Embracing Change for Vibrant Health

Overcome Resistance to Change

Why are we resistant to change? It doesn’t matter whether or not we have a desire to be different; it seems within all of us there is a resistance to change. One of the areas that we often experience the MOST resistance is our health habits. What drives us to feel this resistance and how can we overcome it? I believe there are several driving factors to this resistance. However, there are ways to overcome and have better health habits!

Fear of the Unknown. This is a HUGE part of resistance to change. Even though what we are doing, may not be getting us the results we want; at least we know what to expect. This resistance is part of our protection mechanism. However, if we allow it to, it will keep us stuck. One of my clients recently commented to me that they don’t “know” if they will like a healthier alternative to their food choices, so they hesitate to even try the healthier option.

It is like that for so many of us! I always recommend to my clients that they start small with some little things that are unfamiliar to them. You don’t have to purchase kale chips, gluten free crackers and no sugar added peanut butter all on the same day. Pick one and test it out. Make gradual changes and the unknown becomes less fearful and overwhelming.

Past Trauma. Trauma is a major cause for resistance to change. Let’s face it, most of us have been through trauma. The traumas that we have gone through are there in our conscious and subconscious minds trying to keep us safe. We are attempting to avoid future trauma by resisting change.

My past traumas kept me stuck and unhealthy for a lot of years. One of my traumas stemmed from my parent’s divorce. This trauma led me to an innate distrust for men and that led me to a lonely life where I turned to food, books and TV because they were all safe. It wasn’t until I began to forgive my dad and break free from this trauma that I felt more willing to change. It was at that point that I began to make healthy changes to my diet and exercise patterns.

Desire for Control. One of the big reasons for people who resist healthy life changes is this desire for control. Life is so unpredictable and uncertain that we seek to be able to control whatever we can. Doing something new or different feels like we are letting go of control and that scares us.

This need for control leads us to make choices that make us feel safe and less open to risk. That is why we tend to choose to live in neighborhoods with groomed lawns and fenced in yards rather than choosing to live in the forest where life can be more difficult and unpredictable.

We often feel like if we can control the situation, then we are safe. The truth is that controlling a situation isn’t safety. It is actually fear.

This is why I recommend getting support. There are a lot of options out there and that can compound the fear and feelings of being unable to control the situation. If you have a support system and someone to turn to, it helps alleviate that fear and feel more confident to make the changes for your health and life.

Comfort/Habit. One of the main reasons that we resist change is that we like to be comfortable. Let’s face it, we all hear about getting outside our comfort zones, but few of us do it on a regular basis. Myself included! I have done many things outside my comfort zone, but it is not something I do naturally or without thinking. I have to really think about doing it and bring awareness to it so that I will jump out there and do something different.

One of the healthy steps that I wanted to take was eliminating refined sugars from my diet. There was one food that I loved that contained a lot of unnecessary sugar and that was Jiff peanut butter. I had A LOT of resistance around the idea of changing my peanut butter. I was quite comfortable with my Jiff!

For me, making this change was a two phase process. My first step was to stop eating peanut butter. I switched to other unsweetened, organic nut butters instead. This first step was crucial because it trained my taste buds to expect nuts only, no unnatural sweetness. The second step was to try an unsweetened, organic peanut butter. It worked! Now I am comfortable with unsweetened peanut butter and have far less sugar in my diet!

Peer Pressure. This is one we often don’t realize is keeping us stuck and resisting healthy changes. Jim Rohn says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This applies to our personal lives, our business lives, and our health life.

I used to spend most of my time with people who ate mostly processed and fast foods. As I have developed healthier eating habits, I find that I am spending less time with them and more time with people who love to cook healthy meals with whole foods.

Who are the five people that you are spending the most time with? Do those five people spend time focusing on good healthy habits? Or do they have some not so healthy ones?

I encourage you to explore these things and see what might be holding you back from better health. Are you allowing one of these things to keep you stuck? Comment below and tell me about it, I’d love to support you!

Sherry Parks is a Wellness Coach who helps career women escape feeling trapped and out of control in their work life, so that they are happy on their own terms and have joy and excitement for their life. Grab her Free PDF, Top Tips for Successful Food Cleansing, here.

To connect with Sherry, join her women-only Facebook group Lives in Balance.