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Two Powerful Ways to Work with Resistance

...when there is a part of you that won’t get on board

You have a goal. You want the goal. Why then does it seem like that it remains slightly out of reach? You keep coming back to doing the same thing over and over again. No, the answer isn’t things are hopeless and you should give up trying to stop drinking, biting your nails or eating a diet that best supports the healthiest version of you. There are a few phenomenon going on. First, is that focusing on the problem can sometimes grow the problem. Especially, if you are the powerful manifester that I imagine you are. You may be unconsciously funneling energy into the very thing you’re aching to release. Let’s say you’re very skilled at worrying, aka “what-ifing”. In this instance when you constantly think about how much you’re worrying, you then begin to worry about worrying and create more worry. Exhausting. This is true of many habits that aren’t healthy for us.

Another factor at play is the part of you that does not want to cooperate. It may get defensive or angry. You tell it again and again that this is a good change. By consuming less toxic sugar you’d have more energy, lose weight, and perhaps prevent a serious health issue. Still, you crave, and eat those M&Ms. This uncooperative part may not see the same benefit because it is focused on secondary gains, the good things that it receives as a result when you stay the way you are, or progress in the other direction. Eating the chocolate may temporarily relax you, or distract you from a feeling you aren’t sure how to deal with, or it may be receiving signals from the brain telling it change is new and therefore dangerous. Don’t do it. Let’s look at a few examples. If you’re a survivor of an assault, the unconscious thought may be if I remain overweight maybe people will leave me alone and I’ll stay safe so despite how much I want to feel vibrant and healthy there is a part that feels much better not changing. If you have perfectionist-like standards for yourself, the thought may be if I don’t really try I won’t fail or risk being perceived as a failure. When we discover the benefit that part of us is receiving we may be able to shift and neutralize the oomph it has behind our decisions.

There is power behind a label. When you have believed something about yourself for a long period of time changing that may involve attempting to change something that drills very deep into your idea of self, of who you believe you are. Without being consciousness of the label you’ve been affixed with you may have difficulty separating this part of you that is receiving benefit from remaining the same and other value systems. Changing behaviors that support you being an anxious person may be so disruptive to a part of your belief system that even the idea of releasing it would be as confusing as stealing or lying if you see yourself as someone who considers themself honest.

What to do when you are experiencing resistance:

>> Change your language and stop using emotions as adjectives. Instead of calling yourself an anxious person acknowledge you’re experiencing the physical or emotional sensation of anxiety. Be specific about that that looks like for you and release it. No analysis needed.

>> Visual the end result. Paint the most vivid picture possible of you in the space where the barrier doesn’t exist as though you’re already in the space of your goal. Point your energy in that direction. Smell it. Feel it. Taste it. See it. In order to take steps toward what you want to achieve it is much easier to get there when you have an idea of what you want rather than what you don’t want.


Erin McCloskey provides confidential, client-focused counseling, coaching and therapy services specializing in areas that include, but are not limited to: Women’s Health, Chronic Stress, Life Transitions, Low Motivation, Anxiety, Depression, Relationships, Self Esteem, Spirituality, and Maternal Mental Health including issues in Pregnancy, Prenatal Anxiety, and Postpartum Depression.

Serving: Wilmington, Hockessin, Newark and Greenville, DE as well as Media, Garnet Valley, and Chadds Ford, PA, and their surrounding communities.

Erin McCloskey, M.Ed., LPCMH

3526 Silverside Road, Suite 36

Wilmington, DE 19810


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