Don’t Be Afraid to Evolve

 

image courtesy of Pharyngula at scienceblogs.com

I was toying with a new browser today, Rockmelt.  It looks like it is going to be an important development in social media, in that it will begin to merge web browsing with social networking.  Rockmelt integrates all of your accounts in one place, and allows you to surf while being able to see what your networks are up to.  It also allows you to streamline how you post.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, it will make Web 2.0 even MORE interactive.

It scares me.

Not for the reasons you may think.  I think that it will make managing your online presence easier, and also require you to be more thoughtful about how you organize yourself.  But it isn’t the thinning of these boundaries that I am talking about.  What scared me when I downloaded RockMelt was that it’s newness overwhelmed me.  New graphics, new concept in user interface, I spent 10 minutes on before I had to switch it off.

I tell you this because I want you to know that I get how difficult change can be.  We talk that talk with our patients, but it is interesting how soon that concept goes out the window when we are dealing with technology.  We read folks like Pema Chodron about our desire to always find a refuge from change, yet we hesitate to apply that wisdom towards our relationship with technology.  We try to get solid, say things like, “I’m too old to learn,” or “I’ve found something that works for me, you can’t learn everything.”  We create these extremes that we use to justify not budging an inch.

It’s a good thing that when we were in the primordial ooze we didn’t have that option so much.  We couldn’t rationalize, “I am too fishy to be an amphibian,” some of us just jumped.  Later we didn’t say, “I can climb trees and gather fruit, who needs tools, you can’t learn everything;” some of us looked around.  At least that’s how I imagine it, there probably were some Luddites even then.

Don’t be afraid to evolve, or at least if you’re like me, don’t let that fear immobilize you.  If you start to feel too solid, too old or too dumb, move through it.  If you start to feel too comfortable, pepper that comfort with a little curiosity.

Rockmelt makes me uneasy, but it makes me feel excited too, because when it starts getting widespread I think people are going to be amazed.  And when I figure out how to unlock its potential I am pretty sure I’ll be amazed.  And when my one of you consults with me about building a more cutting edge Web 2.0 practice, I want to know what I am talking about.  So it’s “lean into the fear and discomfort” for me!

What are you being too solid about in your private practice?  What will you lean into this week?

Comments

  1. Hey Mike,

    Like your article, not sponsored by Rocket melt are you? Heh, I will check it out. I have bee wanting to merge my therapy practice and my yoga/ meditation practice but its hard to know how and where to do so and yes feeling stuck in the forms of yesteryear that seem to work- well enough and not challenge either myself or my patients to grow in new ways.

    I like the metaphor you developed in this piece, thanks,
    Rob

    • Thanks Rob, and welcome! I am not sponsored by Rockmelt, yet. bwahaha. I think it is fantastic that you want to integrate your therapy and yoga/meditation practices, and I can understand that it may be hard to sustain enough energy to achieve escape velocity from what is working “good enough” at the moment. Have you considered creating a space specifically in your schedule for an integrated appointment or two? One that you only fill with patients that want to work with you that way, which also gives you an incentive to push yourself a little marketing it, or you’ll have some vacant hours! Just a thought. If you want to read more pep talk, I would encourage you to check out Susan Giurleo’s recent post at http://www.bizsavvytherapist.com I found it very inspirational.

  2. ha – I love this: “I am too fishy to be an amphibian.” The phrasing, the imagery, the meaning!

  3. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for article. I am in the same place, but with older technology. Recently and reluctantly I joined facebook, and by reluctantly I mean dragged kicking and screaming while a friend entered my profile data for me. I have logged on a few times, but to date I have only sent and accepted friend requests. I logged on moments ago, was assaulted by the news feed and then struggled to find my wall. The overwhelming newness coupled with the permanence of putting your foot in your mouth on the web, tempers my adventure. I logged off, heart racing. Too much salt. I will try again.
    We all have different appetites for change and I think most of us have sacred cows that we will not willingly change because of the security that they offer us. My appetite for change (or backlash against stagnation) has always been high, but social media clashes with several of my sacred. Call me a ludite, but I still prefer face to face communication over anything else out there. I also am adverse to noise (audio and visual) and crowds which prevail on social media. Finally, there are times when I want solitude.
    My choices: either protect my sacred cows or pick up one of the many new tools. The pace of change seems so great that if I do not embrace it, I will be washed away by it. The result may be that the fear of being washed away because I do not evolve defeats my being afraid of evolving.
    As long as this thing still has an off switch, I will forge ahead…

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