By the light of my flashlight, I crept up the 8 foot platform’s vertical steps to my tent on the first night of my Kenyan Safari. The platform was designed to keep animals from visiting us in the night. As my flashlight swept inside the tent, it rested upon a large round lump under the covers of my bed. It looked like a snake had coiled under my covers and was enjoying a night of slumber.
My heart raced as I stared at the lump. Snakes are at the top of things that truly scare me. I considered my options.
- Option A: I could get our tour guide to rescue me and live with his teasing and a blemish on my reputation.
- Option B: I could attempt to deal with it on my own first and then get the tour guide to help me, hopefully preserving my dignity.
- Option C: I could do nothing and see if I could sleep on the floor of another tent.
With my heart racing and panic setting in, I chose Option B. I had no plan other than to pull the covers back and face my fear. I hoped instincts would take over after that! As panic mounted and my heart pounded harder, I counted to 3 and threw back the covers, 1 . . . 2. . . 3!
I collapsed in laughter and relief as I stared at the hot water bottle that had been placed in the sheets to warm my bedding.
How often in business do we look at change with fear of the unknown? How often do we feel threatened by what the change may bring and how it will impact our reputation, our security, our sense of comfort? So often when we face the fear that is in our head, we find it is manageable and frequently will bring better results and more security.
When we resist change, we approach it from a place of fear. As we pull the covers back and face our fears, we realize that the change will usually provide us with comfort, career success, and security. Even changes that bring us short term distress – the snakes of job loss, a missed promotion, or a missed opportunity; usually lead us to a better place with a new job that allows our strengths to shine, or a new process which makes our job more productive so we feel more successful. These “hot water bottles” of our career bring us a sense of comfort, security, and joy.
When you face a change, how do you determine if it is a snake or a hot water bottle?