The Four Main Types of Resistance to Change
Do you recognize yourself in the four reasons for resistance to change below? The more I study and do inner change work, the more I realize the value in acknowledging just how much we DON’T want to change.
Let me give you a recent example from my life. I was working with a colleague and had committed to do my part in completing our project.
I Refused to Get It Done
I knew I had to do it. I knew I would do it.
But I felt so much resistance I couldn’t get started.
But . . . I had agreed to do it.
So I felt ethically and legally responsible to complete it.
But in my current state it would have taken me 12 hours to do 3 hours of work. I was feeling that much resistance and resentment.
I thought to tap (impressive in that state :), but didn’t want to tap on anything positive, like “I choose to let this go.” I didn’t want to let it go! I really wanted to be mad at her.
I did, however, want to finish the project, so I’d be done with it, it wouldn’t be hanging over my head, and I wouldn’t be wasting my energy on it any longer.
So I tapped my resistance. I tapped my refusal to let her off the hook. I tapped my anger, my resentment.
That’s all I tapped! Nothing nice. No, “I choose to forgive her, she did the best she could.”
Nope, I just tapped how I refused to let go, refused to change, refused to do the work.
And know what? I felt immediately better. Total relief. It wasn’t like I fell in love with her and felt total forgiveness and enlightenment. What I did feel though, was motivation and energy to finish the project.
I sat down, got to work, and knocked that puppy out. Quickly, easily and without a shred of resistance. Done. Complete.
That’s what facing your resistance can do. Here’s my theory of what’s happening and why the tapping works to release it.
Types of Resistance to Change
Inner resistance is various parts of your unconscious programming putting their foot on the brake – hard. Do you see yourself in these four reasons for resistance to change?
First, we resist change.
Let’s face it, change can be dangerous. And it was especially dangerous when were surviving on the savanna.
It feels unsafe to change because that’s built into us – probably into our very DNA.
Second, our identity is tied up in who we are now (or who we’ve been).
Identity is a BIG DEAL. You might think, “that’s just an ego thing,” but it’s a major force to be reckoned with.
Identity is what makes it so difficult for people to change their social or economic class. When we find it difficult or impossible to see ourselves as that new, better, happier, richer, healthier person . . . it won’t happen.
Your identity may even be as a Struggler, a Victim, a Martyr. These identities also spill over into the third reason for inner resistance – wanting others to pay.
Third, we may want to punish someone.
Maybe our parents, siblings, spouse, child – even God.
Even though it might not be a conscious decision, we don’t want to let go of whatever’s causing us pain because we want those others to see how much they’ve hurt us and apologize . . . or suffer themselves.
It may seem illogical, but that doesn’t stop if from being real.
Fourth, we often don’t want to grow up.
When we were kids, most of us were carefree. Playful. Light hearted. We loved creative play.
You see kids exhibiting this all the time. They dance in grocery stores. Sing silly made up songs in the park. They stomp, kick, cry and show their rage when they feel it.
Healthy children are uninhibited and bursting with energy.
And they can’t help seeing how different adults are. Adults are serious. They’re crabby. They’re exhausted. And they’re angry a lot.
Kids see how painful and no fun it is to be an adult and many of them (many of us!) decide they never want to. Just like Peter Pan, we vow, as children, to never grow up.
This manifests in not wanting to
- become financially responsible,
- clean up our messes (around the house and in our lives),
- let our parents off the hook for screwing us up (they got screwed up by their parents too), refusing to fully take responsibility for our lives
Tapping – EFT – is great for quickly reducing these four forms of resistance. It can have an immediate beneficial effect, just like it did for me with my unfinished project.
I’ve created a tapping script for overcoming resistance to change – it’s a companion to this article.
My request to you: In the comments below, let us know if you’ve identified other reasons for resistance to change.