Here’s a little exercise for you; I want you to think of the #1 thing that’s holding you back from achieving your health goals.
Perhaps you think it’s:
• not having enough time
• not being organised enough
• a snacking habit that you can’t seem to shake
• a lack of willpower
• or even laziness
Some of those may be true and sure, they may be getting in the way, but I can tell you none of them are the real reason why you can’t stick to your health goals…
The real reason is something called ‘resistance’. Originally discussed by Steven Pressfield in his book, The War of Art (highly recommend reading by the way), resistance is described as a universal force in the human brain that has the sole mission of keeping things just as they are.
If you’ve read my post, ‘How to Create Healthy Habits that Stick’, you’ll have already heard me talk about how our brains want to do everything they can to stick to the familiar – like holding onto unhealthy habits, for example.
Change, in its nature, is unfamiliarity, so in an effort to keep things familiar and by association, safe, it uses resistance to ensure you never push yourself too far out of your comfort/ safety zone. And that made sense back in the day of sabre tooth tigers and fighting for survival, but now, that same process can actually stop us from making changes to our lives – even when it’s beneficial to our health.
Hands up, who has approached a change in their life, whether that be a career change, a diet change or a lifestyle adjustment and have found yourself thinking, ‘It’s not the right time’ or, ‘This doesn’t feel like the right thing to do right now’ – logical arguments you might think. But as Steven Pressfield would argue, resistance.
The thing about resistance is that if it triggered thoughts like, ‘What if I fail?’ or ‘I’m worried I’ll give up,’ then our brains would quite easily be able to override it with rational thought patterns. So, instead, resistance creates excellent, compelling arguments that make sense like, ‘It’s too hard/ complicated’, ‘I can start again on Monday’ or ‘I need to do some more research before I get started’ (even though we probably already know everything we need to know), to ensure that we interact with unfamiliarity as little as possible!
So, why do we need to address resistance?
In short, resistance can hold us back from making changes to our lives even when those changes could be beneficial to us. If left unchecked, resistance can stop you ever stepping out of your comfort zone – whether it’s to better your health, find a new career or make exciting new moves in your life.
In my line of work, I hear resistance popping up with my clients all the time. I often say to my clients if you’re trying to rationalise your resistance to change, you’re simply telling yourself rational – lies. And by no means is that their fault – resistance is an in-built mechanism that stems from the instincts that kept us safe for millennia, but that doesn’t mean we should let it rule our lives now.
How do we overcome resistance?
1. Become aware of it
Resistance relies on you being completely oblivious to what it’s up to. As soon as you put it in the spotlight and say, ‘I see what you’re up to’, you’re able to make changes in spite of its best efforts to keep you in your comfort zone. Awareness is the first step to change!
2. Paint a picture of what your future looks like
…Not what you want it to look like, but what it will actually look like if you give in to resistance. What will you be doing in 2-3 years time? What will you have missed out on? Be realistic about what a life without change will look like.
3. Invite resistance in
As Steven Pressfield describes it, resistance is a universal force, meaning that the likelihood of us as humans ever shaking it off is fairly unlikely, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome it. Try listening to some of those rational arguments that resistance creates and then ask yourself. Can I do it anyway? More often than not, you will start to wonder other things like, ‘What can I do to get started?,’ What can I let go of that doesn’t serve me?’. Soon you’ll be ready to start making the changes that you never thought were possible.
Resistance is a really important concept to understand and be aware of, in fact, it’s so important that I’ve dedicated an entire module to it in my new group programme, Consistent Momentum. The programme uses a combination of neuroscience, nutrition and guidance to help women create real, lasting changes to their lives and as of this week, I’m supporting a handful of women through the beta version!
The good news is… There’s still time to get in!
Need some more info? Here’s a few Qs I’ve been asked by people about the programme…
I can’t afford to pay the money (even at the beta price of 50% off), is there a payment plan option?
Absolutely, I want to provide this opportunity to as many of my clients as possible with payment options that suit them! For this programme, you can pay the full amount of £247 or 3 installments of £95.00 over 3 months.
How is it going to work?
The 8-week Consistent Momentum programme will consist of a combination of learning on your own time (I know we’ve all got jam-packed schedules) via weekly videos which cover new topics and lessons each week. You’ll also be able to log into my client portal to access worksheets or additional resources for each week of learning.
You’ll also gain access to a Whatsapp group for ongoing support from myself and the other women throughout the 8 weeks and we’ll have regular video call check-ins for accountability and consolidation (don’t worry, these will be recorded if you can’t make it, although I will try to find a time that suits everyone).
Will you provide some advice on what to eat?
Yes! This programme is focused on mindset as I believe that tends to be the missing link in most diet/ lifestyle plans, but in Week 2 we’ll be focusing on nutrition, understanding cravings, hormones, meal planning, and you’ll get a load of Autumn recipes as part of that. Pre-Christmas we’ll have an intensive session on making it through the festive season and then in the 1st week of January, I’ll support you with a meal plan and brand new Winter recipes.
I’d love for you to be a part of this beta test (50% off launch price), so if you’d like to get involved, make sure you get in touch asap!