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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#26: Change Doesn't Need Your Consent

I like to be in charge. And I like to believe I can control things, whether that's my schedule or the outcome of projects I take on. Much of the time, that's true. I can control a lot in my life, and I'm privileged enough at work to be the boss, so I get to be in charge more often than not. (Once, someone in a social setting told me that even when I'm not trying to be the boss, it seems like I should be. I guess I exude a need for control out of my very pores.)

But you know what I can't control? Change. I was listening to a presentation a few days ago by Fred Stokes, a former NFL player and expert on change management, and something he said struck me.

"Change doesn't need your consent or approval."

Whoa. He's right. Change is going to happen no matter whether I want it to or not, and whether I agree to it or not. The best example, and one that is particularly appropriate for me as I (rapidly) approach my 40th birthday, is aging. I'm pretty lucky that I don't have many wrinkles or signs of aging (being a little overweight helps with this). But I have some, and a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a new wrinkle. On my damn lip. (And no, I've never been a smoker.) Did I consent to this wrinkle? No. Did I approve of it showing up, making me look like a five-pack-a-day smoker? HELL NO. But there it was. (Turns out curling your lip like Elvis for 40 years leaves a mark. Take notes, kids.)

This very physical reminder that change is inevitable, uncontrollable, and does not care what I think was staring me literally in the face. And since we can't control change, and it is going to happen whether we like it or not, all we can control is our reaction to it. How we choose to deal with the changes in our life and in the world around us is the only part of change we can really "manage."

So, with that thought in mind, I did what any moderately vain person in our modern age would do, faced with managing the change in her life.

I Googled "Botox near me."


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