One of my favorite parts of coaching is helping my clients develop a better relationship with their resistance.
Resistance includes conflicting feelings and insecurities about change, either consciously or unconsciously. Let’s take weight loss for example. Often my clients have a deep desire to lose weight but they also have a desire to eat late at night. These competing desires cause tension and when not related to in a healthy way, it can lead to sabotage.
I used to think that when resistance popped up it meant that I was not supposed to move forward with my goals, or that something was wrong or weak within me, and it turned into a large obstacle for me. However, I have come to understand and help clients recognize that resistance is a completely normal part of the change process.
Now everytime I see that resistance in myself or with my clients I actually get excited because I know that they are at the edge of some growth and I often find that there is a powerful discovery on the other side of this resistance.
It is very normal to have competing desires and for one or more parts of you to not be on board with the change. I tell you, there is nothing wrong with it. When resistance emerges I recommend you to name it, recognize its presence and honor it. Make sure you practice all of this without judgement and full of compassion.
I remember that when I trained for my first half-marathon I had the urge to beat myself up when I didn’t want to go for my training runs. What I did instead was I validated that one part of me that wanted to stay at home and rest, that this was normal, and off I went embracing the discomfort.
Sometimes I thought when resistance pops up, it’s a sign that we need to slow things down for a little while. There can be a tendency to go full speed ahead towards a goal but periodically a side of us needs time to catch up. This could look like an extra rest day, giving yourself extra time to reach your goal, and resisting the urge to rush around.
It is also important to find out what your resistance needs from you.
Frequently, our resistance needs some validation, or it is giving us the sign of the need for some additional resources. Many of my clients just need to hear simple validation that change can be hard, which is why so few of us live up to our full potential.
Lastly, in all of my years coaching and doing therapy I have found that once a client is able to recognize their resistance, honor it, and see what that resistance needs, powerful discoveries are made. When we try to avoid or judge ourselves for having this resistance we rob ourselves of some pretty powerful insights.
The next time you set out to reach a goal and resistance pops up, see if you can recognize it as a NORMAL part of the change process. Try to ditch the judgement or self-criticism, be willing to understand it and discover what it needs from you. Practice slowing things down so that some parts of you can catch up and know that it is okay to be a little sad when you let go of this resistance because it is a part of you that was just trying its best to give you something that you desired in the past.
If you are really struggling to release some resistance, I invite you to a connection call with me to see if we can help you have a better relationship with your resistance so it doesn’t hold you back from what you desire most.
Have a great weekend!
Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.