This Is Resistance (In Life and Business)

Oct 28, 2013, Written by Sue Miley

A few weeks ago my counseling partner asked if I was interested in a brown bag lunch discussion on resistance.  I see more business clients than counseling clients, but thought this topic was a definite crossover in both counseling and coaching.

She had watched a webinar on resistance and felt it was worth sharing.

Since this brown bag lunch I have been haunted.

Resistance is everywhere.

With clients, with me, with family.

It is like the phenomena that once you decide you want to buy a red convertible, all of the sudden you see red convertibles all over the road.

I went to look up a solid definition of resistance for you, but the first 5 or 6 links all had different definitions.

So here is my shot at it.

My Definition of Resistance

Resistance is coming up with arguments, alibis, excuses, avoidance, and/or procrastination to the change that you stated that you wanted to make in some area of life.

An example that I am sure each of us is familiar with is, someone asking your opinion or advice, and then giving you every reason why it won’t work.

I have already done that. It didn’t work.

That won’t work because…..

I would try that but my boss, wife, dad wouldn’t let me do that.

This is resistance.

Resistance Even In The Bible

Moses did it with God.  God tells Moses to go the Pharaoh on behalf of the enslaved jews.  And Moses does what?


He gives every reason why he shouldn’t be the one to go.

I am just a lowly shepherd.  I am not good with words.

Come on.  The God of the Universe is giving you this direction and saying it will work and you need more convincing.

We all do.

We Usually Don’t Recognize Resistance In Ourselves

And the funny thing is that usually we don’t recognize it.

In outside sales I think everyone would agree that getting in front of customers is a key component of success.  Whether it is in person, on the phone, or in today’s tech world, it may be on a video meeting.  Getting in front of the customer is a key component to making sales.

To be a successful sales person all of my initial efforts should be focused on getting in front of the customer.  I can try to make an appointment.  I can see if someone can get me in the door with an introduction.  I can send advanced information and follow-up with a call.  Or, I can get in my car and go on the dreaded cold call.

Anyone in sales or not in sales will tell you that you have to call on potential customers (prospects).

Yet I talk to people every day that say that they are the sales engine for their company yet they are not making calls and getting in front of customers.

It isn’t that they made 50 phone calls and didn’t get a single appointment.  They didn’t make ten cold calls per day and fail to get in front of a decision maker.  Most have not even sent a letter, an email, or left a business card.

This is resistance.

They want change in the form of more sales.  They agree they are the one to do the selling.  Yet….

  • the office needed me for this fire or that fire.
  • I am working on (for 6 months now) the perfect sales material to sell with.
  • family was in town this week and I need to get some other things done in the office.

This is resistance.

 The First Step to Fighting Resistance

We can fight resistance.  We can work through it.  But you know what the first step is right?

Recognizing it.

Seeing the resistance in yourself and committing to overcome it.

Like my brown bag lunch brought resistance top of mind for me, I hope this post brings it top of mind for you.

If it did, you will start to notice resistance everywhere.

Now pay attention to yourself.

Is there something in your life or business you want to change?  How long have you wanted to change it?  What are your reasons, excuses, alibis for the lack of change?

Be honest.  You don’t have to show anyone.

The first step is self-awareness.

Reader Interactions


  1. Joan Leary says

    This is a good article on “resistance.”

    I teach and utilize Motivational Interviewing to work with ambivalence to change. We all feel ambivalent about changes we verbalize intent to make, yet change is possible and sometimes a counselor or coach can aid in bringing to light the self-awareness one needs in following through with positive changes in one’s life.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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