer, and Fordham grad. She currently works at the Association of Community Employment (ACE), assisting the homeless population in finding full-time jobs. She loves writing about social work, self-care, mental health, and vocational development.

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For the last three years that I worked as a digital editorial director, I loathed not only my job, but also my career. “Loathed” is a pretty strong word, but it’s accurate. I felt dread at the first hint of my alarm clock every day. What’s worse, I felt despair every night, thinking that I was powerless and that this feeling would never end.

Depressed, I tried to eat away my problems — my typical solution — which led to major weight gain. I was sick and lethargic, often from the stress.

I didn’t have the nerve to quit, and instead I fantasized about getting
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5 strategies to help you make a change in your life

June 22, 2016

We’ve been helping people get unstuck for almost five years now (actually, make that 22 years, which is how long our parent company, SYPartners, has been helping business leaders get unstuck). Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to move someone from thinking about change to making one.

Later this summer, we’re debuting an online course designed to arm you with a personalized blueprint for change. For now, we have five pieces of core advice that can help you find the courage, motivation, momentum, support, and perspective to leap into the
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7 simple ways to take a risk

September 8, 2015

Here’s what we love about risk: It breaks boundaries and broadens our world. It delivers a kind of exhilaration that following the rules never will. It helps us determine our own destiny.

We don’t suggest daredevil antics, but we do endorse trying something new on a regular
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Does sticking to the rules get you stuck?

May 8, 2015

Stuck moment: I’ve lived in this building for eight years, and I like the place just the way it is. But now this idiot — who moved in, what, last week? — is campaigning to have the lobby redone. No, thank you. Everything is perfectly fine as it is. Why can’t people leave well enough alone?

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We all like a sure thing. Sure things mean safety and comfort and confidence and success. But sometimes, when we hang on too tightly, we get stuck in a sneaky way.

It usually happens when someone challenges — intentionally or otherwise — the way we believe things should be. It hits us in the gut. Puts us off-kilter. Maybe even threatens our security. A chorus of “No! That’s wrong. That’s not how it’s supposed to be,” rings in our head. In our heart we wonder, “I’m following the rules, so why aren’t
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How to deal with change you didn’t ask for

October 9, 2014

Stuck moment: Wait, you changed the process? But I’ve never done it that way before, and I can’t guarantee that I’ll be much good at it. Yeah, I’m not really warming up to this idea. You all have fun with that — I’ll just stick to what I know.

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Sure, there are thrill-seekers who feel most alive when they’ve got one foot dangling off the edge of the known universe. And then there’s the rest of us. Reluctant Adapters. Creatures of comfort who quite enjoy the feeling of steady ground beneath our feet.

When change is afoot, it’s the ambiguity that gets us stuck. How will the change affect me? Am I losing something as a result? I don’t understand how this will work. Consequently, our reactions don’t mirror our best selves. We cling to what we know, avoid what’s coming, and generally start hating what we wish weren’t inevitable.

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