Changing something we’ve done for a long time is soooo hard 

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

The longer people do something the harder it can be for them to change their minds, outlooks, opinions, etc.

  • I’ve been managing people for 30 years. This is how you do it.
  • I’ve been on Twitter from nearly the beginning. Don’t tell me about something I should change.
  • I know how to be a mom.
  • We’ve practiced journalism like this for decades.

The list goes on and on and applies to many situations, industries and roles of people.  We take comfort in what has been done for a long time and is included in some process. It feels safe and right. It’s the status quo.

Part of it is that once we have something, we don’t want to give it up. Somebody’s been promoted to manager and they heard micro manager. And they will fight to not give that up. When those – sometimes subconscious – motivations  take over it won’t help the greater community. And sometimes the person trying to hold on and not being open.

Somebody was crowned thought leader and they are now so busy holding onto that title that they closed their minds to new perspectives, techniques and ideas. They are the thought leader after all. But really, that doesn’t mean they should stop listening and changing their minds when new information comes available.

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In the case of rapid change in journalism, it can feel like we are losing the principles of journalism, even though we aren’t. Ethics, accuracy and context (to name just a few) still are important.

Sometimes people simple think they know better. From time to time some cross the line of cocky from confident to being a jerk. But it can be hard for some to stop, because that’s how it’s been done, and it has worked just well enough.

To live completely authentic lives and stories we have to listen, actually hearing what was said and being open to what was said. This actually helps us effect change. We can’t do it on our own. We can’t demand it. Somebody else’s efforts to help with change are earned. The buy-in comes from collaboration, not power.

All of this comes back to meaningful change. Don’t just change to change-but things change all the time. Just look around us. Change when it’s helping our story advance. The way my kids are growing up is way different from how my generation and others in-between grew up.

Making the ability and willingness to change part of the routine will help us enjoy the journey more – and we can then stop complaining about how hard change is. And sustainable change actually happens-until it changes again.