You’ll probably recognize this conundrum. You may have been doing it for years. It goes something like this…
You stay in a job, a relationship, the same fitness routine and diet for years and years and eventually realize your habits are not serving you any longer. The results (or lack thereof) show you that the old way doesn’t work. Yet, you maintain this status quo even though you know you need to make changes to achieve better results. You want to change, but you are just not following through. You are resisting change for no apparent reason!
Just last week, one of my creative clients had a fantastic VIP Day experience. We designed a customer profile and an outline for an awesome business strategy, and we came up with three product ideas that she can offer right away to get money flowing into the bank. I was stoked about the day’s results.
But, two days later she sent me an email and told me she had hit a wall. Her internal resistance made a roaring appearance and suddenly what we had discussed didn’t feel right anymore. She had retreated into her fear.
I was baffled. How can this talented woman with a great idea not see how obvious her brilliance is to me? I began to wonder…
Why do we avoid making changes and resist stepping into our greatness even when our current ways are obviously not working?
The answer is twofold and fairly simple. First, we can’t see our own blind spots. (Uhm, that’s why they are called blind spots.) Second, we prefer to stick with what we know and what feels familiar.
Standstill is comfortable because it is predictable and safe, and we often can’t be certain where a new path will lead us. (Notice that I didn’t say standstill makes us happy.)
When we want to make changes in our lives, we arrive at a crossroad. The choice of which way to go is easier to make once we know the answer to one critical question: Is the pain of where I am now greater than the pain of having to make a change?
It’s like an alcoholic who has to experience complete rock bottom before recognizing the problem. Or, like me when I endured 13 years of personal and professional disasters until I was ready to admit that I needed to change my strategy. The choice to make a change is obvious when staying where we are seems worse than the growing pains of a new direction.
If you are at this crossroad, make the commitment today to change. When fear creeps in, and it inevitably will, slay it like a dragon hunter. Fear is often not based on reality and has been appropriately called False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR). Gently coax your mind that is feeding you fear, worry, and insecurity into believing that the new way will be better and more fulfilling.
When we shift our thoughts from scared to excited and from disaster to adventure, not knowing what the other side will look like is not so bad after all. Plus, a firm belief that the future will be better than the present is always helpful. Here is an article I wrote that gives you 10 ways to conquer your fears.
This process is the same across the board—in your business, your career, and your relationships with your partner, kids, and even with yourself.
In the case of my client, I am glad to report that she has excellent self-awareness and allowed herself to sit with her resistance to change. Once she recognized what was holding her back, she was able to move through her fears relatively quickly. It is full speed ahead for her business now.
When we wait too long to make a move and keep complaining about how we’re getting nowhere, the universe tends to agree with us. If we are negative or expect the worst—we often get what we expect. So keep in mind that the world doesn’t owe us anything and we can design our destinies. Let’s take control and challenge our resistance so we can break outdated patterns. I implore you not to wait until you are out of options or until the choice at the crossroad is made for you.
If you are stuck and feeling the fear—do it anyway. You are the boss. Time to take charge and get through your resistance to change.
Finally, I leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes from Maria Shriver: “You don’t need courage if you don’t feel fear.”
I’d love to hear how you conquered your resistance to change, so please leave a comment or send me a message.