Resistance to Change and What’s Really Holding You Back

Does this sound familiar?

Something happens in your life which is unexpected or triggers a sense of fear. You immediately begin to make choices as a reaction to this sense of uncertainty out of a desire to feel safe and comfortable again. You rearrange everything in your life to try to protect yourself from these sudden and uncomfortable changes. But, no matter what you do, no matter how hard you work, the issue resurfaces. Maybe it shows up as a temper tantrum and loss of emotional control. Maybe it shows up as pain or illness in the body. However, it shows up, you fight against it, trying to regain that feeling of security.

This process is simply your soul’s way of telling you that it’s time for a change.

One experience from a coaching client of mine is as follows:

“When my partner and I got together, my life was in shambles. He was there for me through it all and I felt indebted to him to prove that I would be a good partner and repay all of his love and support. I tried to do everything perfectly without complaint. Even though I worked full time and was raising three children, including our baby, I always felt like I was never enough. I tried to keep the house in perfect order, to make the children behave, to have hot meals when he came home – I wanted him to stay with me and to love me and never leave me. With all of the responsibility I felt I had taken on, and never feeling like I could do enough, there were times when I lost my temper and lashed out. I was stretched thin and felt like he didn’t do enough. My desire to repay his kindness had soured and turned to resentment. In reality, I wouldn’t really let him help me or ask him to help me because I felt it was my job to make everyone happy all of the time. I had to have control. Loss of control meant losing him. The day came when he did finally leave. My worst nightmare (I thought) had come true. A monumental change was occurring in my life and I was terrified.”

Most of us have had times in our lives when change has been dangerous. We’ve had things happen which have blindsided us, brought pain and sadness, have seemed like life is out to get us. When these things happen we’re left wondering “why am I going through this? Haven’t I worked hard enough? Don’t I deserve better?”

There is a saying that goes “The only constant in life is change.”

One of the greatest obstacles to being able to see these changes as blessings is RESISTANCE. Resistance shows up in many ways – ways that you may not even be aware of. Once you learn to look for these signals, you can work with your resistance to allow change to be a positive process instead of a fearful one.

My coaching client goes on to say:

“Once I was able to look at my resistance and see what I had created I was able to see that the end of this relationship was a blessing in disguise. I had been smothering him, attempting to control the situation and relationship to make him stay with me. Even though I told myself that I had done nothing wrong, the reality was that I was creating resistance for both of us. In order for each of us to grow and evolve I had to be willing to let go. It was painful at first, but I practiced seeing the highest and best for each of us. As I looked at all of the ways in which I had been resistant, I began to see my soul lesson surface. My story that said that I would never be good enough and would never be able to repay him for being there in the beginning was only an excuse to stay ‘safe’. I had built walls and was hiding inside of them instead of allowing the growth and transformation to occur. The feelings of guilt, sadness, and pain are still there and surface from time to time, but with this light of awareness I’m able to identify them, to allow them, and to practice letting go.”

One of the greatest transformational authors of our time is Louise Hay (1926-2017), founder of Hay House Publications. Her book, “You Can Heal Your Life” has been in print since 1984 and is still considered a cornerstone in the New Thought and New Age movement. In this groundbreaking book, she identifies these areas of resistance as:

  • Non-verbal cues
  • Assumptions
  • Beliefs
  • Them
  • Self-concepts
  • Delaying tactics
  • Denial
  • Fear.

Over the coming months we will break down each of these categories of resistance to change. If you follow along and are willing to look at areas of your life where you may be resisting change, your new awareness in these areas can open the pathway to possibility. Once you have become aware of what’s stopping you, you can release these blockers and move through these with ease and grace.

Change is a process. It’s nothing to fear – even if change has been scary up until now.

In “You Can Heal Your Life,” Louise Hay identifies Non-Verbal Cues as follows:

“Our actions often show our resistance. For instance:

  • Changing the subject
  • Leaving the room
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Being late
  • Getting sick
  • Procrastinating by:
    • Doing something else
    • Doing busy work
    • Wasting time
  • Looking away, or out the window
  • Flipping through a magazine
  • Refusing to pay attention
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking
  • Creating or ending a relationship
  • Creating breakdowns: cars, appliances, plumbing, etc.”


On a sheet of paper, write down the ways in which you may be attempting to resist changes through your actions. For example, you may say that you want to work on a particular relationship, but whenever a genuine conversation begins, you look away or change the subject. Maybe you delay coming home so that you don’t have to face your partner. Perhaps you get sick so that you don’t have to attend an event that you know a certain person is attending.

Take it easy on yourself. This exercise is not intended for you to beat up on yourself or to create drama. Practice a lot of love and forgiveness as you are making your list. Remember that we are always doing our best at all times. Most of us don’t even know that we’re using these resistance techniques in our lives until we sit down and take a look. This exercise is meant to bring a loving awareness to these areas of our lives so that we can begin to shift our thinking. We all know that if we change our thinking, we change our lives. So much of our thinking is automatic programming from events that have happened in the past. In order to begin to change our thinking, we only need to shed the light of awareness.

I’d love to hear about your experiences as you begin to be aware of the resistance tactics you are using in life. Feel free to share them on my Facebook page, or contact me directly. And as always, you can book your 30-minute introductory session with me by contacting me.