Resistance to change is one of the most common challenges in personal development.
When you are resistant to change, you avoid taking action even if you know it’s the right thing to do deep inside.
Resistance manifests in many ways. It could be procrastination, fear, desire to control everything, or simply being satisfied with the current situation.
This resistance is usually present in people who have recently experienced a significant life change.
It may also surface when you are about to make substantial changes in your life (e.g., changing job). However, this problem can affect everyone.
Here are six ways you can overcome your resistance to change and take action towards making the necessary improvements in life:
Table of Contents
How To Deal With Resistance To Change
Identify what’s holding you back
Reframe the situation
Consider your options
Create a plan of action
Get support from others
Take small steps first, then build up to more significant changes
1) Identify what’s holding you back
To identify resistance to change, examine where you feel stuck and what prevents you from taking action. The following questions may help:
What thoughts go through my mind when I think about doing something significant in my life?
Why do I hesitate to start doing it?
What is the worst thing that could happen if I busted through this resistance and took action?
How can I handle that worst-case scenario or avoid it altogether?
2) Reframe the situation
If the possibility of a negative outcome is too overwhelming for you to handle, try reframing the problem instead. In other words, find a different perspective from which you can view your issue.
Here are some questions you may ask yourself: What’s good about being stuck in this situation? How does it benefit me, even if in a twisted way?
Is there any silver lining in this cloud hanging over my head right now?
3) Consider your options
Procrastinating, staying in your comfort zone, and minimizing the problem are some of the ways you avoid taking action.
On the other hand, there are tons of options that can help you overcome this resistance.
To figure out what they are, ask yourself: What else can I do to improve my situation? How else could I solve my problem?
What resources do I have at my disposal right now? Who can help me with figuring things out?
4) Create a plan of action
Once you’ve identified your issues, reframed them, and considered your options, it’s time to make a plan of action.
Again, think long-term – don’t focus on achieving results tomorrow or even next month.
Instead, think about accomplishing all necessary changes within a reasonable timeframe.
Create a plan based on your answers from the previous three steps. Also, make sure you schedule progress checks along the way.
5) Get support from others
It’s good to have someone who will help keep you accountable and remind you about taking necessary actions towards achieving your goal.
It could be a friend, a family member, or even a coach/therapist if the issue is severe enough. However, before involving other people in this process, try doing it by yourself first.
Don’t forget that you’re not alone! Whenever you feel stuck, remember that many people need not follow such patterns as you do.
They can show you how to bust through resistance to change.
6) Take small steps first, then build up to more significant changes
Sometimes we try to change our lives overnight, and that’s not possible.
So instead, you should take small steps and only then move on to the next step.
This way, you will avoid overwhelming and anxiety which usually leads to procrastinating or giving up.
Here is how you can do this: Choose an area of your life where you’d like things to be better (e.g., relationships with friends, work performance).
Make a list of specific actions related to this area (e.g., spend more time with best buddies.
Stop complaining about the workload at work; start exercising regularly; plan weekend trips).
Set deadlines for accomplishing these actions. Mark your progress on the action plans every day.
When it comes to breaking through resistance to change, you can never go wrong when asking yourself: what’s the worst that could happen?
I mean, even if this thing that scares you most happens – you’ll handle it.
The truth is that you are far more robust than your fears and limitations.
All you need to do is find the courage to step outside of your comfort zone, take action towards what matters most to you, and make it happen!
And here’s a bonus tip: don’t forget about taking care of yourself while all this resistance-busting activity is going on because burnout won’t help anyone.
So remember to schedule time for play/recreation every day, eat well, get plenty of sleep, meditate or exercise daily.
I hope you found this post helpful! Feel free to share your tips on how to overcome resistance to change in the comments below!