Old Habits Die Hard...
By Nicole Simmons, Membership Director
The world is moving at a phenomenal pace. Just ponder how many years it took to reach a market audience of 50 million:
- Radio – 38 years
- TV – 13 years
- Internet – 4 years
- Ipod – 3 years
- Facebook – 2 years
For many of us, moving along with all the changes of the world is difficult, if not painful, and is sometimes even avoided at all costs. However, having that attitude may be the downfall for you personally, professionally, and even to your Soroptimist club!
Many of our members have a tough time when it comes to breaking with outdated traditions, routines, and accepting new ideas. When SIA conducted a former member survey, we received a number of responses that indicated as such:
“Some members would shoot down every idea that was brought up and no one wanted to get involved with any new projects.”
“Unless the club opens up to younger women's concerns and issues in terms of projects, meeting speakers, and so on, it's going to be less than appealing for women like me.”
“Soroptimist felt like a sorority, bound by tradition more than service.”
“I found that certain members were not open to new ideas, much territorialism, ownership of committees.”
Do any of these comments sound familiar? Have you heard other members making similar remarks, or perhaps you have even had these thoughts?
Unfortunately, “change” has a bad reputation. It can be seen as stressful because we don’t know what to expect, it’s a break from routine, takes us out of our comfort zone, and can make us feel as though we’ve lost control.
When you are in an uncomfortable situation, or one that doesn't fit your expectations, you usually do whatever you can to make yourself comfortable again. For many, that means resisting change and making a nest in our comfort zone.
Even if someone is unhappy or unfulfilled, their natural inclination is to stay within that zone simply because it is familiar and safe. People will stay in jobs, relationships, and situations that have long since lost their relevance only because they are afraid of the unknown and what change will bring.
But, let’s take a look at the flip side of breaking up old habits and being open to new ideas and ways of work. When we seek new ways of doing and looking at things, we will expand our intellectual capability, find life more exciting, and broaden our experiences. Consider these 10 benefits of change:
- Provides an opportunity to review habits and traditions, and make improvements
- Uses inner, untapped resources
- Encourages alternative viewpoints
- Increases problem solving skills and productivity
- Stimulates the brain by improving mental health
- Increases self-confidence
- Builds resilience
- Fights depression
- Challenges you to improve yourself
- Promotes personal, social, and emotional growth
When members have a new idea about a project or ways to enhance an event, try to have an open mind and be willing to consider it. By limiting club activities to only what we know and are more comfortable with, members may become more and more disenchanted and eventually leave Soroptimist.
Soroptimists promote improving the lives of women and girls. That means creating awareness and working to change the injustices facing the world’s women and girls. We embrace these types of changes and even initiate them in some cases. Let’s work to bring that attitude to our clubs. It will ultimately assist with our recruitment and retention efforts, and we will be a more diverse and interesting organization because of it!