People Struggling With Change

Most of us are not good at difficult change. We want things to be better, but we may not want to change. The trouble is, things generally don’t get better unless we change. Business isn’t likely to get any better if we keep doing what we’ve always done. We’re not going to be healthier if we don’t improve our diet and exercise more. Relationships aren’t likely to improve unless someone changes. Successful change lies at the heart of all progress. It would be great if change were easier. But it isn’t, and we have to become better at it if we want to improve our lives.

Typical Behaviours

Here are some of the typical behaviours when people are struggling with change:

  • they say they will try out suggestions and new behaviours, but they either don’t get around to it. or they do less than expected
  • they make lots of excuses about why they didn’t change
  • they blame their behaviour on circumstances or other people – “I’ve been really busy”, etc
  • they need lots of support to keep focused
  • they get discouraged easily when change is hard or takes too long
  • they expect you to fix things for them
  • they want quick results or they have a tendency to give up
  • they lack confidence
  • they have a fixed mind-set
  • they seek advice but often don’t take it
  • they tell problem-saturated stories


Our expertise and the training we provide helps you overcome problems like those listed above.

Understanding the Cause

To help people overcome these self-sabotaging behaviours, you first need to understand why they exist, and what they really are. These behaviours are not just people being unreliable or difficult to manage; they are symptoms of an even deeper problem – low change fitness.

Think of it in terms of physical fitness. If you were not very fit, would you be keen on climbing a high mountain, going on a long run, or doing some other strenuous activity? You might wish you could do it, but the reality is you would struggle with it. That’s what happens when people lack the capacity to succeed – they get discouraged and tend to quit.

So how do you overcome problems like these? You help people build their capacity to succeed. That’s what our training and resources help you do.

The Role of Change Fitness

When people have to step out of their comfort zone and do things that are unfamiliar, difficult, and that feel unnatural, it is like they are climbing a very steep slope. If they lack change fitness, they will complain about how hard it is, feel will like giving up, and they will soon doubt their ability to make it to the top. They might keep going for a while with your help, but when they are on their own, they will probably quit. Just think of New Year’s resolutions – 86% of people have given up on them by mid-January. They try them out for a while, but gradually they lose interest when they realise how hard it is, and give up.

The real problem is that very few people have enough change fitness to be really comfortable around change.

What to Do

There are two things you can do in dealing with this issue. Let’s look at them briefly.

First, you have to understand what are the person’s main barriers. This is not always easy, because people like to hide behind masks and don’t like to become vulnerable and expose their weaknesses. But if you don’t understand their barriers, and the client is unaware of them, neither of you will make much progress. Also understand that the barriers are not the same as the unhelpful symptoms they exhibit. Avoidance behaviours or poor follow-through are symptoms of even deeper barriers. You need to identify what these barriers are.

The second thing to do is help your clients overcome the barriers that stop them from making progress. Once they overcome these barriers, they will be able to move forward. Overcoming barriers happens as people gain self-awareness and build change fitness strengths.

We Can Help You

We have a tool that will enable you to quickly get an understanding of your clients’ barriers, and resources that will help them overcome their barriers and make long-term progress. We have created a psychometric test that analyses the key areas that create problems for people, and an online program that helps them overcome their barriers and build change strengths.

We train and certify coaches, OD consultants, and change managers in the theory of change readiness and the use of these tools. If you would like to know more about these tools and the training we offer, please send us an email and we’ll be in touch.

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