At the beginning of the year I set myself a goal to go for a run every weekday morning.
For the first four months or so I stayed committed to this routine.
Then, one Autumn morning, like a scene from a cartoon, I slipped on a tiny acorn and twisted my ankle.
For a week or so, I was hobbling around unable to run.
At the same time, winter’s grip was taking hold.
So even when my ankle sprain resolved itself, I decided not to go running due to the freezing cold rain.
A few weeks passed by, and despite there being several mild days, I still hadn’t been out for a run.
I’d officially broken my routine.
By now, the only thing consistent was the agitation and frustration I felt towards myself and that darn acorn.
Deflated and disappointed, I sat staring through my living room window and up towards the grey skies threatening yet another storm.
Then, just before the thunder started to roll, my intuition shouted “fuck this”
Not “fuck this” in a ‘i’m-over-the-rain’ way.
But “fuck this” in a ‘I’m-going-to find-a-solution-to-this’ way.
Funnily enough, I didn’t need to look very far.
The answer had been in my phone for a little over a week.
It came in the form of a picture I’d taken of a poster advertising CrossFit.
This instantly solved the problem of me having to acorn-dodge my way through a successful workout.
The gym was conveniently located and just a stone’s throw away from my home.
Plus, it was advertised as a place where you ‘come for the gym but stay for the community’
Being new to town, and not knowing many people, this ticked another big box.
They also ran a free trial and welcomed people of all fitness levels, which again were two more big ticks for a CrossFit first timer like me.
But despite all the rational reasons why CrossFit was a great solution, it still took me over a week to take action.
Meanwhile, I was resisting change, throwing the weather shade and blaming the storm for me falling off the fitness wagon.
That’s the funny thing about us humans, we resist change even when we’re presented with a viable solution, even when know deep down the change will be good for us.
But as the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus mused, ‘there is nothing permanent except change’
Without change, we can’t achieve our goals which ultimately results in failure.
In business and life you can’t afford for this to be your reality.
Here’s 5 ways to overcome your resistance to change so you can make progress:
#1 Ask yourself why you’re resisting
Despite CrossFit ticking all my boxes on paper, I was still resisting the idea of calling up and booking a free session.
Resisting change is normal and it’s ok to feel this way as long as you take the time to have an honest conversation with yourself and ask why?
Being able to distinguish between fear and your intuition will guide you towards the changes you know deep down you need to make in order to make progress in your life.
Ask yourself why you’re resisting and answer from an honest, uninhibited place.
Once you do, it’s easier to focus on what you can control and let go of the rest.
#2 Adopt a beginner’s mindset
Acorns aside, I generally knew what to expect from my outdoor runs.
Conversely, I didn’t know anything about CrossFit, other than the Instagram posts under #crossfitgirls.
I felt the need to familiarise myself with CrossFit before stepping inside the gym.
I didn’t want to be that person who didn’t know the moves.
But the truth is, everyone is that person at some stage and all this “research” did was make me feel overwhelmed and incapable.
My mind started to take over with questions like:
How the hell am I supposed to do a handstand and walk up a wall when I can’t even do the first bit?
How are these Reebok endorsed #crossfigirls making it look effortless when I’m likely to fall flat on my face?
I took the time to notice how tense I was feeling towards change.
This is always a red alert because being tense towards change leads to failure.
That when I had to pause, breathe and remind myself to adopt a beginner’s mindset.
Instantly I felt more open to this session as an opportunity, not a threat.By being open to the possibilities of trying something for the first time, you let go of trying to control the experience before you’ve even started.Click To Tweet
When you realise the only way for the unknown to be known is through experience, it’s easier to let go and focus on simply making a start.
#3 Accept you’re worthy of change
During my #crossfitgirls Instagram search, it wasn’t long before my mind started to flood with thoughts that I wasn’t fit enough, strong enough and capable enough to do it.
That’s when I reminded myself of the person I was up against and whose life I wanted to change for the better.
This was when I drew on one of my more values, compassion.
Unfortunately, this is where many people stall in the face of change.
They start to believe the narrative that they’re only deserving of problems, not the changes that solve them.
But to deny yourself change is to deny yourself compassion.You can’t show compassion to others if you’re not willing to extend it to yourself.Click To Tweet
Ultimately, change challenges you to step outside of your comfort zones, not someone else’s.
A win for you isn’t necessarily a win for someone else which is why it’s always wise always compare yourself to yourself.
Your only competitor is the one staring back at you in the mirror.
Success is relative and relevant only to your goals and you deserve to realise every single one of them.
For me to kick my self doubt I set myself a goal to commit to just one session.
Once I set this goal, a massive pressure was lifted as I felt capable and worthy of making this change.
#4 Make space for more options
Any kind of change is hard, especially when it involves a significant shift in the status quo.
The morning of my first CrossFit session I was sat eating breakfast when I said to my partner “what if I don’t like it?”
My imagination was running away with me as I envisaged a half dead version of myself slumped next to a wall I failed to climb.
I envisaged spending the entire hour pining for a cup of tea.
My partners’ reply was exactly what I needed to hear.
She said, “look, if you go and don’t think it’s for you, what have you lost? You don’t have to go back”
Instantly a weight lifted as another option presented itself.
Prior to then, I thought my options were limited to two:
A. Keep grimacing at the rain from my window at the rain
B. go to CrossFit 4 times a week for the rest of my life.
But my partner reminded me that options don’t diminish when you commit to a change because change is permanent.If something doesn’t work out, that’s ok, make another change and 1,000 more after that, just like Thomas Edison did.Click To Tweet
Don’t mentally put yourself in a corner, you can always try something else because there’s always options, always.
By committing to change simply means you’ve prioritised what’s important to you at that time and you’re willing to explore where that leads.
#5 Make change work for you
When I walked in for my first session, a #crossfitgirl was signing in at reception.
By now it was too late to back out, I was already over the threshold of change.
As I walked into the gym space I felt a great energy in the air as I joined 8 other cross-fitters.
This was when I felt good about change – I took a deep breath and said to myself “Today I’m showing up for me”
I chose to stand at the front of the class, opting for a light broomstick when everyone else was picking up weights.
I was the slowest person on the bikes and I was overjoyed because I’d won.
My challenge to create change was complete and I’d achieved my goal to finish one CrossFit session.
That night I slept like a baby knowing I embraced change and made it work for me.
The next morning I was sore but smiling as I looked outside to see it was still raining.
The thing is, change is hard, it can burn and bruise you, but it’s also beautifully transformational too.Embracing change is never about the absence of fear rather it’s an awareness of what happens when it does show up.Click To Tweet
A 5 minute break to pause can be all it takes to understand why a resistance to change is manifesting itself so you avoid it stalling you in life.
Because you choose to move through fear and into a state of change you become an unstoppable force for good.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What’s one change you’d like to make in your life and what would things look like if you did?
Pop a comment below and let me know.
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