Six Strategies For Overcoming Resistance To Change

Six Strategies For Overcoming Resistance To Change

Six Strategies For Overcoming Resistance To Change

Six strategies for overcoming resistance to change that I wish I had access to when I was starting! Working in the coaching profession for the last almost ten years has been exciting and eye opening. The biggest challenge we help people with, as coaches, is resistance to change. Change is an inevitable part of life, yet many of us find ourselves struggling with resistance when faced with the need to embrace new experiences or make positive transformations. In an effort to understand the dynamics of resistance to change, I’ve been doing research and also sought feedback from members of my Mapping Your Mastery Facebook group. Drawing some key insights from renowned experts and theories, this article presents six strategies for overcoming resistance to change and pave the way towards a joyous and fulfilling life.

Strategy 1: Embrace Self-Awareness and Reflection

The first one of these six strategies for overcoming resistance to change is cultivating self-awareness and engaging in honest reflection. As Elisabeth Kübler-Ross proposed in her stages of grief, acknowledging our feelings and emotions is essential when adapting to change. Kurt Lewin’s Force-Field Analysis comes into play here as well. Recognise the driving forces behind your desire for change, such as a need for growth or personal fulfillment. Similarly, identify the restraining forces, which might include fear of the unknown or self-limiting beliefs.

Expanding your self-awareness can be an invaluable and transformative journey. As you delve deeper into your feelings and emotions, you gain insights into the reasons behind your resistance to change. By recognising the driving forces compelling you towards change, such as the pursuit of personal growth and fulfillment, you become better equipped to navigate the challenges that lie ahead. Simultaneously, identifying restraining forces, like the fear of the unknown or self-limiting beliefs, empowers you to confront these obstacles head-on.

As you embark on this path of self-awareness, you’ll discover the power to challenge negative narratives and replace them with positive affirmations. This process nurtures your self-confidence, providing the courage to embrace change as an opportunity for growth and development. Through increased self-awareness, you’ll find a deeper understanding of your true potential, unlocking the path to a joyous and fulfilling life.

Strategy 2: Foster a Growth Mindset

The second of our six strategies for overcoming resistance to change draws upon the work of Carol Dweck. Carol Dweck’s concept of a growth mindset shows that our abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and perseverance. Embrace this perspective when confronting resistance to change. Instead of viewing challenges as roadblocks, consider them as opportunities to learn and improve. Cultivate a belief in your own capacity to adapt and succeed in new situations.

Growing your self-awareness plays a pivotal role in nurturing your growth mindset. When you become more self-aware, you gain deeper insights into your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This heightened self-awareness enables you to identify patterns of resistance and understand the underlying reasons behind them. By recognizing these patterns, you can address any self-limiting beliefs or fears that may be hindering your progress.

Moreover, as you enhance your self-awareness, you become better equipped to embrace change with a positive and open mindset. You’ll develop a greater understanding of your strengths and areas for growth, allowing you to set realistic goals and work towards them more effectively. Embracing a growth mindset, coupled with heightened self-awareness, empowers you to navigate through challenges and setbacks with resilience and a willingness to adapt.

In essence, fostering a growth mindset and growing your self-awareness go hand in hand. Together, they create a powerful foundation for overcoming resistance to change and embarking on a transformative journey toward a joyous and fulfilling life. Embrace the opportunity to learn and evolve, and you’ll discover the incredible results that await you on the path of personal growth and positive change.

Strategy 3: Gradual Exposure to Change

The third of these six strategies for overcoming resistance to change looks at your readiness to change. Everett Rogers’ theory of the diffusion of innovations suggests that individuals differ in their readiness to adopt change. A respondent on my Facebook group shared his experience which reflects this notion, where he needed time to mentally prepare before embracing change. I recommend being patient with yourself and recognise that everyone has their pace. Take small steps towards change, experiment, and gradually expose yourself to new experiences.

In the process of gradual exposure to change, growing your self-awareness can be a powerful ally. As we become more in tune with our thoughts, feelings, and reactions, we gain valuable insights into our motivations and resistance points. This heightened awareness provides the foundation for making conscious choices and taking intentional steps toward transformation.

By investing in self-awareness, you equip yourself with the tools needed to navigate the journey of change more effectively. Understanding your strengths and areas for growth enables you to tailor your approach to match your unique needs. Self-awareness allows you to set realistic goals, celebrate progress, and pivot when necessary without losing sight of your ultimate objectives.

Incorporating self-awareness into the strategy of gradual exposure to change not only accelerates your progress but also fosters a deeper sense of connection with your inner self. Embracing change becomes a journey of self-discovery, as you uncover new dimensions of your personality and potential.

Strategy 4: Seek Support and Empathy

The fourth of the six strategies for overcoming resistance to change is seeking support. Change can be challenging, and you don’t have to and shouldn’t navigate it alone. Another member of the Facebook group recently shared her experience which illustrated the significance of seeking support when faced with resistance. Connecting with like-minded individuals who have undergone similar transformations or have a growth-oriented mindset. Join support groups, seek advice from friends or family, or consider working with a coach. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network can boost your confidence and help you embrace change with greater ease.

Moreover, when seeking support, consider the immeasurable value of personal growth that can come from engaging with a top-quality coach like myself. Through my comprehensive coaching program titled ‘Smash Your Resistance,’ you have the opportunity to embark on a transformative journey. This six-week group coaching format provides a dynamic platform where you can not only gain valuable insights and guidance from a skilled coach but also receive the camaraderie and understanding of fellow travelers on the path of change. ‘Smash Your Resistance‘ is designed to empower you, providing the tools and strategies needed to overcome resistance and embrace change with confidence.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards a joyous and fulfilling life, I encourage you to get in touch for more information about the ‘Smash Your Resistance‘ coaching program. Together, we can create a supportive environment where you can thrive, transform, and achieve the positive change you desire. Remember, you have the power to rewrite your story and embrace a life filled with growth and happiness.

Strategy 5: Challenge Limiting Beliefs and Stories

The fifth of these six strategies for overcoming resistance to change is my favorite. As I highlighted in the Facebook group discussion, resistance to change often stems from the limiting stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. These stories might be based on past experiences or societal expectations, holding us back from progress. Edgar Schein, a prominent organizational psychologist, further contributes to our understanding of individual beliefs about change. Schein’s exploration of organizational culture can be applied to the realm of personal beliefs.

Schein emphasizes that culture, whether within an organization or an individual, comprises layers. At the surface, we have visible behaviors and practices, but beneath lie deeper layers of values, assumptions, and beliefs. Similarly, your resistance to change might be influenced by underlying beliefs formed over time. These beliefs can dictate your responses to change, either by encouraging growth or reinforcing resistance.

By delving into these deeper layers, as Schein suggests, you can unearth the root causes of your resistance. Ask yourself: What beliefs about change have I inherited? Are they supporting or hindering my progress? Are they aligned with my true aspirations? Through introspection, you can challenge and reshape these beliefs. Reframe your narrative, replacing self-limiting stories with empowering ones that fuel your journey toward positive change.

Recognize that your potential for growth and transformation is expansive, not confined by self-imposed limitations. By embracing this perspective and harnessing the wisdom of Edgar Schein, you can dismantle the barriers of resistance and embark on a path of meaningful change and personal evolution.

Strategy 6: Take Inspired Action and Celebrate Progress

This is the most important of the six strategies for overcoming resistance to change because, without action, change doesn’t occur! Once you have gained clarity on your driving forces, created a growth mindset, and challenged limiting beliefs, take inspired action toward change. Start with small, achievable steps and celebrate each milestone you achieve. Richard Beckhard and David Gleicher’s “Formula for Change” emphasizes the importance of progress in overcoming resistance. Each step you take brings you closer to a joyous and fulfilling life.

The “Formula for Change” is a simple yet powerful framework that highlights the factors necessary for successful change within individuals and organizations. It provides a clear and structured way to understand the dynamics of change and the interplay between various elements.

The formula is expressed as follows: C = (D x V x F) > R

  • C: Change is the desired outcome or goal that you want to achieve.
  • D: Dissatisfaction represents the degree to which you’re discontent with the current state or situation.
  • V: Vision is the clear and compelling picture of the future state you aspire to reach.
  • F: First Steps outline the specific actions and initiatives required to initiate the change.
  • R: Resistance signifies the opposing forces or barriers that hinder the change.


According to the formula, for change to occur successfully, the product of Dissatisfaction, Vision, and First Steps must be greater than Resistance. In simpler terms, this means that when your dissatisfaction with the current situation, your vision for the future, and the concrete actions you take are collectively stronger than the resistance you face, you are more likely to achieve the desired change.

Applying the Formula for Change involves:

Assessing Dissatisfaction: Recognize what aspects of the current situation are causing dissatisfaction or discomfort. This awareness fuels your motivation for change.

Creating a Compelling Vision: Develop a clear and inspiring vision of what you want to achieve. This vision acts as a guiding star, directing your efforts and providing a sense of purpose.

Identifying First Steps: Break down your desired change into manageable, actionable steps. These initial actions help you gain momentum and establish a foundation for progress.

Addressing Resistance: Identify potential barriers and sources of resistance that may impede your progress. By understanding and addressing these challenges, you can develop strategies to overcome them effectively.

The “Formula for Change” underscores the importance of aligning your internal motivations, aspirations, and actions to overcome resistance and create meaningful transformation. It encourages a proactive and systematic approach to change, empowering individuals and organizations to navigate challenges and achieve their desired outcomes.

Six Strategies For Overcoming Resistance To Change

Embracing change is a transformative journey that opens doors to a joyous and fulfilling life. By applying the six strategies above, grounded in insights from experts and theories like Kübler-Ross, Lewin, Dweck, Rogers, Schein, and Beckhard-Gleicher, you can overcome resistance and unlock your true potential. Remember, change is not a one-size-fits-all process, and it’s okay to seek support when needed.

As a coach, I am here to offer guidance and support as you navigate through your personal transformation. If coaching services are desired, feel free to reach out, and together, we can work towards embracing change and creating a life filled with joy and growth. Change is possible, and it begins with your willingness to take the first step. Embrace the journey, and a world of opportunities awaits you. I hope you find some value in these six strategies for overcoming resistance to change.

I am a Freedom Coach and Mentor – I mostly help freedom-loving people create a Successful Mindset. If you would like to explore some of these themes and move towards achieving more freedom this year, let’s connect and set up a call below