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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How to Overcome Your Resistance to Change for a Better Self

How to Overcome Your Resistance to Change for a Better Self

As you navigate the journey to change your life, you have probably noticed things are not always easy. It can feel as though you are fighting yourself every step of the way. This can cause your transformation to feel draining and impossible to accomplish, which ultimately creates resistance to change.

If you have felt this way and are ready to change your life for the better, you are going to need to overcome your resistance to change. Use these ideas and suggestions to learn how!

1. Outline the Benefits of Changing Your Life

To help lower your mind’s initial resistance to change, you’re going to need to do a little homework. A good place to start is by outlining the benefits of changing your life. If you are attempting to find a new job, list the benefits of your new job.

Make sure you go deeper than “to make more money.” Why do you want to make more money? Is it because you want to provide for your family? Maybe you want to purchase your first home or pay off your debt.

If you want to provide for your family, list the reason this goal is so important to you.

If you want to pay off your debt, outline the stress and anxiety you feel because of your debt. Then, research some of the side-effects of stress and the benefits of managing your stress levels[1].

You want to make it as real as you can for your mind, because you want your mind to see the benefit of change and the danger of inaction.

2. Adopt a Growth Mindset

Another reason people resist change is because they don’t believe they will get the desired result. 

If you want to overcome your resistance to change, you must believe change is possible. No one likes wasting their time, and your mind is no different. If it believes you are not going to succeed, it is going to try to stop you before you start.

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One of the best ways to overcome this issue is to adopt a growth mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that you can learn and develop the skills necessary to better your life.

You can listen to this TED Talk with Carol Dweck to understand why a growth mindset is so powerful.

One study pointed out, for example, that “those who believe intelligence is fixed and cannot be changed exert less effort to succeed”[2]. When you believe change is possible, you work harder to achieve the change you’re seeking.

By empowering yourself with a growth mindset and understanding that you’re capable of problem solving, you will no-longer be restrained by your self-doubt and fear of failure.

3. Understand That Failure Is Not Guaranteed

Help your mind understand that failure is not guaranteed. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to expose your mind to new possibilities. You do this by reading, listening, and watching people in similar situations talk about their journey to success.

As you listen to people talk about their successes and their failures, you start to realize two things:

First, the path to success is not as straight as people would have you think. You live in a social media world where everyone is sharing only the best parts of their life. People rarely share the difficulties, which can create a false feeling of failure because your life is not as perfect as theirs.

The second thing you will realize is that failure is a part of success. You will be hard-pressed to find someone who has experienced success without experiencing opposition.

The key take-away from these two realizations is the fact that what we call “failure,” the successful speak of as their “moment of clarity.”. If you want to overcome the sources of resistance to change, you must see failure the same way. Failure is not something to avoid, nor is it always a sign that something is impossible. Failure is simply an opportunity for improvement.

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4. Build Certainty

We already touched on the uncertainty surrounding changing your life for the better and people’s fear of the unknown. Now you are going to discover the antidote to any apprehension surrounding uncertainty.

If you want to ensure you are not paralyzed by uncertainty, you need to build certainty!

Your natural question is, “How do I build certainty”? When it comes to change, you can never remove all uncertainty. However, you can remove most of it if you prepare ahead of time.

Consider being nervous about buying your first home. What can you do to ease the tension?

If your resistance is based on whether you can afford the mortgage, then sitting down and creating a budget is a great way to ease your concern.

There could also be apprehension because you have never purchased a home before. If that is the case, you will benefit from researching the process and speaking to others who have done it.

As you spend time planning and understanding the change you want to make in your life, you will slowly remove the uncertainty. As you discover more, you will be more confident in your ability to navigate the rough terrain of changing your life.

Try communicating plans you make to someone you trust. This will ease signs of resistance more as you create a support system around your goal.

Take a look at this guide to learn more about building self-confidence.

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5. Keep a Success Journal

In addition to improving your perception of the process, you want to improve your perception of yourself if you want to overcome your resistance to change.

When you face a new situation, you will wonder if you have what it takes to successfully change your life. To quickly overcome this obstacle and maintain a positive perception of yourself, you need to keep a success journal.

In your success journal, write down all of your successes.

Your successes could include applying for your first job, asking that special someone out on a date, or setting up a retirement account. You will notice each of these successes are focused on you taking action. You can write down your successful outcomes as well, but I have found focusing on what you can control is more important.

For example, if you focused on attaining the job, you were allowing the decision of another person to play a role in your perception of yourself.

There’s a place for you to share the encouragement of others in your success journal, as well. If you help someone, and they show their appreciation with a kind note or a few words of encouragement, write them in your journal.

Then, as you find yourself doubting your ability to successfully change your life, read a few pages of your journal. You will quickly regain the proper perspective and realize you have what it takes to achieve your goals.

6. Appeal to Your Emotional Side

According to the book Dual-Process Theories in Social Psychology, the left side of your brain appreciates facts and figures, while your right side will appreciate vivid imagery in the form of metaphors and personal stories.

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Use your right brain to overcome resistance to change

    Your success journal is a plea to the right side of your brain. By allowing yourself to relive your stories of success, you are empowering your mind to visualize your life post-transformation.

    Your mind naturally looks for the negative result because it is focused on keeping you alive. One study pointed out that “it has been indicated that negative events elicit more rapid and more prominent responses than non-negative events” because of a negativity bias[3].

    To help shift your focus toward good ideas, it will be beneficial for you to include things you are grateful for in your success journal.

    A good rule of thumb is to write one thing you are grateful for each time you find yourself reflecting on something you don’t like. By being intentional with your actions, you can train your mind to look for the good.

    Read and write in your success journal on a day-to-day basis, and you will quickly realize you have already accomplished so much in your life.

    Final Thoughts

    Dealing with resistance to change starts in the mind. If you want to change your life for the better, you must believe it is possible and in your best interest to do so. Otherwise, you will find yourself giving into your resistant mind’s call to maintain the status quo.

    More Tips to Overcome Resistance to Change

    Featured photo credit: Ani Kolleshi via unsplash.com

    Reference

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2020

    11 Simple Ways To Get Rid Of Your Inner Fear

    11 Simple Ways To Get Rid Of Your Inner Fear

    Saw a little girl touch a big bug and shout, “I conquered my fear! YES!” and calmly walk away. I was inspired.” ― Nathan Fillion

    What is fear? – a feeling triggered by threat, danger or pain. Most of the times, we humans tend to over-dramatize a situation and develop inner fear that hints at our insecurities and lack of capability to get by it. Often, you might found yourself stumble across an event where you are more tied down by your inner fear than the actual problem at hand. For some people, inner fears tend to develop certain complexes and personality disorders in the long-run. To avoid this from happening to you or any loved one. Read on these 11 simple things you can do to get over your inner fear.

    1. You Are What You Think

    To an extent, this statement stands true. You can build confidence by thinking positively about yourself. It makes all the more reason to take control of your imagination instead of allowing it to exponentially magnetize your inner fear. During our moments of deep anxiety, we tend to imagine the worst-case scenarios that may not conform with reality. To overcome your inner fears, you can start thinking the positive outcomes. By thinking on a positive track of mind, it is likely for you develop the strength to face a situation. Don’t let your imagination get the best of you – remain positive and you are likely to stay calm.

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    2. Fear of Death Won’t Make Death Go Away

    As children, we would often hide our faces behind our hands and consider a dreaded event to pass us by. With the vivid imagination children have, this was a seemingly workable approach. However, as adults, we know that inner fears can only be overcome by confrontation. The possibility of dying is an inner fear that will only hold you back from living. Another practical approach of confronting your fear of death is to examine the brave people around you who are preparing for their death and leaving an example behind for others to follow. An article published by Dr: Murphy elaborates the death of Nelson Mandela and helps in highlighting his courage in his life and even at the time of dying.

    3. Expose Yourself to Your Fear

    The best way to overcome your fear is to explore yourself and find what makes you afraid the most in phases. For example, if you are afraid of spiders, then start off by looking at a spider without freaking out. The next time, you can touch it and then finally hold it in your hands. Once, you have accomplished all these phases; then it is likely for you to overcome what you have been afraid of all along.

    4. Get Fascinated By Your Fear

    Sometimes what we fear is also something that can create feelings of exhilaration in our bodies. This is what you want to achieve – become fascinated by your fear so much that you tend to enjoy experiencing it. Think about people in extreme sports. Don’t they get scared of heights, waterfalls and speed? But somehow, they are more thrilled in confronting their fear than being afraid of it. By seeing your fear as a positive source of energy, you are likely to embrace it and eventually overcome it.

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    5. It’s Okay to Be Afraid

    What is important to remember is that it is okay to be afraid sometimes. Denying the inner fear is a common way of allowing it to integrate itself with your subconscious and cause you anxiety.  An inner fear develops on an account of a situation that is beyond your control. Feeling fearful by something is just a normal human reaction. Instead of shunning or reacting badly towards it, accept it. Acceptance is the first step of  overcoming your fear.

    6. Reward Yourself

    Overcoming a deep  rooted inner fear implies taking baby steps towards an overall recovery from it. It means that you need to celebrate each victory as it comes along the way. If you don’t give yourself the much needed pat on the back, the chances are that you will indirectly discourage your improvement. It is important to recognize your gradual recovery and reward yourself in order to completely overcome the inner fear.

    7. Slow Breathing is a Useful Technique

    Being faced by your inner most fear can probably cause your brain to shut down and entire body to react passively. At such times, remember: slow breathing is the short circuit for anxiety.  It helps your body to calm down regardless of what your brain is causing you to think. Try counting quickly up to 7 to clear your mind and take a breath in. Breathe out by quickly, counting up to 11 in your mind. Repeat this until you are able to calm yourself which would probably take a minute or so. This is an effective way of relaxing your mind and body to overcome the situation at hand.

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    8. Try Being Analytic

    When you go through a sudden panic attack, usually your brain is being over-emotional and subsiding your logic. The best thing to do at this time is to use a different part of your brain and force yourself to think in a logical and analytic manner. To achieve this, try scaling your fear from 1-10 where 10 is the highest terrifying state. When you feel anxious, ask yourself what is the level of your anxiety? By questioning your state of mind, you are tending yourself towards a calmer and better state of mind.

    9. Employing the “AWARE” Technique

    Whenever you are troubled by your inner fear, gain more control by using AWARE technique which is an acronym for:

    • A:  accept the anxiety and your fear – you can not fight it unless you don’t recognize its presence.
    • W: – watch the anxiety. Then analyze it by using point 7 and 8.
    • A: – try “acting” normally. Although, a difficult thing for many people to do. However, the longer you act normally; the better. You will be able to provide your brain the signals of overall things to be in ideal condition.
    • R:  stands for repeating these steps if required.
    • E:  expect the best. Embracing your inner fear means that you take control of the situation and expect the outcome to be in your favor.

    10. You’re Not Alone

    Many people consider to be exclusive in their fears. By considering that many others have gone through, or are still going through, the same type of fears, you are universally acknowledging a solution for your fear. There are many discussion groups and meetings for people going through similar kinds of fears. By joining such a group, you can openly discuss your fears and find a holistic approach in tackling your problem whenever it is triggered.

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    11. Express Yourself

    Many psychologists recommend their patients to keep a journal and document their feelings whenever they become fearful. These journals are often a source of catharsis for people as they help in pointing out the trigger behind their inner fears. By going through the root cause of the fear, you are bettering your chances of finding a cure.  There are also many online discussion forums where people vent out their feelings of anxiety and depression. The primary advantage of expressing yourself is to help you vent out so that you are able to grab hold of the situation.

    Final Words

    These are some of the simple ways of overcoming your inner fears. By practicing these rules from time-to-time, you are giving yourself the opportunity to hold a brave front against your fears. Remember, you are your best judge and advocate. Instead of going downhill and letting your guards down, you can practice these simple points and drive yourself to a total state of conquering your fears.  We all have an inner fear to overcome, tell us what works for you to subside your fear and get ahead in your life. Feel free to comment below and share your success story with us.

    Featured photo credit: Henk Mul via unsplash.com

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