Resistance is a powerful force for growth because it forces us to have a dialogue with ourselves.

If you learn your unique resistance type, you can learn your own patterns of growth.

You can recognize when you are beginning to grow and develop. Here are four common resistance types and some simple strategies for embracing the resistance.


Perhaps you fear change. Or don’t know how to change. Maybe you’re just not yet willing to leave your comfort zone. Frankly, you’re not even sure why you should change. Change doesn’t look very compelling to you right now. You’re emotionally invested in your current habits. Still…you wonder. What’s over the wall?

If this is you:

Remember that YOU are in control of how fast change comes, if you want it to come at all. YOU get to choose what, if any possibilities are explored.


Unlike The Reluctant, who may not be aware, you know you need to change. But you’ve invested too much to turn back now. Rebels like to call the shots. They don’t like being told what to do. They argue, sometimes. Even with themselves. They can come up with a million reasons why they will not change. Secretly, though, rebels might fear failing. Or they might just be strongly invested in the status quo.

If this is you:

Make small changes. Practice them daily.

Set things up so you can’t fail… at least not until you feel ready to deal with it. The smaller the change, the greater your chance of success!


One word describes you: overwhelmed. You feel it’s too late to change. You’ve come too far. You might have tried to change many times before. Maybe you’ve gone on every diet ever invented or tried a hundred workout programs. You rarely met your own expectations. Now, you feel hopeless. Change doesn’t seem possible for you. Ignoring the fact that you kept trying, which demonstrates great courage and fortitude, you look at your former change attempts as proof that change will never work.

If this is you:

Understand that progress is never linear. Going backwards is normal. It happens to everyone. Turn around as soon as possible, and go forwards again.

Track your progress in terms of how many times you got back up instead of how many times you fell down.

Try thinking more in terms of a continuum than all-or-nothing. Look for small, incremental changes.

Look at lapses or regressions as temporary. And as opportunities to practice your skills.


This person (or voice in your head) always wants to be heard. They have many, many reasons why their way is the best, and why they are the exception! Rationalizers consider themselves to be special and unique cases. You can spot Rationalizers by their mating call: “Yes, but…” or “I know, I know, but…”

If this is you:

List all of your reasons and rationale for doing things.

Make sure you fully understand what is good and useful for you about your current strategies and the outcomes. Review the benefits of your current choices. Could you take something that is already working and tweak it a bit to make it even more awesome?

In the end, most of us are a mix of two or more resistance types. So, if we want to make important changes in our lives, we need to discover our types and learn strategies for working with and through them.