“I don’t like changes.” Familiar? A lot of us don’t like changes, we rather continue with what we are doing/good at. What is it, that makes us resist change?

Let’s have a look at the reasons for change. One reason would be a change that is extrinsically motivated (somebody else decides), the other reason is when the decision to change is intrinsically motivated (we decide ourselves, and usually we strive towards a goal for personal satisfaction or accomplishment).

When the reason is intrinsically motivated, we tend to be less afraid of change. The reason may be very simple: nobody forces us to make a decision, we find the reason for change in ourselves. A great example of an intrinsically motivated change is when a person decides to quit his or her job to travel around the world. There is no bigger change than that!

On the other side we have changes that are imposed on us and are usually connected to some sort of reward; extrinsically motivated changes. These are the changes that most of us don’t like or even resist. A common example of this is when your boss makes a decision (without discussing it with you) and expects you to change your routine and adjust accordingly.

However, these two changes, intrisically and extrinsically motivated, have one thing in common: they give us a new life experience, a reason to develop ourselves and they offer a fresh start, whether it is positive or negative. As Pauline R. Kezer once said:

“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”

– Esther is an assistant psychologist at Willingness. She works with adults and couples. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on esther@willingness.com.mt.