Breaking Thru Self Resistance

We are complicated creatures.

We want change in our lives, yet we often don’t take the actions needed to achieve that change. Do we see ourselves resisting? Not usually.

I am working with an interesting client, Trudy (not her real name). When I first met her, Trudy even fooled me into thinking that she was going to be pushing through the obstacles of career change like Michael Phelps through an olympic swimming pool.

Not so. Trudy is her own greatest resistance.

Trudy has a lot to offer. She is a natural leader, has great presentation skills, and is extremely self-motivated; except when it comes to her career transition.

She is stalling. Big time.


Trudy came into my office last week almost in a haze. Out of ten action items we had agreed on, she attempted only one. She was very nonchalant about not taking any action. We talked for a while and then she said, “I’m just not making any progress. Why can’t I make this change happen?”

Hmmm. Interesting that Trudy doesn’t connect the dots that she might not be succeeding because she hasn’t done anything about it. In her mind, she has been extremely busy and therefore she should be getting offers.

The problem is that Trudy is busy with everything else except her career. She has been harried and running errands for everyone in her family for the past six weeks – always putting off her own calling.

We had a heart to heart discussion. It’s time to address the fears and insecurities and decide to either work through them or give up.

What could Trudy be afraid of? Hmm. Failure? Success? Getting rejected? How her husband might feel if she makes more money than he does?… how her 25 year old son might feel if Trudy isn’t always at his beckon call?…

(We can think of a thousand excuses to sabotage ourselves.)

You can keep yourself crazy busy running with miscellaneous activities, or you can get down to the business of moving your life forward.

In Herminia Ibarra’s book, Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career, she states that sometimes you need to slow down and step back. You can’t live in between two worlds – it’s stressful there. It takes more energy to have one foot in the boat and one on the shore, than to get in or out.

Which is it?


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