Is Resistance to Personal Change Stopping You From Achieving Your Goals?

Talking yourself out of moving forward with your goals?  You’ve hit your resistance to personal change. Once you can recognize your preferred form of resistance then you can move through it. We all have resistance as I discussed in 6 Steps to Making Personal Changes When Chanting for a Goal. I suspect that one of the reasons people may not achieve their goals is because of falling into one of the following types of resistance. Without recognizing what is happening and what to do about it, they abandon their goal.

According to Rod Hairiston, coach and trainer, the following are the main ways we talk ourselves out of a goal I am sharing them with you, as recognizing my own method of resistance, has allowed me to follow through with goals I would have abandoned otherwise.

Catagories of Resistance

I Am A Victim

The first is being a victim and seeing yourself as being at the mercy of all circumstances, people and situations around you.  The victim will give their power away to say, ”My hands are tied. I can’t move forward until he changes first.’ Or “I can’t get a good job until the economy gets better.”

Hands of a missing kidnapped abused hostage victim woman tied up with rope in emotional stress and pain afraid restricted trapped call for help struggle terrified locked in a cage cell.

In Nichiren Buddhism, we know that we create our reality from the inside out, oneness of self and environment.  You are not at the mercy of anyone or any circumstance.  Take back your power and “ability to respond” and change what you thinking and doing to support what you want.

Is There Something Else?

You are convinced there is something out there that will help you get the results you want. You are flexible and upbeat. Once the initial excitement of setting a new goal wears off and you find out what is actually going to be required for your goal, you  drop the goal  and look for the next book or seminar.

Concept Handwritten With Chalk On A Blackboard.

You need to work on internal confidence and stick with one goal in order to grow to the next level. Make a commitment to say with what you’re doing for an extended, defined period of time to develop your emotional muscle. Develop self-talk and find models that will allow you to persist.

I Don’t Like Change

Your highest priority is finding certainty, keeping things the way they have always been. You don’t like change. But the only way you can achieve your goals and grow to Buddhahood is through personal change. That is what human revolution is all about.

Cartoon of business boss saying to his staff, I don't want to change. I want all of you to change.

You know from Nichiren Buddhism that the unchanging rock, to stand on, is inside you. Remind yourself, everything else can change but you always have that stability.

I Am Going to Push Thru Right Direction or Not

Change is needed but you don’t know what the right decision is or how to do it. So you escape
into a flurry of activity. You make a decision and stick to it whether or not you’re getting the

Egoist, Arrogant, and Stubborn Boss. A hand drawn vector cartoon illustration of a boss with bad attitude.
results you want. You don’t want to hear that there might be a better way.
Remember if you’ve made a decision that isn’t working out, it’s not a reflection on you. It just
means it’s time to try a different path.

I Am Always Stressed

Portrait of a mature stressed woman

You are always hurrying thru your journey not enjoying it. You always think you have to
achieve this or that before you can relax.

You need to understand that life is about happily achieving, not achieving to be happy. Enjoy
the journey.

I Wear A Mask

You only let other people see what you want them to see. You feel like a fraud and that other
people will find you out. When you hit the hard reality of what your goal is going to require, you
lie about how you are feeling – trying to look ok to everyone even though you feel things are
falling apart.

People aren’t really thinking about you. You need to acknowledge your own worth first and
learn to like yourself. Then the opinion of others won’t matter very much.

Getting it Together

As we come to recognize how we resist moving forward, a new person emerges. . He or she makes a determination and has a strong “why” for what he is doing. This person meets obstacles by continuing to move forward at a comfortable pace, one step at a time. He works in small bite sized pieces which when repeated over and over grow into habits which support his goals.

Background concept wordcloud illustration of meaningful life

If he stops moving forward he examines what is happening but doesn’t put himself down for it. He examines his beliefs and if there is a better way to reach his goal he takes it.
He knows he needs to keep moving forward, practicing positive attitudes and actions, finding good models to learn from and growing a little each day. He knows that his unconscious mind will turn into his ally once those constructive attitudes and actions turn into unconscious, automatic habits. He knows that once built, these constructive habits will make it easier for him to reach his goals.

Personal Experience

When I hit difficulties with goals and developed resistance to completing them, I looked for something else, the next tape or seminar, while abandoning the goal I had been so excited about. Once I learned to recognize this pattern as it was happening, then I knew what I had to do when working on a new project. Just gear in there and stick with it one step at a time. I chose to use as a role model a person who demonstrates this one step at a time approach.  Then I developed self talk  such as, ” This doesn’t happen over night.  Just take a step forward every day.” Since then I have been completing goals, from which I would have backed away previously. Your preferred method may be one of the others described in this post.

You Can Get it Together

Set a goal.  When you hit resistance to moving forward:

1. Identify your preferred method of resisting change as it is happening.

2. Find models you can emulate.
3. Develop a way of talking to yourself that will allow you to move forward.