Overcoming Personal Resistance for Growth

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
 - Erin Hanson


Is there something you could do today or even thirty days from now that would radically change your life, but you find yourself frozen in place? Have you ever known a friend or family member who cannot get out of a rut? Every day, we live within our bubbles of comfort, and while that may be fine, we can also see others living our dream lives. You probably fantasize or even plan out how you are going to do or get those same things, but years later, you find yourself in the same spot: daydreaming and planning but not taking any actual steps.

Have you ever repotted a plant? It usually happens after the plant has outgrown its environment. Indoor plant lovers, gardeners, and farmers alike are often moving their blooms around to keep them healthy. While it would technically be easier just to let crops stay in their current fields, the fields would cease to thrive because of the lack of certain minerals that the wheat, corn, or hay needs to thrive. The same goes for us. Even though we are perfectly able to thrive in one spot for several years or even our whole lives (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to stay in our hometowns or to stay in our jobs), there are often times when we need or desperately want to change. However, who is going to take us out of our pots?

If you want to travel, pay off debt, create a homestead, start exercising, or find more time for mindfulness and peace in your everyday life, what is standing in your way?

More than likely, it’s you. You are resisting these changes and therefore preventing yourself from living your best life.

Don't worry. We are going to explore the causes of resistance to change and how to overcome this resistance. Coming face to face with your bad habits and your fears can be a fearful experience but will lead to greater rewards.

Why Do People Resist Change?

Newton’s first law of motion says, “Every object in a state of uniform motion will remain in that state of motion.” In terms of objects in space with no gravity, this means that if a meteor is floating in one direction or with one trajectory, it will continue upon this path until something gets in its way.

People are very much the same way. Unless there is a massive eruption or transition in our environment, we usually don’t want to change anything. In this way, we are passively reacting to our situation as opposed to actively making the change ourselves.

That doesn’t mean that we are lazy. Okay, sure, sometimes we are lazy, but it is more than likely that we are terrified of the potential consequences of change. When we are in our comfort zones, even if we aren’t making the best choices for our lives, we know that we have continued to live while making these choices. Our lifestyle hasn’t killed us yet, so why bother? We feel safe in our current flower pots.

We have all heard the adage, “No pain, no gain.” While that phrase may have been used, however irritating, during your physical education class, it is a correct sentiment. But, overcoming that resistance to change for the better often comes with its fair amount of “pain.”

Overcoming Resistance to Change

You may be asking, but what if I fail? What if I humiliate myself? What if everything falls apart around me? What if my new flower pot doesn’t fit?

These are all very valid and important questions. But we can’t let fear be one of our reasons for resistance to change. While there may be a chance of failure, there is always the chance for success. Even if we fail, even if we are laughed at, there are opportunities to learn from the experience.

We have to let go of that fear or anxiety that we may fail or that we will be made a fool. To be bolder in our life requires courage, and stepping far out of our comfort zones.

If we are afraid that people will make fun of us at the gym while we are trying to lose weight, then we never will.

What if people make fun of us while we try to go back to school? Or we drop out of university to start a business?

Something you have to start telling yourself is, “So what?” So what if they laugh? It may hurt (the pain we mentioned before), but you will live. I promise. Even if things fall apart, everything will work out. Things often fall apart so you can put them back together in an even better way.

Sometimes, when you're in a dark place, you think you've been buried, but you've actually been planted.
 - Christine Caine


Growth With a Plan

Now, this doesn’t mean jumping off a cliff without a parachute. Be sure to make plans, especially if the change you are looking at is a large one.

A way to plan, and to help you overcome your fear, is to make short term goals and lists. That may entail saving some money before quitting a job or planning to go to bed early if you want to wake up and write a book. Having a course of action, especially writing it down, helps with attracting what you want in life. The energy you put out into the universe will naturally start bringing the opportunities and people into your path that will help bring your goals to fruition.

Taking Action on Your Plans

Of course, once you have your goals written down and planned out, you have to actually start doing them. Taking root in new situations take some time and can be a little shaky, but remember that there is nothing wrong with taking small steps. Perhaps walk in and get the gym membership one day. Then the next day, take a tour. The next day, do 15 minutes of cardio or stretching. No matter how long it takes, you will reach your goals if you are doing something every day to achieve them.

Fear Helps You Survive, But Not Thrive

You have to make peace with the fact that you will be uncomfortable for a while. You have to accept that things will be scary. You have to allow that something may go wrong, but they may absolutely go right.

If you are having trouble facing your fears, meditation and mindfulness can help us take control of our anxieties. As mentioned before, anxiety and fear, and sometimes depression are the biggest causes of resistance to change. Starting a meditation practice, even for five minutes a day, can support your goals as you shed your usual hesitations.

Learn to master your thoughts and watch closely what you deposit into your spirit. Speak over your life. Living in peace has transformative power.
 - Germany Kent


You Can Do This

Overcoming resistance to change is one of the crucial steps to transform your life completely. No matter how old we are or how little time we feel we have, we can grow exponentially according to our efforts. If you can let go of your hesitations and resistance to change for the betterment of your life, you are sure to witness your mind, body, and soul burst into colorful and beautiful blooms.

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