People oppose change

We are not afraid of the change but for its consequences. Depending on how well we can oversee the consequences, a change becomes easy or difficult. However, this rational part is not the real problem. Even when we think it’s probably a good choice, this little voice inside our head starts doubting, ‘why change this works’. The reptile and emotional brain (security system) together decide in a fraction of a second what the right response is. That can be physical (fight or flight) but mostly emotional (disappointment, rejection, fear, etc.). The most felt emotion is fear, it warns/prevents us from continuing because experience has taught our ‘security system’ that the safest way is to wait. To understand this we have to go back ten thousand of years in evolution. In does times we needed those skills. When an animal spotted a predator in the distance, it froze to become one with its safe environment. It will wait there because it doesn’t want to give away its position. Once the predator comes slowly closer, the animal will keep its position until a response is unavoidable.

Nowadays we have more complex cognitive functions; organizing, planning, cognitive flexibility (considering more points of view) and evaluating meaningful or less meaningful activities (see intelligence). Although these functions work quite well, every argument will also still be evaluated by the security system. It is an illusion to think that all of our conclusions are based on reason and not on emotions (see Feelings and emotion).

Survival is the first objective and improving the situation the second. This is unfortunate, because in our current society (with all the protective rules and regulations) there is a negligible risk of physical injury. We miss out on many opportunities because we are afraid of the unknown or a hurt ego. We all remember, postponing our first kissing moment until we were really sure we wouldn’t be rejected.

The risk is more imaginary than real. Unfortunately, our consciousness doesn’t make a difference between an imaginary and a real threat. Our cognitive abilities grow more and more combined with the awareness of our security system being out of date. This creates a window of opportunity. By understanding our feelings and emotions we can train ourselves to recognize whether our arguments are bases on real or imaginary fear. We have to look for a balance, ignoring our safety system altogether would be unwise.

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