How to Drop the Resistance to Changing Old Habits


Success usually requires replacing some old habits with new ones. Replacing a habit is simple to do. The first step–committing to the change–can be really tough because our subconscious minds resist.

We build of our habits to keep us from harm, from feeling bad. In effect, we tell our subconscious minds, “Please do that thing, think that thought, react that way whenever you notice us in this situation. Please make sure we do this habit automatically, without having to think about it. We do not want to feel again the bad feelings that led us to build this habit.” Our subconscious minds happily oblige. And many, many of our habits still serve us well.

Sometimes we recognize a habit that gets in the way of our success. Since our subconscious minds think they are just doing their job, they will resist attempts to change that habit. Like sentries with their orders, they respond, “No can do. You wanted this habit to keep you safe and happy. So that’s what we’re doing. Have a nice day.”

Luckily, the sentries will let old habits drop if we present our case well. All we need to do is feel how great the new habit feels. Spend a few minutes a day imagining what business and life will be like when you replace the old habit with the new one. In short order, you will see the resistance drop and the adoption of the new habit begin.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Rev. Voodoo via photopin cc

4 thoughts on “How to Drop the Resistance to Changing Old Habits

  1. Good one, Mike. This is exactly my problem, made particularly difficult to overcome now that I work from home and there is no one to notice how my bad habits interfere with my effectiveness!

    1. Hi, Jay. Yes, working from home will do that. Sure, there’s freedom. And we are left to our own devices to get what we need: social contact, coaching, insights, camaraderie, and feedback. Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that we have to give up our freedom to get those other things we need. Nope. We can have both if we want both. The form/way we end up getting both might not be what we are used to. But there is always a way to have both.

    1. Thank you! Do you know what you will replace your old habit with? Then ask yourself, “How will it feel to have–really, really–replaced the old habit with this new one?”

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