Is It Time To Change Lanes?

Last month I was heading down the #400 toward highway #401 to visit family. I hadn’t realized that the usual 2-lane ramp heading west was reduced to 1. By the time I figured it out, the lane I needed to get into was bumper to bumper…and I was running out of time.

I looked for slow moving vehicles or a tractor-trailer hoping to see a gap in the traffic, to avoid missing my exit. Suddenly, I found it and made my move. As I signalled and moved to my right into the next lane, a car from two lanes over was moving to the left. And we both wanted the same space.

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I don’t know how much room was left over as we squeezed two cars into one length, but we managed to do it.

As I slowly continued on my way, I saw another car race past me, obviously trying to move into the same lane. That didn’t go so well. Horns were honking, arms were flailing and fingers were pointing (I’ll let you guess which ones) as somehow the driver found enough room to make his move. But not without a lot of resistance.

Life is like that isn’t it? And not just while driving either.

When we want to make a change, we can face resistance. Not everyone is on board with what we want to do. Some will actually try to prevent you from making the changes you want to make.

Donald Miller, said it so well in a recent interview with Claire Diaz-Ortiz he said…

“People will honk and flip you a finger when you get out of your lane.”

But Donald wasn’t speaking about driving, he was talking about his own experience.  He became a well-known author after books like “Blue Like Jazz” and “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”. What he has discovered over time is that some people like the Donald Miller of Blue Like Jazz but not the Donald Miller he is becoming today. He’s changed over time; he’s grown up, he’s gotten married and started a new business. But some people want the “old” Don.

I think that’s true for most of us. When we want to change something about ourselves, we face resistance, sometimes from unlikely sources.

And I don’t think it matters what it is really…whether it’s giving up something you think is bad for you, or starting something new that is good for you. Either way, we face resistance.

Why that is could be a series of posts itself, but here are a few observations

  • People don’t like change period; for themselves or for others.
  • People tend to seek the lowest common denominator when it comes to behaviour
  • People don’t like to see others do the things they wish they had the courage to do
  • People love to share their opinions (just watch your FaceBook feed)

Maybe you don’t want to spend every Saturday night drinking too much and wasting your weekend. But the people you do that with, will say things like, “Come on man, let’s go out. You’re fine. Just one more” They are resisting your change.

Last year Kathy and I left the security of our jobs, mine in pastoral ministry and Kathy’s in retail, to open a cafe and to launch my life-coaching business. Not everyone was on board with that decision. We faced resistance. We had tonnes of support too, but we faced resistance.

So whether you want to do less of something or more of something or something completely new and different, you will likely face your share of resistance.

So what do you do?

Well, I think you have two choices.

  1. You can get back in your lane.

You can decide that the risk of change is too great and settle for the status quo.

“In our careers, when we hear a horn honk or a finger, we go back into the traffic we don’t want to be in.”

      2. You can keep changing lanes.

You can push through fear, apprehension, doubt and resistance and continue on your way.

“People will honk and flip you a finger when you get out of your lane. But once you get out of your lane and into the next lane, they stop honking.”

Resistance can cause us to retreat back to where we were, or we can continue to change, knowing that once we do change, the resistance will cease. People will move on to the next thing.

So in what area of your life do you want to change lanes? The lane where the traffic flow is better and you know you’ll make more progress.

  • A new career path?
  • A better health plan?
  • A relationship you know is over but haven’t acted yet?
  • A dream you’re finally ready to chase?
  • A habit you want to break?
  • A behaviour you want to strengthen?

Changing lanes can be terrifying. Is there enough room? Is it a good fit? Will it take me where I want to go?

It’s my experience that when we have settled on the change(s) we want to make, they are worth going after. Like Jon Acuff has said, “Just do it scared,”

Q. What do you really want to do?

Q. What is the counsel from your trusted circle of friends and family?

Q. What will be the cost of not changing?

Are you looking to make some changes? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange an initial free 30 minute Discovery Call. Let’s talk.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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