I’ve been resisting change. Last week I shared exciting news about the change of our business name to Avarah Careers. It’s an exciting change, but I have to tell you it wasn’t an easy one! In fact, I was resisting it for a long time.

One of the biggest topics my clients and I work on is how and where they are resisting doing what needs to get done. When we catch ourselves resisting, we can power through the hard parts of change that are inevitable if you want to achieve your goals and pursue a successful career. (You can read more about making changes here.)

Since I work through this nearly every day with my clients, you’d think I’d “get it” and not fall victim to resisting change, right? Yet despite my decision to change the business name – I resisted it and kept playing “keep away” with that decision for nearly a year. Have you ever decided ,”That’s it, I’m leaving my job,” only to find yourself in the same place a year later? Of course. The deciding is the easy part.

Resisting is Sneaky

For a variety of reasons, being your “Sherpa” wasn’t going to work for the long haul. I had important conversations with, my family, my business advisers, trusted friends and some of you. Everybody agreed I had to change the name. I understood I had to change the name. But, to what?

In the process of coming to Avarah Careers, I discovered a few important lessons I want to share with you. What I have observed, looking back, is the incredible power of resistance. It can fool us big time. It can derail you. It can send us in the wrong direction. All with the intention of protecting us from some imagined risk that we associate with change. Psychologists can help us understand why we resist change, but for me, it was important to recognize the signs so I could address them.

Resisting Comes in Four Different Forms

I can see in hindsight that my own resistance fell into four categories of behavior:

  1. Stalling – Devising all kinds of reasons why it wasn’t a good time for the change. It was never going to be a good time.
  2. Pretending – Telling myself and others that I was changing the name. I was brainstorming and coming up with alternatives. I was on it. I wasn’t.
  3. Compromising – Dipping my toe in the water of change by choosing a compromise that met the need (change the name), but didn’t meet the demands of my brand.
  4. Testing – Choosing another option that just didn’t fit, and I knew it.

The only legitimate one of these resistance strategies is #4 – Testing. Sometimes you have to try something on to see if it fits. That’s fine, as long as you are honest with yourself. I’m so grateful that I tested, didn’t feel it, and kept plowing ahead until I found Avarah.

Change is hard. Change takes time. And resistance is a tough foe. But fighting through it makes us stronger!