Interesting conversation yesterday with Kyoshi at the dojo about self-development, growth and the easy resistance that people use to avoid change.

It started as a discussion about the challenges of business development – identifying, connecting with, and landing new clients. We talked about the difficulty of getting that opening conversation and how, in this e-networked world, it’s becoming harder to get the e-foot in the e-door.

One of the greatest promises of social media was the increase of connection and availability – of putting supplier with customer in the click of a mouse-button, or touch of a smart-phone icon. Yet, in this paradoxical world, my sense of the impact to social media has been more to isolate than to connect. In my other life, getting listeners and readers to actually connect with my work is an uphill struggle all the time. And so it is with consulting

[and I know there’ll be folk who disagree and who thrive in this connected world, however most of those I know are living stories where social media is the destination, and not an avenue for connection to somewhere else]

Anyway, as part of my preparation for my black-belt test in November, I extended my training to include the Kickbox Express program – essentially high-impact cardio circuit training that integrates kick box techniques and drills. It’s a fantastic program – and here’s the kicker: for less than $60 a month, you can train at any time

[it’s a rolling circuit, so every 3 minutes you can start, and then keep going for the next 36 minutes]

however many times you want

[if you wanted to, you could do 8 sessions in a row in one morning – you’d be insane, but you could do just that :)]

Let’s review that again: $2 per day for as much high-quality, high-impact fitness training as you want. Let’s take the long, long list of benefits of fitness training as read, and focus instead on the price. $2 per day is roughly:

  • A cup of drip coffee at Starbucks.
  • A fraction of movie ticket.
  • A bottle of soda.

And yet here’s where the conversation got interesting, because Kyoshi keeps hearing

I can’t afford it

Which, by any objective measurement, is a cop-out, a denial, an avoidance, a resistance, and an excuse for why the person refuses to confront their own desire for change.

We got talking about people who tried a free offer, loved the program, yet returned home to

discuss it with my husband

only to then call, or even send an email, saying

I can’t afford it

Well, this triggered all sorts of memories and connections from my coaching and career counseling work – where the process is generally to hook into a glimmer of an inkling of a spark of an idea that someone might be experiencing some self-awareness of their current situation, and then gently – or sometimes not so gently – ease them into a fuller understanding of the challenge, the insight that there are opportunities for change, and the development of a plan that will enable them to move forward.

I’d heard these resistances before:

My boss won’t let me


I can’t afford a drop in salary


I don’t have the right qualifications


What will people think of me


The list goes on and on

[and on]

Ultimately, change to the self relies on destruction of our self-concept and, even when that change is much desired, it’s a scary thing to undo what we HAVE become, and grow into what we WILL become. Human beings are progressive organisms, we have an innate sensate need for progress, for growth, for momentum and, if we do not progress, our energy gets trapped in our current situation – it becomes fat on our bodies, it becomes anxiety, it becomes depression, it becomes inappropriate expressions of rage. Our energy swells to fill our current situation and pressurizes our boundaries.

We do not like being trapped.

And yet, in our societal- and self-constructs, we are taught to leave boats un-rocked; when we do move, we experience the absence of support for the painful work of our own change.

Take the woman who goes back to her husband, buoyed by new opportunities for change through fitness, who then meets a wave of apathy that essentially tells her:

Why should I do this hard work, no-one wants to see me succeed

And she switches off that part of herself desperate to progress, to grow, to change.

It was a long conversation, and we shared techniques, experiences and insights for breaking the cycle – from the assertive approach of naming the resistance, through the supportive approach of buddies, to the tough love of locked in contracts. Ultimately, though, this is the hard work of being a change agent for individuals

[and ultimately organizations]

There is a spirit in business discussions of resistance as adversary – where natural emotional response to change is objectified to the point of being the Enemy, to be vilified and destroyed. We change agents know better. We know that we succeed through our ability to meet resistance at its source and help people through, under, over, or around it in whichever way best lets them move forward.

A great discussion on a topic which always gets me inspired, energized and excited to help people.

If you’re facing your own boundaries at the moment, and feeling like you might need someone to help you step through them into who you WILL become, get in touch for a completely confidential discussion.