This morning I was sitting at my altar chanting, albeit a bit later than usual. My altar is located between two beautiful windows on the eastern side of the house. It happened to be a sunny day and, as the sun rose, it began to encroach on me. At first, I felt it on my arm — a bit warm but not more than a nuisance. Then, on my shoulder — a bit more intense. Finally, on my face and, more specifically, in my eyes — now a significant annoyance. And yet, I still sat there. Why? Because this was the position I sat in every time I chanted. Not because the chair couldn’t be moved. Not because there was clutter in the room preventing me from assuming a different position. Not because I wouldn’t be able to see the altar clearly from another vantage point.

It was only when I finally adjusted my seat that the correlation between this minor incident and some of the challenges I hear from my clients struck me. We resist change, even when we know that the change will improve the situation. See if any of these strike a chord with you:

  • I can’t delegate this work. This is what I’m known for in the company. I know my boss has told me that until I’m able to let go of this, I won’t have the capacity to take on bigger responsibilities and get the promotion I’ve been asking for, but I just can’t.

  • I hate running this monthly report. It is so time-consuming. And, I don’t know if anyone even uses it anymore. But, when I got here it was drilled into me how important it was to get this done. So, I don’t dare open up a conversation with my supervisor to see if we could even explore not doing it…or doing it differently.

  • I really want to go back to school. I love learning and know that this will help me with my career but things are so busy at work and at home that I can’t see it happening.

In each of these cases, just as in the case of my morning, the most difficult step is what sometimes feels like the momentous energy it takes to propel us out of inertia. Once we begin moving, we often find that we are able to build momentum.