Change in directions creates more resistance for the European than for the American.

Let’s be clear. If you are an American living in the US, the chances are that you will be less likely to fail at Changing Directions.  With the launch of Change Directions in the US through Amazon.com, it was a timely reminder for me to point something out . Change Directions: Perceive it, Believe it, Achieve it is designed to cause great shifts for anyone seeking change. Having said this, it is not easy to invite change into ones life without a degree of apprehension.

I wanted to say a few words about the cause of resistance to change and why it seems in Europe the degree of resistance tends to be greater than in the USA.  It seems to me that the attitude underpinning the American’s nature is one of “go for it”.  There is little concern given to the possibility of the outcome not being reached. It seems that not only does the American “go for it” they encourage those around to do the same.  Yet in Europe, this seems critically lacking.  It seems that in Europe, the idea of “going for it” is laced with all sorts of problems.

Much of the psychology behind this is covered in the book, though there is a perspective that I would like to discuss in this blog. It seems to me that where as the American is an opportunist that grabs life by the horns and gets to grip with what’s needed, the European is almost the opposite. It appears that the Americans drive themselves towards their goals. They do it with less fear, less worry and little anxiety. The European on the other hand seems ridled with fear.  The reason for this may be that there is a culture of accomplishment/achievement  in the USA that is lacking in Europe. It is as though what matters more for the European is that they are not left with egg on their face.

Embarrassing oneself is very high on the Europeans list of things not to do. The idea that someone could fail at something is shocking. Family, friends and colleagues finding out that a failure occured may result in  “shame” being experienced.  Certainly in Greece, where I spend much of my time, it is obvious that it is seriouly discouraged to bring shame into the house. The concern of what others might think or say seems to be the order of the day.

Personally I have found that the American is more liable to act towards betterment than the European.  Now that is not to say that there are  not good men with conviction in Europe that do go for it; it just seems that they are few and far between. People like James Dyson and Richard Branson, to name but two, are the exceptions to the rule. There are those that go for it. Such people are driven more by accomplishment than the fear of failure. For them the shame of not going for it is greater perhaps.

In any event, what is important is to understand that the opportunities will continue to come just like the buses. You just need to decide if you are game for change.  For the most part, people do not plan to fail, they simply fail to plan. The handbrake of shame needs to be released if we are to move forward to any large degree.