Tag Archives: fear of change

overcoming resistance

“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.”
― Helen Keller

SONY DSC

What are you resisting doing?   It may be as simple as getting out of bed in the morning and resisting starting the day.   You can tell you are resisting taking action on something when you do something else instead of the “one” thing you have on your “I should do list”.   You’ll think about starting doing something and then you’ll do something else, something that is more pleasing.  You’ve been there haven’t you?

Write down a list of things you resist doing.    For each item on that list write down what your feelings about those tasks.   What do you feel (anger, depressed, tired, anxious, …)?

Now, for each item you expressed a feeling for, probably a negative feeling, then ask yourself,

Step a.    “Could I accept this feeling of ____________”.
Step b.   “Could I release this feeling of ____________”.   (Release is to let it go)
Step c.  “Would I release this feeling of ____________”.
Step d.  “When will I release the feeling”.

Ask yourself those questions and go through them.   If you can’t let it go the first time go back and repeat those questions again.

Basically you are giving yourself permission to release the resistance.  Once you have let it go the resistance to completing the task will start lowering.  Tackle the task and get the result you want to get.

Practice those steps and see if you can reduce your reluctance to start and complete things you don’t like to do.

Here’s another approach to overcoming resistance.   Try one.

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unconscious living

“There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you do not do them.”   Charles D. Gill

“But, I can’t” … you’ve heard this before, maybe those are the words you uttered as well, “I can’t ….”, and if you ask why you might hear the words that are tied to a fear.    Often the words “I can’t” are spoken before there is any conscious thought.  It is as if “I can’t” rolls off the tongue with a high degree of practice, and it does.

What does “I can’t” speak to?   It speaks to fear, a fear of failure, a fear of success or a fear of loss.   “I can’t” really says I am not ready to make a change in my life because I am afraid of what the result could be and that result could be less favorable than I desire.   (It might cost money I don’t have, or It might cause me to lose something I can’t afford to lose right now, or It might make me feel bad, or It might make me look bad, or …. ).

In many cases there are words that we speak that we don’t create but rather words that are spoken in reaction to an event or a thought.   When our language becomes a reflex rather than a response we have trained our brain to do something without thinking about it.   It happens every day.  If you drive a car there is a lot of the driving process which has been pushed out of conscious thought to the point that driving can be unconscious.  (Think about the last time  you drove somewhere and don’t remember the journey).

Let’s say you have made a declaration to create success in your life.  To do that means that you are choosing the unknown.   To make a large shift in your life will push you in a direction in which you are not familiar and that generates fear.   To make steps forward means stepping into areas in which you have little or no experience and means making a choice to live consciously by making small effective choices to advance you in the direction you want to go.

To shift from unconscious living to conscious living is having an important goal, a goal that can become a driving force in your life.   What is your big goal that you are working towards?    Are you letting your programmed response to life stop you or are you taking the steps you need to take to grow and succeed?

activate … your life

“The way to activate the seeds of your creation is by making choices about the results you want to create. When you make a choice, you activate vast human energies and resources, which otherwise go untapped.” The way to activate the seeds of your creation is by making choices about the results you want to create. When you make a choice, you activate vast human energies and resources, which otherwise go untapped.” Robert Fritz

Change happens, sometimes it is forced change and at other times it is a change by choice.  In either case in order to make the change last there is a certain amount of physical and emotional energy that has to be invested in that change.  The amount of energy that it takes to create lasting change is known as “activation energy”.   That is the amount of psychological and physical energy that has to be developed by you to make a real change possible.

Imagine what it is like for someone with little confidence and low self-esteem to have the kind of energy that will permit change to occur.    They may have thoughts of changing and they’ll tell their friends someday I am going to lose some weight or quit smoking or do something that is life altering and that is the same story you’ve heard year after year.  Those are just thoughts of change there is no commitment to change.     Some people live in land of “should”, “could” and “would” which mean a life of perpetual disappointment.   “I should do something but ….. “, they would say.  Or, “If I had _______________  I would be able to _______________”, would roll off their tongue for the thousandth time.   There is no energy  or commitment to make the change.

People are desperate for something different.

Thomas Mann wrote, “There is at bottom, only one problem in the world and this is its name.
How does one break through?
How does one get into the open?
How does one burst the cocoon and become a butterfly?”

Our brains see change the same way it sees fear and it reacts with the same powerful force as it does when there is something is threatening you.   You’re not going to think about running if there is a bear right behind you, you’re going to run (bears can run 30 mph so it doesn’t make sense to run, but we’ll use it for now).   Now think about the amount of energy it takes for you to get up and run full speed, it takes a lot.   It takes that kind of effort to make personal change as well.     Instead of making a change the brain says “No, you don’t need to do that” and of course that is what you do, you don’t do it, you do something else that is less threatening.     It takes a serious shock to raise the level of energy up to the activation energy level for change to occur and the brain just isn’t going to let that happen because you can think about it.

Think about any change effort you have made, what did it take?   How did you sustain the effort?

To make change happen you have to be committed to making the change, you have to override the brains message to you to “give up”, to “go back”, to “do something else”.   You have to have what is called “passion” to change.

If you know you should change, do you have the passion to make that change work?

“Change is avalanching upon our  heads and most people are  grotesquely unprepared to cope with it.”  Alvin Toffler “Future Shock”

change positively change

“Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go, be what you want to be — because you only have one life and one chance to do all the things that you want to do.”

Britta Fiksdal  
 
 
Do you follow the crowd or does the crowd follow you?    For many people staying in the crowd provides a great deal of safety.    There are many people who would like to change but the fear of taking action to create change is too scary.
 
Barry Posner and James Kouzes wrote,  ” Challenge is the opportunity for greatness. People do their best when there is an opportunity to change how things currently stand. Maintaining the status quo facilitates mediocrity. Those who embrace this practice do not wish to rest on their laurels. They motivate others to exceed their limits and look for innovative ways to improve the organization. “
 
 
In a crowd there is a sense of safety and that is one of the most significant contributors to change resistance.   What happens when you are not in the comfort of the crowd?     It takes a high degree of confidence to step out of the crowd and go off on your own.   Personal change requires personal courage.
 
What are you doing to cultivate personal change?

 James Kotter a change expert provides eight steps for organizational change, see if they work on an individual level as well.

1. Create a sense of urgency.   (Now is the time)

2. Form a powerful coalition.  (As an individual speak with others about your own personal desire for change, or work with a coach to increase the energy around making a change)

3. Create a vision (What is it that you really want?   Create a picture of what change you desire to make).

4. Communicate your vision (Share your vision with others, keep building up the story, believe in the vision).

5. Find out what is stopping you.   (If change were easy people wouldn’t be following the crowd.  Find out what is blocking you from stepping out and taking positive action).

6. Stair step the process.   (Start small, and win small wins.  Then with confidence of success with you start building up on the small wins and creating more significant goals.  Celebrate success)

7. Build on the momentum.   (Once good success deserves another)

8. Make it stick.  (Habits are hard to change … make it positive, make it fun and make it happen … if things slide back go back to the small wins and build up again.   Keep on the positive side).

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”
Chinese Proverb

Wall of Change

“You may be whatever you resolve to be”  General Stonewall Jackson

 

Change is difficult, challenging, demanding, and even chaotic.  Change is something most people resist and try to avoid, yet change is the impetus for growth and personal development.   Change is the role of a leader and everyone is a leader in some way.   Change is the mechanism by which people, organizations, states, countries and the world grows.   Growth is a necessary component for healthy living.

A leader has to be the first one to change, to absorb change, to reconcile change and then implement change.   For the followers change is often seen as a waste of time, a mechanism that breaks habits, causes stress and slows things down.    In what areas do you resist change?

In today’s world personal development is no longer an option it is a requirement.   Personal development requires change, the change from old to new habits and ideas.   Personal development and growth is a requirement for every career and every relationship.   In what areas are you developing your skills and talents?

If the ways you do things today aren’t working for you, change.  Find new ways, learn new things and begin to see life in a new light.   What areas in your life require more attention from you?