Changing What Isn’t Working


I speak, consult and write on Change, and I feel like an imposter today.  I am dealing with a change that is immobilizing me.  I made the leap today and bought a MAC, and I fear that I will not be able to make the transition from a PC to the MAC.  So many people have told me that I will love the MAC, once I get used to it, and to allow a 30 day “getting used to it” timeframe.  I spent several hours today at the Apple store with staff younger than my children trying to teach me what I need to know to get me out of the store as quickly as possible!   Then I spent about the same time with my tech guy trying to continue the learning, mostly to no avail.  So here I am, trying to figure out how to write this Blog Post on my new MAC.  I gave up, and am writing on my old Dell computer!  I found the Word icon on the MAC, but when I opened that, I could not figure out how to type in it.  I am sure that there is an easy solution to this, but I can’t find it, and I do not have the patience to try to figure it out.   So, while the MAC is pretty and new and may do more than my old Dell computer, it isn’t working for me (yet,) so I go back to the familiar!  This reminds me of other changes that I have made, and how easy it is to revert back to the familiar, and what can keep me focused on the new and different until IT becomes familiar.

Some say it takes 30 days to make or break a habit.  I disagree.  My experience is that it takes at least 90 days, and even more.  The pull of the familiar is so strong that for a new habit to take hold requires the desire of the new to be so much stronger to overcome the resistance to change.  This is true even when what we have been doing isn’t working.  Back to my MAC and Dell computer example.  My Dell computer has been failing for at least a year.  The keys stick, resulting in the computer typing in different areas than I am typing, as well as emails sending before they are finished.  These problems have not been occasional ones, but constant aggravations.  Yes, I have had work done on the computer to try to fix the problems, but those attempts have not been successful.  Still, the learning curve required to make a change has held me captive to the familiar, even when I knew it wasn’t working.  This is so like other changes I have made, and continue to make.  So, what is required for change to take hold, and to maintain the change consistently?

I am reminded of the year that I decided to cure my spending habit, not purchasing anything for myself or our home for a year. (Other than “disposables,” such as makeup; those I could replace when I used up what I had, but could not buy anything new that I had not already been using.)  This year of no spending taught me some valuable lessons.  I recorded the journey, which will be a book published later this year.  Giving the change a year to take hold was what made it successful; 30 days or even 90 days would not have resulted in the change.

I do not plan for my transition to the MAC to take a year, but I believe it will take more than 30 days.  What will be required for the change to be successful?

First of all, this change requires a commitment to let go of the familiar.  Then, there must be a desire to learn how to become a successful MAC user.   Patience is required, which I lack.  Giving the change the appropriate amount of time will help me be successful.  Using the tools that are available, and learning from others are also ways in which I can make this change successful.  Other things are required as well, but I will hold those for another post.  The keys on this Dell PC are sticking so much that I am having to retype much of what I am writing.  Frustration has set in, so I will put this aside for the present.   I will go play with my new MAC.

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About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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