Being with consumer insights platform Fastuna for the past 10 month made me realize just how much people fear change. The products, like our concept testing tools, are brilliant. We are super user friendly and improve people’s lives at work. We help reduce stress and time spent on setting up research tasks and results are back super quick. As a bonus the tools are really easy to use. We are a great, highly motivated team with an excellent rapport to our customers. When they use us, they love us.
Being also a Psychologist by trade I was wondering why people are so afraid of something new, something that could improve their working lives. Here it is:
1. Fear of the new
People are afraid to try anything new even if it is better than the old. Our brains are wired in a way that helps to optimize. So once we feel comfortable in a spot it is hard to convince the brain that a change might be beneficial. So if you are used to survey tools you may continue to use them even though there are tools out, that are way easier to use. Most of the time we are losing out on the opportunity for improvement. So we are a bit stupid this way. Unfortunately there is no easy way out of this one. The only way to overcome this fear is to tackle it.
2. Fear of success
You have not misread the words. Once you dig deep you would be surprised how many people fear success as this might mean new tasks, more work, more attention from peers and the boss and maybe even a promotion that means you might have to step out of your comfort zone. So you may be holding yourself back.
3. Fear of being criticized or stepping on someone’s toes
Your boss has always done it this way so changing it might mean you have to face up to him and defend your decision. So what if the new is not better? The only way to overcome this fear is to dive into it using these two questions: What is the worst that can happen? And if this happens, would it really be so bad?
4. Fear of having to make an effort
What if I try to change the old ways because I know that the company would benefit? I might have to discuss, convince and find arguments. This means additional work… so I can’t be bothered, even though I know that the new thing would make my working life so much easier. Not everyone is a mover and changer. So in case you need something done you might want to find the colleague who is and convince them. They will then get to the task.
5. Fear of failure
What if the new thing does not work? What if I make a fool of myself in front of everyone. Fear is the number reason people refuse to change. On a personal level as much as in a working environment. To overcome this is pretty difficult but again it helps to ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen. And while you do it try not to think of the Dr. Pepper commercials:
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