The Danger Of Change

Stick to the Status Quo

Change is dangerous. It challenges the ways that we are used to doing things. Sometimes change leads to undesirable results, interrupting our usual routine and making us feel uncomfortable. The best way to avoid that discomfort? Avoid change.

The familiar is a comfortable, happy place. You know how you think and feel about the familiar. You have a way of doing your tasks that has been working so far, and there is really no reason to change that. Maybe you’ve been using the same method to fold shirts since you were 10 and your partner suggests a new method for folding. The new method might prevent you from getting that wrinkle in the same place every time, but you’re used to doing it one way. Switching now would require some practice and it might take a few tries before you learned it. And who knows, you might not even like it more once you have it down. The safest bet is to avoid change. Stick to what you know.

If it ain’t broke (or even if it’s just a little broke) don’t fix it

Most people don’t like change. That’s why even ineffective processes survive despite the flaws, so long as it gets the job done. Change is difficult. It causes us to run into new problems that we have not faced before. Let’s say you have a process for manual data entry at your job. Everyday you enter several records into the system, and everyday the process works just fine. Could there be a faster, more efficient way of automatically entering the data? It’s possible, but then again, it would be hard to change. It would take time. It would make you rethink how you are comfortably doing your job now.

Despite the unpleasantness of change, some people will say that change is positive: That the challenge of changing things would make us better people and in the process, we could improve things for ourselves and others. They say that change will allow us to experience new things and benefit us in the long-term.

But changing the status quo is risky. Shaking up how you do things at work could be fine, but it could just as easily fail. Experimenting with a new recipe for a dish you make every week could make it tastier, or it could be gross and you have to go back to the way you were doing it before. Stepping out of your normal comfort zone to go to a new social event could lead you to meeting new friends, or it could be awkward and you never see any of those people again.

Be safe

The safety in familiarity prevents us from exploring outside our comfort zone, where we could be challenged and face failure for trying new things. So when you have the choice of trying a new restaurant in town or going to an old standby, stick to what you know. Or if you have been doing something the same way for a long time, don’t worry about changing it.

Change is dangerous. Stay safe.