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3 Ways You Could Be Subtly Resisting Change

Resisting Change

Change, as we know, is one of the only two certainties in life. That does not mean, however, that it is always welcome or embraced. While it is natural to reject painful changes like the loss of a loved one or a job, there are times when we unconsciously resist positive changes too.

Any big change requires us to make a string of other little changes in our present way of life and not all these adjustments are easy. For instance, the arrival of a new baby is a happy event but learning to get by on less hours of sleep is not quite as joyful. Being awarded a new project is fantastic for your career development but requires new skills outside your comfort zone. This is when your foot automatically starts pressing on the brakes.

woman with drive has identified three subtle ways in which you could be resisting change and how to overcome them.

Also read: Four Traits Of Resilient People 


Being Insanely Busy

If you are too busy wrestling an impossibly long To Do list, you cannot reasonably be expected to take on anything new, right? Well, not quite.

How many tasks on that list are genuinely urgent? It is likely to be less than three. What you are really doing is exaggerating the importance of each one so you can prolong having to deal with the imminent change.

Many people, when facing a massive upheaval in life, will immediately spin themselves into a whirlwind of unrelated activity in an attempt to avoid acknowledging the change ahead.

They hold on for as long as possible to the comfort of familiar tasks until they are forced towards the unfamiliar. By this time, resistance would have turned into resentment, which makes adapting to the new all that more painful.

The Solution: Do not just do something; sit there. Spending quiet time observing the external situation and your internal reactions to it will help you make sense of it all. This logical understanding will help settle your emotions, allay your fears and slowly guide you down the path of change.


Needing Just One More Prep Day

You really are excited about the change and you are 99 percent ready to embrace it. You just need one last day to get all your ducks in a row. At least that is what you have been telling yourself – and everyone else – for the last few weeks. Or months.

Anyone can recognise procrastination but in this case, it is not just holding off on a task but postponing an emotional investment in a new environment. The difference between procrastinating and keeping busy is that with the former, you truly believe that you will be ready the next day. Yet in the morning, you would have found one more reason to remain exactly where you are for another day.

When you finally run out of reasons or are pushed forward, your procrastination would have exhausted you to the point that adapting to the change will be unnecessarily difficult.

The Solution: Drop all expectations. Start on a new page by being open to learning, discovering and creating a new way of doing things. Only when you leave old baggage behind can you take on a fresh load and move on.


Believing You Are Undeserving Of A Positive Change

Also known as self-sabotage, this is the worst of the three ways of resistance to change because it deals directly with your self-esteem. Many people think that the only acceptable response to positive changes is happiness or confidence and are confused when they feel twinges of fear. They then assume that this fear means they are not ready or deserving of the opportunity ahead, and begin backing away from it.

Telling yourself that you do not deserve a positive change merely because you fear the unknown is detrimental to your health and wellbeing. This mindset is also a fertile ground for the imposter syndrome. So if and when you finally decide or are persuaded by someone else to take that leap, those negative thoughts will trip you up and further convince you that you are not good enough.

The Solution: Silence your inner critic and start taking baby steps towards change. And be patient with yourself. Take bestselling author and professor, Adam Grant’s advice to “lower your standards for what counts as progress and you will be less paralysed by perfectionism.”

Also Read: How To Stop Perfection From Holding You Back


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