Change is Bittersweet

When my daughter went off to Kindergarten, a big yellow monster truck barreled through my sweet suburban neighborhood and swallowed my baby girl whole. Ok, it was just a school bus, but it was still hard watching her so easily take those big steps into that prodigious bus. Her new adventure was as scary as it was exciting.

I remember looking at this tiny person climb those oversized stairs as I tried my best to tame the irrational, over-protective Mom inside me. I was excited for this milestone in her life: new friends, new experiences, new responsibilities, but anxious about all the uncertainties. What if she didn’t make good decisions? What if something bad happened and I wasn’t there to protect her? What if she really wasn’t ready yet?

The fear was paralyzing because I had no control over what would happen to my baby once the doors shut and the bus rolled away. But I couldn’t wait to see how she would embrace these new challenges.

{Change is bittersweet.}

It happens all the time in credit unions. Whether it’s a new policy, a branding initiative, a new boss or embracing innovation, letting go of the past can be exceedingly difficult. We love to hold on to the way things were like a security blanket. It’s both scary and exhilarating when the status quo is interrupted, when we chart a new path, or introduce a new way. But fear tends to get the upperhand.

According to Chip and Dan Heath in their Book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, psychologists have found that our brain is ruled by two systems: The rational mind and the emotional mind or conscience vs. unconscious. The rational mind wants things to change, but the emotional mind wants to cling on to the past. That tension can doom the change. So, you have to appeal to the real emotions people feel in order for change to happen. Logic rarely wins in the battle of the mind.

Change is uncomfortable, emotional and exhilarating. But we can either dig in our heals or let go and allow our “baby”, whatever that may be, to grow.


About giraphcu

Greetings and salutations! Welcome to gira{ph}, a strategic marketing firm that helps credit unions amplify their greatness to create chemistry with consumers. The credit union movement has given so much to us. This is our way of giving back. Enjoy!
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