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7 Signs You Are Subconsciously Resisting Change

denialResistance comes in many forms. Whether or not you’re aware of them, the following seven signs may well signal that you are shying away from change.

1. Avoiding the people who expect change from you

You’ve agreed with someone that you’re going to make certain changes. Suddenly, you don’t want to hang around them anymore. Perhaps they’ve become a reminder that you need to be doing something different.

2. Justifying procrastination

It’s not just procrastination. It’s emotional investment in it. You may tell yourself that you will ‘do it tomorrow.’ With that, you feel freer to do what you want today. You’ve bought into procrastination hook, line and sinker. You may even believe that tomorrow you’ll be turning over a new leaf. In reality, you are merely resisting the change in the present moment.

3. Telling yourself you don’t deserve better

This one hurts. Yet, it is possible to use feelings of low self-esteem to justify doing nothing about your situation. Even if you feel little self-worth, there are small things that are within your power to achieve. You can begin making baby steps toward what you want. Some of us tend to use our low self-esteem as a way to resist the small changes we are able to make.

4. Not feeling any desire to make a positive change

One subconscious way we resist change is to block the desire for something better. We may feel a weak desire. Or, we may only think of what we want, but not feel any motivation to get it. Deep desire fuels change. If your desire for change does not penetrate deep into your gut, then you may be subconsciously blocking your potential. Learn how to desire change deeply!

5. Going blank or having a mental block

This is common. When you begin to think of what you want to achieve, you go blank. When it’s time to take action, you freeze. Mental blocks are frustrating because they are hard to understand. When your mind goes blank, you can’t move ahead. So, you default to familiar behaviors.

6. Getting distracted

You’re moving ahead toward your goal. Suddenly, you find yourself thinking of or doing something else entirely. You become preoccupied with ‘busy work.’ You spend time doing frivolous things. You chase the next shiny object in your life. Anything but stay the course! Distraction is not always ADHD (though it certainly may be). Sometimes it is mere avoidance.

7. Becoming defensive

This one might be too obvious. If you’re getting defensive, you have something to defend. It can seem nearly impossible, when confronted, to admit mistakes and step up to greater personal responsibility. Yet, if you can do that, you’ll reap the benefits that come along with it.

Sometimes just noticing your resistance is enough to dispel it!

At other times you need to delve into the deeper reasons why you are self-sabotaging.

7 Signs You Are Subconsciously Resisting Change

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2015). 7 Signs You Are Subconsciously Resisting Change. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Oct 2015
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