Why is change so hard?
Take a snapshot of where you are in your life today. Where you are is a product of your circumstances and what you’ve done with them. No matter where you are though, there are probably things you want to make better or change, and regardless of what resources you have (money, time, or even the optimism of your headspace), changing your life is really hard.
During a recent difficult period building my app, I was lamenting the fact that everything seemed so hard. Surprises were popping up, one of my developers had to take a leave, and I was feeling pressure from friends and family. It wasn’t the first time I’d lamented a difficult situation, but this time something different occurred to me out of the blue. I was trying to change a massive piece in my life. I was creating something from nothing, and I wanted it to be my livelihood. I was doing things I'd never done, which meant (by definition) I was bad at them, which in turn meant they were hard for me.
To change your life is to stop doing things you've been doing, and start doing new things. But to do something new is to be a beginner again, a baby. As we get older, we forget how much we’ve learned and what was involved in learning it. Walking isn't hard… except if you've never done it. Just like building an app isn't hard, except if you've never done it.
Also working against us is having more control over our lives as we get older. We naturally avoid things we suck at because they’re no fun, and there’s no one to force us against our will (this is where a good mentor can be key). Add the judgement from others as we stumble around figuring things out and change begins to feel like a monumental task.
Working for us though is this one thought: "What’s the alternative?” The alternative is stopping. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’ve tried something and it’s not for you, or you’ve found something that makes your life great – then you should stop. But if you know that stopping is just an excuse to not do this difficult thing and you’ll live out the rest of your years knowing you didn’t really try, that regret will be harder than any change you need to make. No change worth making is easy.