The Catch-22: Why You Know What to Do to Change but Can’t Seem to Do It

you know what to do to change, but still won't do it.

Written By:


Ryann Nicole

Ever found yourself in the frustrating conundrum of ‘I know what to do to change; I just can’t figure out why I won’t do it’? It’s a common head-scratcher, right? You’ve got the knowledge, but there’s a mental roadblock preventing you from taking action. If this resonates with you, you’re not alone.

5 Reasons You’re Resisting Change

Change happens all the time. It’s a part of life. But here’s the funny thing: even though we live in a world that’s always changing, we don’t always like it when changes happen to us. Sometimes, we get a little scared or upset when things don’t stay the same. We wonder why we resist change when it could actually be good for us. Here are five reasons why this puzzling phenomenon occurs and how to tackle it head-on.

01. More Healing Needs to Happen Before This Change Can Occur

Imagine you’re driving a car, and you suddenly realize that it’s making a strange noise and not running smoothly. If you ignore the issue and just keep driving, hoping it will get better, you’re likely to end up with a more significant problem down the road. Similarly, when we’re trying to change something in our lives, whether it’s a habit, a behavior, or a mindset, it’s essential to recognize if there are underlying emotional or past issues that need attention.

These unresolved issues can act like roadblocks, preventing us from making lasting and meaningful changes. They might be the root cause of the behaviors we’re trying to change in the first place. For instance, if you’re struggling with overeating and using food as a coping mechanism, there might be deep-seated emotional issues or past traumas that are fueling this behavior.

In such cases, the first step is to acknowledge that these issues exist and that they’re impacting your current behavior. This recognition is often challenging, but it’s a crucial starting point. It’s like lifting the hood of your car to see what’s causing that strange noise – you need to look beneath the surface.

Healing is not a linear process, and it can take time, but it’s a fundamental step toward creating a strong foundation for the changes you want to make. By addressing the emotional wounds and traumas, you’ll not only pave the way for successful and sustainable change but also experience a deeper level of personal growth and well-being.

So, remember, when you find yourself facing resistance to change, consider whether there are past wounds that need your attention. Recognize that healing is a valuable part of your journey toward lasting transformation.

02. You Want the Change but Don’t Want to Put in the Work

Wanting to make a change is great, but here’s the tricky part – making a change can be hard work. It’s easy to wish for the results, but sometimes, we don’t enjoy the journey to get there. The journey includes the hard work, the practice, the learning, and sometimes even facing failures along the way. That’s when we face the “I want the results without the struggle” dilemma.

So, what can you do if you find yourself in this situation? Well, you have a couple of options. One is to reconnect with your “why.” Why did you want this change in the first place? What motivated you? When you remember why you wanted to change, it can help you stay committed to the journey, even when it gets tough.

The other option is to acknowledge that you might not be ready for this change just yet, and that’s totally okay. Sometimes, we need more time to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally for a big change. It’s like cooking a delicious meal – you need the right ingredients, time to prepare, and patience. So, if you’re not feeling ready, it’s alright to take a step back and give yourself the time you need.

03. Self-Sabotage Due to Feelings of Undeserving

When you don’t feel like you deserve the change you’re going for, you might end up doing things to stop yourself from getting there. It’s almost like a way to protect yourself from feeling disappointed or failing. But guess what? You absolutely deserve the change you want! You’re just as deserving as anyone else. So, it’s important to confront those feelings of not being good enough and work on making them go away.

You can think of it like this: Imagine there’s a special book, like a guide, that can help you feel more deserving and make the change you want. It’s called “The Mountain Is You” by Brianna Weist, and it can be a helpful resource to guide you on this journey of feeling worthy.

Remember, you deserve the change you’re working towards, and those feelings of not being good enough can be pushed away. Once you start believing in yourself, you can achieve amazing things!

04. Maybe What You’re Trying to Change Isn’t Meant to Change

You know what’s interesting? Sometimes, we want to change things about ourselves that don’t really need changing. It’s important to realize that not everything in our lives needs a makeover. Some things are just perfect the way they are. When we keep trying to change them, it can cause a lot of stress and confusion inside us. It’s like making a puzzle with a piece that doesn’t belong – it just doesn’t fit.

What can you do about it? Well, sometimes the best thing is to let go of the idea that this specific change is necessary. By doing that, you can save yourself from unnecessary worry and stress and focus on making changes that really matter. Remember, it’s okay to accept yourself as you are, and not everything needs changing. Some things are just right and don’t need to be changed.

05. Changing Behavior Without Changing Thoughts

Imagine you have a plant, and you want it to grow healthy and strong. So, you water the plant and give it sunlight, which is great! But here’s the catch: if the soil isn’t good, the plant won’t grow as well as it could. That’s because the soil is like the thoughts in your head, and they can affect how you change.

So, sometimes, people try to change their behavior, like trying to eat healthier or exercise more, without changing the thoughts in their head. It’s a bit like watering the plant without improving the soil. It can work for a little while, but when a tough day comes, or something unexpected happens, it can be hard to keep going. That’s because we rely on our willpower, which is like our temporary motivation, and it’s not always very strong.

But here’s the secret: if you start by working on your thoughts, it’s like improving the soil for your plant. Your thoughts can be like cheerleaders, encouraging you and making change much easier. So, if you’re trying to make a change, remember that changing your thoughts is just as important as changing your actions. It’s like giving your plant the best soil to grow in, and it’s the key to making your change last.

So, next time you’re trying to change something, think about the soil (your thoughts) and make sure it’s good and supportive. This way, your change can grow strong and healthy, just like that plant.

When you find yourself stuck in the “I know what to do, but I’m not doing it” cycle, there’s usually something deeper at play. Once you uncover what’s beneath the surface, you can address it and move forward with a clearer path to change. Remember, it’s not always about what you do, but about understanding why you do it.

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Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

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Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.