New ideas can take time to get used to. When we first hear the idea we may not be ready for it. That is fine. When you are ready the idea will sprout and grow and be there for you.
There is a concept in coaching called seed planting. It means that it takes time for new ideas and suggestions to be embraced. There are clients that take hold of a new idea and run with it, some take a little more time to allow the idea to grow while others can take years before the idea sprouts. Still some clients will never grasp the idea. It will simply lay dormant. It doesn’t really matter what the client does with the idea. The purpose is to plant the seed and the client can do with it what they will. Sometimes the idea just needs time to germinate.
A counselor once told me that not to make a decision is a decision. She said not to choose was a choice. I thought she was nuts and went on with my life. It was five years later when I was in the middle of a situation where I was avoiding a decision that her words hit me like a ton of bricks. I literally said out loud, “I get it.” It took years for that seed to germinate in my brain until one day it sprouted and grew into a concept I understood. I was finally ready to get it. I wasn’t able to hear it before, but with time, I had evolved enough so the concept made sense. New ideas can take time to get used to. When we first hear the idea we may not be ready for it. That is fine. When you are ready the idea will sprout and grow and be there for you.
The other side of this is not to force your ideas and suggestions onto other people. By all means share them, but leave it at that. Seed planting isn’t an aggressive act; it is gentle and done with love and compassion. All you can do is plant the idea. What happens to it is up to the individual and what they are ready to hear at that very moment. The idea may sprout right away or it may take years. That isn’t your concern. Your job is to plant the seed and move on.
Everyone is at different places in their lives. Sometimes you will understand the new idea right away and perhaps even take action on it at the moment. At other times it will take a while. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t get something right away. It just means the idea is in germination. When you are ready, the idea will sprout and grow and be right there to support you. Until then, don’t worry about it and go on with the ideas you are ready for. There will be plenty of idea seeds sprouting at any given time to keep you busy.
New ideas can take time to get used to for several reasons:
- Familiarity bias: People tend to prefer things that are familiar to them, and new ideas can challenge this bias. Our brains are wired to prefer the status quo, and we tend to be more comfortable with things that we already know and understand.
- Cognitive dissonance: When we encounter new ideas that conflict with our existing beliefs, it can create a sense of cognitive dissonance – a feeling of mental discomfort or tension. This can cause people to reject or resist the new idea, even if it may have some merit.
- Confirmation bias: People tend to seek out information that confirms their existing beliefs and values, and ignore or discount information that contradicts them. This can make it difficult for new ideas to gain acceptance, particularly if they challenge deeply-held beliefs or values.
- Fear of the unknown: New ideas can be scary, particularly if they involve significant change or uncertainty. People may be hesitant to embrace new ideas if they are unsure about how they will impact their lives or the world around them.
- Resistance to change: Finally, people can be resistant to change, particularly if they feel like they will lose something in the process. Change can be disruptive and unsettling, and people may resist new ideas if they feel like they will have to give up something that is important to them.
Here are some tips to help reduce resistance to new ideas and change:
- Communicate the benefits: Help people understand the benefits and advantages of the new idea or change. This can help them see why it is important and motivate them to support it.
- Address concerns and objections: Listen to people’s concerns and objections and address them directly. Acknowledge their feelings and help them understand how the new idea or change will address those concerns.
- Involve people in the process: Involve people in the decision-making process and give them a sense of ownership and control. This can help increase their buy-in and reduce resistance.
- Provide support and training: Provide the necessary support and training to help people adapt to the new idea or change. This can help reduce anxiety and increase confidence.
- Start small: Introduce the new idea or change gradually, starting with small steps. This can help people adjust and build momentum for more significant changes later on.
- Celebrate successes: Celebrate successes and acknowledge progress along the way. This can help people feel motivated and positive about the new idea or change.