How and When to Overcome Resistance to Change


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you “know” that you need to make a change, but just can’t seem to make it happen? Intellectually you are 100% on board, but no matter how hard you try, the shiny, new habit does not make it to your inner circles of daily ease and comfort.


This resistance is strong and real so don’t underestimate it!


I am so fascinated by this resistance. It seems there is a certain point of success in any new program, whether it is a new way of eating or exercise plan, where self-sabotage often sets in. During my health coach training we were warned that often session number 4 is when this resistance hits clients. They won’t show up or they will have an excuse why they can’t move forward. This is usually following steady improvements in the first 3 sessions.


Resistance can show up in many forms. It can mask itself as procrastination, fear, putting others first, feeling not worthy or “never having any time”.


Where is this resistance coming from? Have you ever stopped to question if you feel you are worthy of true happiness? Were you taught that happy, healthy people with an abundance of money and resources are not to be trusted? Do you identify with a certain part of yourself that you are afraid to lose? Hiding behind extra weight because it “protects” you?


The first step is to recognize these deep-seeded beliefs and patterns.


How do we get beyond this pattern once we have recognized it? I turned to a behavioral analyst friend for real life tips to implement into our daily lives if we find ourselves stuck in these patterns.


Meet Courtney. Behavioral analyst. She has shared an amazingly raw & transparent story of her personal journey and struggle. It wasn’t easy for her to maintain a healthy lifestyle that supports her personal views all while accommodating the dietary restrictions that she discovered were essential to here health. You can read her story here.


Here is the question that I proposed to Courtney, from a behavioral analyst perspective, how can we overcome resistance to change?


Here are Courtney’s tips to overcoming resistance to change:


Let’s Analyze the Situation


Start with these questions to find out more about yourself and your position.


  1. What is your goal?

I mean YOUR GOAL. Not other people’s goals for you. Mine are:

  • To reduce waste (recycle please!)
  • To be outside often
  • To enjoy my life and my friends
  • To feel good


  1. What are other people’s goals? The people around you. 
    • My partner or doctor says I need to get healthy
    • My mom wants to be a grandmother


3.  What is the environment in which you live?

  • I have a roommate and can’t always control my environment
  • My environment is kid’s toys, kid’s snacks & a hot-dog, pizza eating husband
  • My only me-time is 10 minutes alone in the shower
  • I have a lot of control over my choices
  • I surround myself with healthy things and healthy people


  1. What do you like? For real…
  • I like reading, being outside, exercising, coffee, chocolate, going out to meals with my friends and being alone.

Be honest and make the longest list possible


  1. And the most important part- Do YOU, do YOU, do YOU really want to change? I mean YOU.
  • Check if your goal is in YOUR GOAL statement, or if it was only in the “other people’s goals” section


If the answer is “Yes, I really want to change. Yes, this is MY goal” then let’s do this!!! Read 3 Tools from a Behavioral Analyst To Make Positive Changes in Your Life and take action immediately.


For those of you that discovered you don’t want to make a change, but instead it is other people want you to make a change. This is a good discovery as well and will help you understand why there is so much resistance. Let it go, the time will come when you find a change that resonates with you, and you will be ready to make it on your own terms! And then you will give it 100%.


Guest Blog Post by Courtney Buckley



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