5 Signs You Are Resisting Change
The truth about change? Our lives are driven by change. Some of it is planned. A lot of it just happens. We experience change in many of the same ways, but our individual experiences are also uniquely different and deeply personal. It’s those experiences - both the similar and dissimilar - that provide the foundation for effective and lasting change.
But what often happens is change is met with resistance. Because it’s unfamiliar, out of our comfort zone and just plain trying, a common response to change is that “change is scary.” We may know deep down that because change is challenging, it’s also extremely rewarding. But staying stuck in familiar patterns when you KNOW what needs to change is a major red flag that you are resisting whatever changes you are trying to make. These are the changes that you know will propel your life, your business and your relationships forward.
The signs that you are resisting change can be extremely subtle. They can be so embedded into your routine already that you may not even be aware of them. Before you know it, you’re stuck in the same routine, taking the same familiar approach with every project, and not investing in your growth and development.
While there are many signs you’re resisting change, these 5 are just a few major indicators that you’re holding yourself back:
1. You’re procrastinating.
Ever find that you keep pushing back projects? Whether the task is something small like canceling a subscription, returning an email or phone call, or bigger like completing a work project or starting on your fitness goals, it’s procrastination just the same. Procrastination comes from a place inside that’s afraid of change.
Ask yourself, what’s really standing in the way of my completing this task? Is it disengagement? Is it too challenging? Or perhaps, something deeper? Getting clear on the WHY can reveal more about the reasoning behind your self-sabotaging behavior of procrastination.
2. You complain a lot.
If you find yourself getting distracted by office gossip and participating in negative talk (either internal or external), then not only are you participating in low-vibe behavior, you’re showing signs of change resistance. If updates to procedures make you roll your eyes, that is a sign of fear and general disdain for change.
The next time you find yourself wanting to speak negatively about someone or something new, ask yourself why you’re having the sudden urge to do so. Could this new procedure actually be an improvement? Is it possible that Linda from HR actually doesn’t have it out for you and is just doing her job the best she knows how? No one likes a complainer, and all that complaining is actually getting in the way of your happiness and growth.
3. You’re defensive.
If your first reaction to a new policy or procedure is a defensive reaction, it could be a sign that you are resistant to change. Resisting change can often look unfamiliar and daunting, thus causing us to keep our guard up and question the change. If you’re automatically moving into a negative headspace when a change proposition arises, it’s most likely out of fear of the unknown. The reaction is defensive, and often phrases like, “Really?” and “Why?” will fill your head. Instead of reacting right away, note that what you may be feeling is defensiveness and it’s simply because you’re heading into uncharted territories. Asking yourself what’s really behind the wall you’re putting up can be the first step in moving out of resistance and into excitement about the change.
4. You feel as though you don’t deserve better.
If something seems to be holding you back or keeping you in a state of resistance, there is a high possibility that you subconsciously feel that you don’t deserve any better than the status quo. You may think that you want things to be better, but any time a new idea or change comes up that would actually be beneficial, you seem to always respond with resistance to that change.
Feeling unworthy is an experience many share, and one that appears in just about every aspect of life; especially work and relationships. When you start to notice the triggers of unworthiness coming up, including putting yourself down or feeling fearful or more, ask yourself if any of it is really true. All you can do is your best, and making space for viewing changes more openly and positively will make it seem much less daunting.
5. Your next actions aren’t clear.
For any time of change to take place smoothly, it’s imperative that the next actions are clearly defined. If after a change is presented, you feel yourself drawing a blank, then you may be resisting. Feeling unprepared for the change or a lack of superior direction can perpetuate resistance. It can make you feel frozen and perhaps a little bit lost. It’s okay — asking clarifying questions when a change is presented is not only doing yourself a favor, but odds are everyone around you is feeling the same. Don’t be afraid to speak up … After all, you want to set yourself up for success when navigating change. Otherwise, you will appear resistant to change and could end up feeling resistant to any new change moving forward as well.
Many agree that changes are almost always met with a little resistance in the beginning. It’s natural to question. But the good news is, there are some ways to look at change to make it seem less daunting. Think of change as an experiment. Try a different approach or add something into your routine, like a 10-minute yoga routine in the morning, or meeting with a client face-to-face instead of over the phone, or any other small thing that you’ve considered. Note how you feel with each change.If it’s working for you, then it’s worth keeping.
Striving to improve yourself and your life experience is a huge part of becoming the person you want to be and living the life you want. Looking for the signs that you are resisting change is the first step to overcoming your fear of change and the unknown. After all, you never truly know until you try. Trusting that all change is for your highest good is a great place to start.
For more tips on navigating change in your industry, visit: https://davidcouperconsulting.com/resilience
Ilana Tel-Oren is a freelance writer, content and project producer with a bath and body side-hustle that advocates self-love and self-care (www.stardustcoven.com). She writes content including web pages, blogs, and social media posts for clients in health and wellness, consulting and small business. She is also a contributing writer for music sites Buzzbands.la and mxdwn.