May 3, 2024

16 Smart Tips To Handle Your Resistance To Change

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Accepting changes in life and moving forward can sometimes be challenging. Losing a great job, a spouse, family member, friend, or love relationship can turn our lives upside down. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut or even in a downward spiral.

But that's not how life is we need to learn how to handle your resistance to change and be willing to change and move on positively without complaining.

But why change is important and how will your life change if you learn to embrace change every time it comes uninvited?

Let’s take a look at 16 steps on why changes happen and how to handle your resistance to change and why embracing change can benefit us. 

#1. If You Want To Counter Your Resistance To Change - Awareness is The Key.

When we have some pattern buried deeply within us, we must become aware of it in order to heal the condition.

Perhaps we begin to mention the condition, to complain about it or to see it in other people. It rises to the surface of our attention in some way, and we begin to relate to it.

We often attract a teacher, a friend, a class or workshop, or a book to ourselves that begins to awaken new ways to approach the dissolving of the problem.

My awakening began with a chance remark of a friend who had been told about a meeting.

My friend did not go, but something within me responded, and I went.

That little meeting was the first step on my pathway of unfoldment. I didn’t recognize the significance of it until sometime later. Often, our reaction to this first stage is to think the approach is silly, or that it doesn’t make sense.

Perhaps it seems too easy, or unacceptable to our thinking. We don’t want to do it. Our resistance to change comes up very strong.

We may even feel angry about the thought of doing it. Such a reaction is very good, if we can understand that it is the first step in our healing process.

I tell people that any reaction they may feel is there to show them they are already in the process of healing even though the total healing is not yet completed.

The truth is that the process begins the moment we begin to think about making a change.

Impatience is only another form of resistance to change.

It is resistance to learning and to changing our beliefs. When we demand that it be done right now, completed at once, then we don’t give ourselves time to learn the lesson involved with the problem we have created.

If you want to move to another room, you have to get up and move step by step in that direction.

Just sitting in your chair and demanding that you be in the other room will not work. It’s the same thing.

We all want our problem to be over with, but we don’t want to do the small things that will add up to the solution.

#2. Acknowledge, Take Responsibility And Embrace Change.

Now is the time to acknowledge our responsibility in having created the situation or condition.

I’m not talking about having guilt, nor about being a “bad person” for being where you are. I am saying to acknowledge the “power within you” that transforms our every thought into experience.

In the past we unknowingly used this power to create things we did not want to experience. We were not aware of what we were doing.

Now, by acknowledging our responsibility, we become aware and learn to use this power consciously in positive ways for our benefit.

It's like expecting good things to happen in the process of change. 

Often when I suggest a solution to the client — a new way to approach a matter or forgiving the person involved — I will see the jaw begin to clench and jut out, and arms cross tightly over the chest. Maybe even fists will form.

Resistance is coming to the fore, and I know we have hit upon exactly what needs to be done.

We all have lessons to learn. The things that are so difficult for us are only the lessons we have chosen for ourselves. If things are easy for us, then they are not lessons, but are things we already know.

#3. Lessons Can Be Learned Through Awareness.

If you think of the hardest thing for you to do and how much you resist it, then you’re looking at your greatest lesson at the moment.

Surrendering, giving up the resistance, and allowing yourself to learn what you need to learn, will make the next step even easier.

Don’t let your resistance stop you from making or embracing changes. 

Once you realize why change is good for you. We can work on two levels: 

  1. Looking at the resistance to change, and 
  2. Still making the mental changes. Observe yourself, watch how you resist, and then go ahead anyway.

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#4. Non verbal Clues Stops Us From Accepting Change.

Our actions often show our resistance to change. For instance:

  • Changing the subject 
  • Leaving the room
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Being late Getting sick
  • Procrastinating by: 
  • doing something else
  • doing busy work
  • wasting time
  • Looking away, or out the window
  • Flipping through a magazine
  • Refusing to pay attention
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking
  • Creating or ending a relationship
  • Creating breakdowns; cars, appliances, plumbing, etc.

#5. Assumptions Stop Us From Embracing Change.

We often assume things about others to justify our resistance to change.

We make statements such as:

  • It wouldn’t do any good anyway. 
  • My husband/wife won’t understand.
  • I would have to change my whole personality.
  • Only crazy people go to therapists.
  • They couldn’t help me with my problem.
  • They couldn’t handle my anger.
  • My case is different.
  •  I don’t want to bother them.
  • It will work itself out.
  • Nobody else does it.

#6. Our Core Beliefs Stop Us From Accepting Change in Life.

We grow up with limiting beliefs that become our resistance to changing.

Some of our limiting ideas are:

  • It’s not done. 
  • It’s just not right.
  • It’s not right for me to do that.
  • That wouldn’t be spiritual.
  • Spiritual people don’t get angry.
  • Men/women just don’t do that.
  • My family never did that.
  • Love is not for me.
  • It’s too far to drive.
  • It’s too much work.
  • It’s too expensive.
  • It will take too long.
  • I don’t believe in it.
  •  I’m not that kind of person.

#7. Giving Our Power To Others Stops Us From Accepting Change.

We give our power to others and use that excuse as our resistance to changing.

We have ideas like:

  • God doesn’t approve. 
  • I’m waiting for the stars to say it’s okay.
  • This isn’t the right environment.
  • They won’t let me change.
  • I don’t have the right teacher/book/class/tools.
  • My doctor doesn’t want me to.
  • I can’t get time off work.
  • I don’t want to be under their spell. 
  • It’s all their fault.
  • They have to change first.
  • As soon as I get _________________ , I’ll do it.
  • You/they don’t understand.
  • I don’t want to hurt them.
  • It’s against my upbringing, religion, philosophy.

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#8. Our Delaying Tactics Stop Us From Accepting Change.

Our resistance to change often expresses itself as delaying tactics.

We use excuses like:

  • I’ll do it later.
  • I can’t think right now.
  • I don’t have the time right now.
  • It would take too much time away from my work.
  • Yes, that’s a good idea; I’ll do it some other time.
  • I have too many other things to do.
  • I’ll think about it tomorrow.
  • As soon as I get through with _________________ .
  • As soon as I get back from this trip.
  • The time isn’t right.
  • It’s too late, or too soon.

#9. Fear of Embracing Change.

By far the biggest category of resistance to change is fear — fear of the unknown.

Listen to these:

  • I’m not ready yet.
  • I might fail.
  • They might reject me.
  • What would the neighbors think?
  • I’m afraid to tell my husband/wife.
  •  I might get hurt.
  • I may have to change.
  • It might cost me money.
  • I would rather die first, or get a divorce first.
  • I don’t want anyone to know I have a problem.
  • I’m afraid to express my feelings.
  • I don’t want to talk about it.
  • I don’t have the energy.
  • Who knows where I might end up?
  • I may lose my freedom.
  • It’s too hard to do.
  • I don’t have enough money now.
  • I might hurt my back.
  • I wouldn’t be perfect.
  • I might lose my friends.
  • I don’t trust anyone.
  • It might hurt my image.
  • I’m not good enough.

#10. Mirror Work To Accept Change in Life.

Mirrors reflect back to us our feelings about ourselves. They show us clearly the areas to be changed if we want to have a joyous, fulfilling life.

I ask people to look in their eyes and say something positive about themselves every time they pass a mirror.

The most powerful way to do affirmations is to look in a mirror and say them out loud. 

You are immediately aware of the resistance to change and can move through it quicker. It’s good to have a mirror with you as you read this guide. Use it often for affirmations and to check where you are resisting and where you are open and flowing.

Now, look in a mirror and say to yourself, “I am willing to change.” Notice how you feel.

If you are hesitant, resistant, or just don’t want to change, ask yourself why.

What old belief are you holding on to? This is not a time to scold yourself.

Just notice what is going on and what belief rises to the surface. That is the one that has been causing you a lot of trouble.

Can you recognize where it came from?

When we do our affirmations and they don’t feel right or nothing seems to happen, it’s so easy to say, “Oh, affirmations don’t work.” It’s not that the affirmations don’t work, it’s that we need to do another step before we begin affirmations.

#11. Repeated Patterns Show Us Our Needs.

For every habit we have, for every experience we go through over and over, for every pattern we repeat, there is a NEED WITHIN US for it. The need corresponds to some belief we have.

If there were not a need, we wouldn’t have it, do it, or be it.

There is something within us that needs the fat, the poor relationships, the failures, the cigarettes, the anger, the poverty, the abuse, or whatever there is that’s a problem for us.

How many times have we said, “I won’t ever do that again!”?

Then, before the day is up, we have the piece of cake, smoke the cigarettes, say hateful things to the ones we love, and so on.

Then we compound the whole problem by angrily saying to ourselves, “Oh, you have no willpower, no discipline. You’re just weak.” This only adds to the load of guilt we already carry.

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#12. It Has Nothing to Do with Willpower or Discipline.

Whatever we are trying to release in our lives is just a symptom, an outer effect.

Trying to eliminate the symptom without working on dissolving the cause is useless.

The moment we release our willpower or discipline, the symptom crops up again.

#13. “I Am Unworthy” Creates Procrastination And Resistance To Change.

If one of my inner belief systems or thought patterns is, “I am unworthy,” then one of my outer effects will probably be procrastination.

After all, procrastination is a negative self-talk that keep us from getting where we say we want to go.

Most people who procrastinate will spend a lot of time and energy berating themselves for procrastinating.

They will call themselves lazy and generally will make themselves out to feel they are “bad persons.”

#14. Resentment of Another’s Good Stops Us From Accepting Change.

I had a friend who loved attention and usually came to class late so he could create a stir.

He had been the baby of 18 children, and he came last on the list of getting. As a child he watched everyone else “have” while he just longed for his own.

Even now when someone had good fortune, he would not rejoice with them.

Instead he would say, “Oh, I wish I had that,” or “Oh, why don’t I ever get that?”

His resentment of their good was a barrier to his own growth and change.

#15. Self-Criticizing Is Totally Missing the Mark.

Self-criticism will only intensify the procrastination and laziness. The place to put the mental energy is into releasing the old and creating a new thought pattern.

Say: “I am willing to release the need to be unworthy.

I am worthy of the very best in life, and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.

“As I spend a few days doing this affirmation over and over, my outer effect pattern of procrastination will automatically begin to fade.

“As I internally create a pattern of self-worth, then I no longer have the need to delay my good.”

Do you see how this could apply to some of the negative patterns or outer effects in your life?

Let’s stop wasting time and energy putting ourselves down for something we can’t help doing if we have certain inner beliefs.

Change the beliefs and your resistance to change. 

No matter how you approach it, or what subject matter we are talking about, we are only dealing with thoughts, and thoughts can be changed.

When we want to change a condition, we need to say so. “I am willing to release the pattern within me that is creating this condition.”

You can say this to yourself over and over every time you think of your illness or problem. The minute you say it, you are stepping out of the victim class.

You are no longer helpless; you are acknowledging your own power.

You are saying, “I am beginning to understand that I created this. I now take my own power back. I am going to release this old idea and let it go.”

#16. Self-Criticism Won't Let You Change.

I have a friend who will eat a pound of butter and everything else she can get ahold of when she cannot bear to be with her own negative thoughts. 

The next day she will be angry at her body for being heavy.

When she was a little girl, she would walk around the family dinner table finishing off everyone’s leftovers and eating a whole stick of butter.

The family would laugh and think it was cute. It was almost the only approval she got from her family.

When you scold yourself, when you berate yourself, when you “beat yourself up,” who do you think you’re treating this way?

Almost all of our programming, both negative and positive, was accepted by us by the time we were three years old.

Our experiences since then are based upon what we accepted and believed about ourselves and about life at that time.

The way we were treated when we were very little is usually the way we treat ourselves now. The person you are scolding is a three-year-old child within you.

If you are a person who gets angry at yourself for being afraid and fearful, think of yourself as being three years old. If you had a little three year-old child in front of you who was afraid, what would you do?

Would you be angry at him, or would you reach out your arms and comfort the child until he felt safe and at ease?

The adults around you when you were a child may not have known how to comfort you at that time.

Now you are the adult in your life, and if you’re not comforting the child within you, then that is very sad indeed. What was done in the past is done, and it is over now.

But this is present time, and you now have the opportunity to treat yourself the way you wish to be treated.

A frightened child needs comforting, not scolding.

Scolding yourself only makes you more frightened, and there is nowhere to turn.

When the child within feels unsafe, it creates a lot of trouble. 

Remember how it felt to be belittled when you were young? It feels the same way now to that child within.

Be kind to yourself. Begin to love and approve of yourself. That’s what that little child needs in order to express itself at its highest potential.

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Manish Yadav

My name is Manish Yadav and I’m the owner of the blog "Love Finds its Way". My advice does away with the manipulations and mind games recommended by magazines and the surface level advice of TV gurus… We’ll dive DEEP to you actionable steps you can use today. Over 900,000 men & women have transformed their lives, and I've been featured in Lifehack, Return of Kings, Menimprovement, Urban Dater, and so on...
...My only intention is to help you have all of achieve your dreams and desires and live a beautiful and prosperous life.
And we’re just getting started!

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