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The Status Quo, Your Comfort Zone, and Fear

Do we scream at the tide and wonder why the tide isn’t listening?

Doggedly holding onto the status quo while our organization changes strategies or shifts to a new computer system is like standing on the beach and trying to stop the tide from coming in. It is a losing battle. Yet some people decide to push back on the tide, or yell at the tide. We all know that these people are wasting time and energy fighting against the tide. Meanwhile, other people see the tide as a force multiplier. They turn and swim with the tide as opposed to wasting their energy fighting against it.

The never ending quest to maintain our comfort leads us on a downward slide into the valley of mediocrity. When we are uncomfortable, that means we have an opportunity to grow. The discomfort we feel while working out signals that we are making progress towards a healthier body. The same is true for our character.

Ironically, when we avoid a workout because of the discomfort involved, we are not maintaining the status quo, we are falling behind. When we don’t exercise a muscle and push it outside its comfort zone, that muscle atrophes and becomes weaker. Over time, the inattention to that muscle will set us up for injury. Again, the same is true for our character.

Many people allow themselves to be a slave to the comfort of the status quo. Often, they submit to their comfort zones while they complain about the way things are! When they do that, fear is winning. The known discomfort wins out over the uncertainty of something better.

Let’s face it. Things are changing. As the pace of change in our society increases, our love of the status quo that is rooted in our fear of change, puts us further and further behind. Pretty soon we are no longer relevant to what is going on around us.

Don’t get me wrong. If you are fighting against a moral or ethical issue, I am going to tell you to fight the change - speak up and make your beliefs known. But most of the time, the things that are making us uncomfortable are not moral or ethical issues - issues of right and wrong. Most of the time, we fight change because we have a difference of opinion.

Do we embrace the inevitability of change? Or do we scream at the tide and wonder why the tide doesn’t listen? Embracing change by ignoring the old ways that make us comfortable is the way progress will happen. It is the only way we will grow and thrive in a changing environment. It is also another way we practice exercising Courage and becoming the person we want to be - a Leader of Character.


● What changes have you been fighting because they make you uncomfortable?

● How can you change your approach and swim with the tide without sacrificing your Integrity?

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