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Resistance to Positive Change & What to Do About It

Resistance to Positive Change Pepper MakepeaceUsually when we start making positive changes in our lives, there’s a part of us that rebels against it.  Whether we’re trying to take better care of ourselves (food, drinking, sleep, exercise, etc.), start a new meditation practice, look for a better job, start a business, etc., change can trigger fears that we may not even be aware exist. As a response to this fear, we sometimes do just the opposite of what we ultimately want.

I’ll give you some examples. You start eating healthier and suddenly start craving a junk food you haven’t wanted to eat in months. You start meditating to reduce stress and your mind starts yelling at you with all of these thoughts you didn’t even realize you had. You promise yourself you’ll update your resume and start looking for job openings and suddenly all you want to do is sleep or sit in front of the TV every night.

This is normal and can completely derail you if you let it. But if you really want to make positive changes in your life, you’re going to have to find a way to stick with it in spite of yourself.  Here are some tips.

  1. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Try to treat yourself as you would treat your best friend in the same situation. Offer encouragement and support. Be loving. Be forgiving.
  2. Acknowledge the fear and reaffirm your true desire. Tell your inner rebel, “Hey there! I see you. I feel you. I know you think that the fear flag means run the other way.  Thank you for trying to take care of me. But I really want to do this because ________.”
  3.  Just keep going. No matter what happens, just keep heading towards your goal and don’t let momentary lapses get you down. Just go.
  4. Remember you always have a choice. You’re not trapped by your new desire to create positive changes in your life. Nor are you trapped by your old habits and thought patterns. You’re free to make whatever choice you truly want in each and every moment.

I hope you find this helpful. Know that you’re not alone. Care to share your story or experience with your inner rebel? Feel free to comment below or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.

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