Change is inevitable in organizations across the world. Yet, change is scary for employees.

People are creatures of habit. They don’t like to step out of their comfort zones. They resist change. They refuse to accept that change is part of the process.

The Meaning Of Resistance To Change

One of the most challenging problems that people grapple with at their workplace is resistance to change. Resistance to change is the unwillingness to adapt to altered circumstances. Resistance to change could mean refusal to accept a change that will upset your routine. This, typically, happens when you have to deal with new perspectives or practices.

Human beings are creatures of habit. As children, you would have learned a lot of skills in your everyday lives through repetitive behavior patterns. Following patterns can become the reasons for resistance to change. At one level, resistance to change serves as a protective function for you as it helps break the monotony and encourages you to take on new challenges.

The Inevitability Of Change

As much as we like comfortable situations to last forever, we can never stop the flow of events. After all, change is the only constant in life. That is why it is important to overcome resistance to change.

In today’s rapidly changing world, new technologies and trends are leading people around the world to tinker and innovate, forever challenging resistance to change. This can be frightening for some, as surviving would essentially mean learning to adapt constantly and managing resistance to change quickly.

The Beauty Of Change

Overcoming resistance to change is vital to stay content in life. Once you accept that change is inevitable and move with the tide, you will begin to ease into a changed circumstance or seek out change yourself. To attain fulfillment, it is necessary to move out of your comfort zones and face your reasons for resistance to change.

For example, if you find your current job stressful and unsatisfying, and yet are not doing anything about it, it could be seen as a symptom of resistance to change, meaning you are probably making up excuses to justify your staying back at a place where you are unhappy. In the present scenario, such reasons may include the slowing economy, the availability of a job when so many others have lost theirs, among others. By managing resistance to change, you may seek work that will be more rewarding, even under the present circumstances.

Challenging your fears and doubts can help you in managing resistance to change.

Challenge Your Resistance To Change

Whenever you are forced to confront your reasons for resistance to change, you may tend to focus on loss instead of gains such as loss of time, comfort or mental space. But a different situation may not necessarily be bad. There are many simple ways of managing resistance to change.

  • Be more open and flexible

Accept that change is a natural flow of life. Try to defy the causes of resistance to change and embrace the changes, instead of controlling them. Appreciate the fact that, very often, change can be a good thing.

  • Know your resistance to change

Ask yourself questions such as, “What am I resisting? What are my causes of resistance to change?” Be specific and honest with yourself. Often, managing resistance to change involves what we can and cannot control. Focus on what you can control and learn to accept what you can’t.

  • Adopt a learning mindset in overcoming resistance to change

The reasons for resistance to change are many. Nevertheless, resisting changes is resisting reality. Adopt a learning mindset in every situation. There is immense joy in adapting yourself to learn new things.

  • Change is good for your growth

Resisting change is futile because it is going to happen whether you like it or not. Change allows you to be innovative. Think of change as a way of learning to stay engaged with your career. Look at fighting the causes for resistance to change to open doors to new opportunities.

  • Allow a mentor to help you in overcoming resistance to change

An elder or a more experienced person can help you develop a sense of accountability. They can help you embrace reality with productive behavior, and managing resistance to change.

  • Consider a change management course

Doing a short and effective course in this regard can go a long way. Harappa Education’s online course Embracing Change can help you learn all about resistance to change and help you in developing ample confidence to respond to change and in overcoming resistance to change positively. It will equip you with an increased ability to take risks and deal with stress and uncertainty. The 3As of Setbacks concept will help you understand how to successfully deal with setbacks and put mistakes behind you. You will learn to take the emotion out and replace it with objectivity, allowing you to move forward with greater clarity.


Most of us don’t like change and there are chances of things slipping out of control in changed circumstances. But it is important to understand the meaning of resistance to change and ensure overcoming resistance to change. In today’s world, the ability to overcome resistance to change is a highly regarded skill. Embrace change and regard it as something that will serve you well. Remember when people notice that extra pep in your step, they’ll want a little of that “change” in themselves too!

Explore topics such as Resilience, Change Management, Change Management Strategies & Types of Organizational Change from our Harappa Diaries section and lead on a path of self-development.

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