Why do we resist change?
« The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. “Joseph Campbell
When we resist, we affirm we want the underlying problem. It occurs when someone wants to modify a deep-rooted problem, symptom or issue.
So, what is resistance and why is it so important to address it? Resistance is the way your subconscious mind attempts to prevent us from making core shifts. It is the guardian of your beliefs. What this means is your subconscious mind is trying to protect itself by not letting you – the conscious mind – make any changes that would cause it to let go of what it already knows.
Simply put, the closer you get to real transformation, the more subconscious resistance you may experience. This can take many forms and varies from person to person. Just like a client of mine once shared with me: “I’m defiant because I love my problem. Who will I be without it? I’d rather feel sad and numb then nothing”.
The most common forms of subconscious resistance are: feeling too tired to continue with the new habit or technique; feeling sick or becoming ill; in protective mode; apprehensive; withdrawal; failure to engage; not listening; feeling angry; feeling sleepy; burping; nausea; hiccups; feeling doubt; anxiety; frustration; impatience; delays; perceived dangers or risks; and many other possibilities. The subconscious mind will do whatever it takes to try to “correct the course” to keep you on track with what it holds as “true”.
What You Need to Know About Resistance
As we mentioned earlier, when you start to make any kind of adjustment to yourself you will come across subconscious resistance. For example, have you ever tried to become healthier, and started exercising and eating less sugar with unlimited enthusiasm and motivation? But after a while you began to find excuses (new job schedule, travelling, new partner, etc.), for returning to the old habits.
If you are able to remain true to your decision to stay healthy, you may find that you become ill or sustain an injury that prevents you from continuing to exercise, or you may find you experience an increase in stress that results in your being too tired to cook, ordering take-out instead.
This is a classic example of your body and mind throwing up resistance. Your subconscious mind is like a child, and the beliefs you’ve formed from birth are supposed to keep you safe. It doesn’t matter if those beliefs are beneficial or harmful to you – the point is that the subconscious mind will hold onto them for dear life when you’re trying to consciously modify your habits. It has constructed your identity around them.
Our survival, as far as the subconscious mind is concerned relies on maintaining the status quo. Change is seen as risky, and poses a threat to survival; so, the subconscious mind is designed to do whatever it takes to keep things as they are.
How Subconscious Resistance Works
When you choose to do something, it may feel as though you are making the decision consciously; like with the above example of choosing to become healthier.
But the truth is: your subconscious mind prompts your brain to signal your organs to produce chemicals. These chemicals create sensations in your body that make you feel certain emotions (unpleasant or pleasant ones). However, the conscious mind does not recognize these sensations as chemicals and it responds to them without awareness.
This is the way the subconscious mind is able to keep us on track according to the beliefs it holds without interference from the conscious mind.
Where Does Subconscious Resistance Come From?
Let’s say you have a core subconscious belief that people never have time for you. The reason you have this belief is that your subconscious interpreted your early childhood experiences and filed the data as “proof”.
Your experience has always adhered to this “truth”. You seem to end up in relationships with people who don’t have time to be with you; you find yourself being pushed aside or ignored by friends, family and others in different scenarios – all with the same theme if you were to compare them.
Now, let’s say you realize this is the case, and so you decide to start transforming this pattern within yourself. You choose to get into a relationship with someone who is available and want to spend time in your company.
The problem is: your default subconscious programing is still set to “nobody has time for me”. This means your current conscious choices are not in alignment with what your subconscious holds as true.
Your subconscious will begin to “correct the course” by prompting your brain to signal your organs to produce chemicals that cause specific feelings. These feelings may be irritation, frustration, anger, or doubt. They may inhibit endorphins and other feel good chemicals causing you to lose the feeling of love for the person you’re with. Or perhaps they cause you to become attracted to someone else – someone who fits the pattern.
Subconscious Resistance = Status Quo
Because of your subconscious beliefs, your current partner may make you feel suspicious of them for no apparent reason, or jealous, or any other form of stressed emotion.
There will be one or more of these emotional states that will derail your current relationship in some way. In the meantime, the conscious mind is oblivious to what is really causing these feelings and will reason that it is your partner or some other force outside the self that is causing the problem.
Once that thought process begins, the cycle is set in motion – the thoughts caused by the feelings cause more of the same chemicals to be produced – maintaining and increasing the feelings.
Eventually, if the conscious mind remains unaware of what is really happening and simply follows the emotional cues, the relationship will finally end and you will be back on course for a relationship in which you will be ignored again in some way.
You may reason that you’re only attracted to people who ignore you – and you would be right, but it is only because of the subconscious mind correcting your course according to what it holds to be true.
Once you change the record held in the subconscious mind and you will adjust the type of person you’re attracted to. This is known as subconscious resistance.
Your subconscious mind registered that there was a danger you were going to end up in a relationship that did not fit the pattern of someone constantly ignoring you.
And since the subconscious mind is like a computer it is unable to reason and knows nothing of “right and wrong”. It just responds by doing whatever it takes to cause you to modify course in order to protect the status quo.
Let’s continue with the above example and you have a belief that people are constantly ignoring you and that no one has time for you.
This means that your status quo is a state of unworthiness. The cause of this will be a record held in your subconscious that “proves” that this is the state you need to be in, in order to remain safe. While you may consciously know this is not true, to the subconscious it is a cold hard fact – your existence would be at stake if you were to no longer have this unworthiness towards yourself. Remember, the subconscious has no ability to reason or judge right from wrong – it only follows what it is programmed to do.
And at some point in your life, through experience, your subconscious mind was programmed with the “fact” that the only way for you to be safe is for your body to be in a state of fight, freeze or flight – even when there is no physical threat.
Now, let’s say you’ve found FasterEFT and you start to work on the unworthiness using this technique. You may well experience very quick results – many people do. However, if the record held in the subconscious mind is more complex – if it involves different aspects and references to danger and peril – the subconscious mind is going to be more determined to protect you from changing it. In other words, the higher the risk, according to the subconscious records, the harder it is to change the record.
Why the Subconscious Mind is Resistant to Change?
If you were in a boat on the ocean and someone wanted to change the sails, you might reluctantly agree. If, however, they wanted to drill a hole in the bottom of the boat, you would fight with all your might to stop them from doing it.
The increase in the level of threat would cause you to become more determined. The subconscious mind is the same. The higher the perceived risk, the harder it will work to prevent you from taking the action that will make the changes.
So, you’re using FasterEFT, and as you begin to get close to changing the belief that being ignored is the safest state – as you begin to let go of the record that “proves” that being ignored is essential for your survival – your subconscious will begin to step-up the defenses to cause you to stop making the changes it considers a threat to your very existence.
There are many different ways it could achieve its goal to “protect” you from yourself. One of those might be to cause you to feel doubt, irritation, an increase in the anxiety, discourage, nausea, anger – and an entire range of other possible emotions. The conscious mind will automatically put thoughts to these emotions in order to give them reason. The result? You believe the technique isn’t working; perhaps you believe it’s making the problem worse; you feel too tired to do it; or you decide it’s dangerous; or you reason that nothing ever works for you… you get the idea!
Take the Leap to Resolve Subconscious Resistance
So, what can you do about resistance? You have three options:
Give in to it and stay the same making no effort towards emotional health or give up using the FasterEFT technique. This of course will ensure that you maintain your problems as they are, and possibly create more trauma, creating more neural pathways to be triggered in new ways. You may try another modality or counselling; but you will experience the same kind of subconscious resistance as soon as you get close to a real transformation.
Push through the resistance with force and determination. This will most likely cause an increase in the upheaval and may make things much worse for you before they get better. The wall of resistance can become even more rebellious which, in time, will bring you back to the first option.
The third option is the most effective and reliable. Use FasterEFT Tapping on the resistance itself. If you needed to get into a building and there was a vicious guard dog at the door, you wouldn’t push through the guard dog and continue to try to open the door. Well, you could, but you’d end up with some serious injuries. Instead, you would deal the dog first, and only after you’d taken care of the dog situation would you move on to your real goal.
It is the same with FasterEFT. No matter how badly you may be wanting to get rid of your feeling unworthy by people, if the subconscious resistance kicks in – that’s the guard dog – you’ll need to deal with that first before you’ll be able to get anywhere near the unworthy issue.
In addition to addressing the subconscious resistance, it is very important to be very gentle with yourself. Building emotional intelligence is through the habit of gentleness.
Remember, your subconscious is resisting the change out of fear. You cannot force fear out of someone; fear needs to be calmed. Gentleness towards yourself is a form of friendship, self-compassion and caring that cultivates emotional intelligence. It helps reassure the child in you that modifications may be unfamiliar and it is safe to change.
If you have thoughts that tapping the FasterEFT way is not working for you, it may seem a little odd, but the best way of getting rid of the subconscious resistance to using FasterEFT is to use FasterEFT on the resistance itself!
And you do that by using the 5 steps below:
Notice the resistance – how is it showing up for you right now? Do you feel tired, sick, anxious, angry, or hopeless? You may have thoughts that FasterEFT doesn’t work; you may have thoughts that nothing works for you; you may have thoughts that this is a dangerous process. Just notice it – notice how it feels, where in your body you feel it, and how strong it is.
Using two fingers and focusing only on the feeling of your fingertips on your skin, tap the following meridian points and say the phrases:
– Between your eyebrows – I release and let this go
– Beside your eye – It’s okay safe to let this go
– Under your eye – It’s time to let this go now
– Just below your collarbone – I release and let go all resistance, whatever it means, I let it go. I don’t need it anymore, and I’m safe as I’m letting it go.
Grab your wrist, take a deep breath, blow it out and say “Peace”. Now, go to a peaceful memory and enjoy the feeling of that for a moment.
Go back to the resistance and notice what’s left. Has it shifted? Is the intensity different? Just notice what still remains. Slowly drip compassion and self-care into any remaining resistance.
Repeat Steps #2 Through #4 until all trace of resistance has gone and you are feeling calm, peaceful and happy to tap.
Don’t stop until the resistance has completely gone and has been replaced by a feeling of calm, happiness and peace, as well as a willingness to tap. Once you have cleared the subconscious resistance, you can move on to addressing the issue you originally wanted to clear. If you find that resistance returns, don’t wait for it to grow – tap it out immediately, as soon as you notice it. The sooner you do so, the easier it will be.
Making big modifications in your life can be downright terrifying and, at the same time, extraordinarily empowering. By taking the first steps into establishing your new normal, you set yourself up for success.
Source: adapted from Fastereft.com/blog What Is Resistance in FasterEFT Tapping?