Why We Should Welcome Resistance during New Habit Formation
So you hire a coach. You make a growth plan. You create your commitments. You are on fire. You are ready to achieve…to become the person you know you’ve always been deep inside. You are ready to be unleashed unto the world!! Then… life happens. Someone gets sick. A work deadline is pushed up. Your budget hits a snag and you have to cut corners for the month. Priorities shift, and the resistance begins. Thoughts of “I don’t have time for this” or “Maybe next month I will start on my diet/workout plan/journaling journey” fill your mind.
Welcome to REAL life.
Then you start fresh next month, and life comes at you hard yet again, and the cycle continues until… you decide to give up. Sound familiar?
No judgment here. This is REALITY, honey! This is as real as it gets. So why even bother trying to self-improve? #amiright?
Let’s sit for a second and discuss resistance to change. It sucks. Especially if you have an accountability partner or coach. You have to look that person in the eye (or send a sorrowful text) to tell them that you let yourself and potentially them down. Ouch. That hurts. No one likes admitting faults or failure.
But why does resistance to change have to be considered a failure? I like to think of resistance in a completely different way.
When we experience our first encounter with resistance, I say it’s time to celebrate. It’s time to reward yourself for making progress. It’s time to say…CHANGE IS AROUND THE CORNER! This sounds backwards. Why would we celebrate ourselves for saying NO to a new habit or routine? Well, we may not celebrate the act of stopping, but we will celebrate the fact that you have made it to this crossroad.
The crossroad is an opportunity for choice. The choice presented to you is whether you want to continue down your same path, living your same life, doing the same things, experiencing the same struggles…OR…you can choose a different path. This path is tough. This path comes with resistance. This path comes with hard work. But this path leads to a different way of living. It leads to fulfillment and happiness and achievement. It leads to a better you.
When you reach your first resistance, you are experiencing your very first taste of change. Change is scary, and your body and mind sense that change is near, and so the resistance ramps up. This is an exciting opportunity for you to acknowledge the change, choose to continue going, and see where you land. It is ok to slip up. In fact, it is natural and expected! No one is perfect, and we all need a break, but the important factor in this situation is that you intentionally choose to keep fighting for that change. You may slip up, skip a day (or week), eat a brownie, lose your temper, etc., but if we didn’t experience resistance, we would all be robots living a “perfect” life with “perfect” habits with a “perfectly” planned day, and then accomplishing anything would have very little meaning. Why? Because it would be too easy!
I mean, think about a time you worked your ass off to accomplish something. Was it easy or hard? Sometimes things do fall into place, so don’t let that dampen your win! But many times, accomplishing a new goal takes hard work, and that victory is so sweet when you push through and do it anyway.
What I am trying to say is that we need the resistance in our life. In fact, we should welcome it. Resistance shows us that we are making progress. We are encroaching on a pathway that we have never been down, and so naturally, we resist. Our tendency is to say, “no thanks, not today!” Instead, we can get excited. We can text our accountability partner and say, “Girl, I am fighting myself today. It is because I am scared/unsure/can’t see what lies ahead, but I am excited to keep going.”
And then, you keep going.
There is no shame in resistance. There is only celebration and an exciting opportunity to continue down a new way of living. When we work to shift this mindset, we are able to release the pressure of perfection, and we allow ourselves to lead our own path even if it has stop signs, red lights, and caution tape along the way.