Against the idea of “resistance to change”

It is time we stop spreading this illogical idea that human beings are “resistant to change”, and that change and growth are painful. In the very least, we need to nuance and differentiate what we mean by “change”.

Yes, loss is painful – and loss leads to change, but it’s not the change coming from loss that you resist or are hurt by, it’s the loss itself. What you are doing, is naturally adapt to the change that comes with the loss, whatever that adaptation means right now, in whichever way you can and have to, under the circumstances. While you grieve the loss, or try not to feel the loss, you are already making or trying to make the necessary and possible changes that it inevitably brings. Just check with your actual experience, you’ll see.

Yes, the loss of control is painful, but loss of control is a particular kind of change. The need for control is important to be able to live. Without it we go crazy in the end. So you will naturally try to make the necessary changes to get the sense of control back when it’s lost to you, or you will handle the change of the situation that takes your control away as best you can. You’re not in pain because of change, but because you are losing your right to control of your life.

Yes, of course you resist being forced. Why would you surrender to something being forced upon you without you being allowed input? No one likes being forced and not having a say. We are communicative and connective beings. So, you will naturally try to do whatever is within your power to change the situation so that the force be taken away. You don’t resist change; you resist being forced.

You are changing every day

If you check, and really, honestly, examine, what you’re doing every single day, it is very likely that you’ll find that you are changing every single day. Even if it’s just a tiny little bit.

If you check inside, with yourself, it’s likely you will find that, along with whatever routines you may be performing every day, you might be doing something slightly differently today, compared to yesterday. It’s likely you will have discovered or rediscovered something or learned something either major or slight today. It’s likely you will have had a slightly different thought or feeling about something today, compared to yesterday, if you really take the time to check inside.

Living is always a fresh forming (Gendlin)

If nothing else, you can be sure that your body is in constant change mode. The body IS (you ARE) change, because it is (you are) a constantly regenerating organism. Cells regenerate themselves constantly. Some times you bruise yourself or contract a wound of some kind, in which case you will easily see that the bruise or wound changes a little bit every day, to try and regenerate. Unless you deprive it of what it needs to grow. Even then, it will try its best to grow and regenerate. That is how life works; I’d say that healing is really just the continuous regenerating process being allowed to happen.

“Living is always a fresh forming” (Gendlin):

Change and growth is what we are

Change is what we are, so no, we don’t resist it, and no, growth doesn’t hurt. If change and growth actually hurt, it’s likely we wouldn’t be alive. As long as the growing conditions are present, as long as the environment provides the nurture needed, anything will grow, painlessly.

Please, let’s find some other way of describing what happens when someone (a leader, a partner or a therapist) wants to make someone else (employees, the partner, the client) do something they want them to do and not allowing any input from the one they want to force. It certainly can’t be resistance to change.

Let’s try “pain of loss”, “resistance to being forced”, “resistance to loss of control”. I think that would be more accurate. Even more logical.

I also think it’s more respectful of ourselves and others.

Body-oriented space for natural change and growth

With the risk of being boring, I want to suggest something like Focusing if you are curious to get to know your own, natural growth better. Check out the Felt Sensing and With-Sensing Training

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