This article examines why people find change difficult and how managers and leaders can help employees find success.

We all know change is, at times, demanding. It takes us outside our comfort zone and challenge us at every level.

In a 2017 article in the British Journal of Management*, Rafferty and Jimmieson explore three demands that cause people to struggle. Let’s look at them.


The authors write, “any modification to habitual patterns is disturbing, as functioning in repetitive ways helps individuals to develop skills that allow them to achieve their goals, and provides them with a sense of control over their environment.”

In other words, familiar habits help people develop the skills they need to achieve their goals and to feel empowered. Our sense of purpose is linked to our ability to achieve things that matter to us, and the feeling that we have some control over our lives. Our psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being suffers if we lose that sense of purpose.

Change disturbs us because it disrupts our habitual pa