Feeling Resistant to Doing Something? Avoidant Coping

By Alice Boyes, PhD. | Uncategorized

Are there things YOU think would/might be helpful to you if you did them, but for some reason you feel resistant to trying your idea?

It could be anything but examples include:

– devising a budget for your spending
– monitoring your food intake for a week to better understand your eating patterns
– eating only at particular times each day rather than whenever you feel like it
– developing routines or systems for doing a particular task
– weighing yourself once a week on the same day/time each week
– going to see a psychology PhD for help with a personal or relationship problem
– trying medication for depression or anxiety
– taking medication for a physical health problem even though you don’t like taking medication
– getting help with a task when you feel embarrassed and/or frustrated about your inability to figure it out yourself
– doing a particular task at the same time each week

Try this

Try brainstorming all of the things that you feel resistant to doing but have a sense that if you did manage to get yourself to do the thing, you would/might benefit. Jott down a basic list.

Rather than trying to understand why you feel resistant, try to understand the costs of the resistance.

For example,

– wasted time and energy
– not knowing whether the thing you feel resistant about would, in reality, help or not
– potentially robbing yourself of the opportunity to see what life is like without the problem
– a sense of yourself as out of control
– worry about the future
– the problem becoming worse/bigger as time goes on

Making room for new ideas

One of my favorite reasons for actually trying your existing ideas is that you make room for new ideas, rather than your brain being stuck on resisting whatever it is you’re resisting.

How to Pick Something, and Developing Your Willingness

Choose to do one of the things you feel resistant about doing, and channel a sense of willingness to do that thing in spite of the resistant feelings.

Pick something where the psychological/other costs of continued resistance seem high, and the potential benefits of doing the thing in spite of the resistant feelings are also high.

Is there anything on your list of things you feel resistant about doing where you wonder if doing the thing you feel resistant about MIGHT be essential to moving forward from your problem i.e. you might not be able to solve your problem any other way? If yes, then try that thing first.

Think of it as doing the thing WITH the resistant feelings rather than thinking you can’t develop willingness unless you get rid of the resistant feelings.

What personal values are you enacting when you act in spite of the resistant feelings?

It might help your motivation if you identify what personal values are you enacting when you act in spite of the resistant feelings?

For example,

– openness to experience
– personal responsibility
– having reasonable expectations of yourself

Good luck !!!

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