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9 Reasons Why People Resist Change

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 4 comments

To continue with the recent theme of change, today I want to give you a few reasons why people are afraid of and avoid – change.  So, I’ve come up with nine reasons, there’s probably a lot more, but I think that these are the top ones.


Fear of change and the unknown.

For me, one of the top reasons for changing is just fear of change and the unknown. Fear of what is going to happen around the corner.  We don’t know what this will be.

If we don’t change … you still have the unknown.  The future is still unknown.

You might have less of an unknown if you don’t go out your house every day.  If you pin yourself up in front of the television watching the same programmes day in and day out.  You don’t get any change, you don’t grow, you don’t do anything in your life, but you don’t get any change.

But … there would be an earthquake that could level your house, with you in it.  You could step outside your front door to the shop and you never know what’s going to happen.

Change happens.  So, the unknown is always your future.

You cannot guarantee that tomorrow is going to be the same as today.  You cannot guarantee anything about tomorrow. You can’t guarantee anything.

I’m walking down this track now and I can’t guarantee if anyone is going to walk down it. I can’t guarantee that it’s not going to rain.  It doesn’t look like it’s going to rain but it could do, suddenly.  There’s less change of it raining here than back in Ireland where I was, but it still could rain.


People remain connected to the old way of doing things.

The second reason why people don’t change is because they’re still connected to the old way of doing things.  They still have emotional baggage.

When you do something over and over again, not only do you think it’s the right way of doing it but you’ll think it’s your way of doing it and because you’ve done it for a long time you think, that’s the way I have to keep doing it because it’s me and if I change what I’m doing then I am no longer me.

You have to get that out of your head and stop thinking that the old ways are any better than the new ways.  A lot of the time the old ways are there because it’s a habit, it’s a behaviour that you’ve been doing for a long time and that’s just it.


Too comfortable to change.

My third reason why people don’t change is because they’re too comfortable doing what they are currently doing.

They don’t want to get outside of their comfort zone.

They’re used to doing what they are doing and they don’t like what they’re not used to.  It goes back to the first one.  People fear the unknown.  When people are doing, what’s known to them they are comfortable, they’re in their comfort zone and they’re happy being there.

That’s the third reason – people just don’t want to get out of their comfort zones.


Loss of Control

People may feel like they are losing or that they have lost control.  There is a certain amount of control that you will have lost in the situation that you are in, because you are doing something that you are not used to doing.

You are going from something that you are comfortable doing to doing something that you are both not used to doing and are all of a sudden uncomfortable doing.

This is especially relevant when somebody else forces the change on you.  If someone says you have to stop smoking or drinking now or I’m leaving you, then someone else is forcing that decision and you feel like you’ve lost complete control – but the control of everything is always in your hands – it is in your mind.

You have ultimate control over your mind and when you have that you have control of what you do and how you do it, where you go and how you get there.


People just don’t think that they can do it. 

People don’t think that they are capable of doing something different, something new, something better.  They don’t they are capable of bringing the change into their own live. This is question of competence.

Am I competent enough to be able to push through with these changes.

I go back to Carol Dweck, in her book about Mindsets.  She was talking about the growth mindset versus the fixed mindset.  The fixed mindset group just think that what they are born with is what they have.  The abilities that they are born with are what they’re stuck with and that’s it and they can’t really get out of that.

People with a growth mindset think that the abilities that they are born with are just a starting point and anything else past that is up to them to grow to mature, to learn new skills and to add and to expand to experience.  They think that’s the way that you have to get out of this one is to believe that you’ve got a growth.

These are only mindsets.  They’re only ways at looking at the world.  They are not reality but they make reality. 

If you believe you’ve got a fixed mindset and you can’t learn anything new – if you believe you are crap at maths, then you are crap at Maths.

If you believe that you’ve got a growth mindset and believe that you are crap at Maths, then you also believe that you can learn how to do Maths.  You don’t believe that there is a final line in the sand because you haven’t got the math gene.

Same as people who say they have the alcohol gene so they cut off any possibility of growth because it is there in their hands. It is something that they can’t get into and change.  They’ve got the alcohol gene and that’s it.  They are always going to be an alcoholic.  So, either they have this eternal struggle with alcohol for the rest of their lives or they just succumb to it and they just go – ‘Fuck it – I’m a drinker, that’s it, there’s no getting out of it.’  A person with a growth mindset would say – ‘No! This is just a state of mind, it’s a behaviour that I am doing.  It’s a habit and I can get out of this habit and do something different.’


Self doubt.

This is a big one.  People doubt their own competences and doubt themselves in so many different ways.  I think this one goes back to positive and negative thinking.  It you think negatively in general then you can’t live a positive life.  It’s fucking virtually impossible, because you are always being your own worst enemy and if you are your own worst enemy then fuck what anybody else wants to do to you, because you are already doing it to yourself!  Victim mindset.

You’ve got to think positive.  You’ve got to believe and keep saying it to yourself over and over, I can do this, I can do this.  I am going to do this.  I am doing this now.

You’ve got to keep believing that and if you don’t you sink yourself, you’re the one with a hatchet, hacking away at the bottom of your boat until the water comes in. Nobody fixes it and you just keep hacking away with your own negative hatchet until you sink and that’s it. Your sunk!


Fear of failure.

Which one of us among us doesn’t fear failure?  To some degree or another.  There always is a certain fear, but fear is part of progress.  It’s a part of learning any skills.  It’s a part of life.  Watch a child learning how to do anything and they don’t fear failure.  They just do what they’re doing and they keep doing it until they can do it.

When they fail, they get up and do it again.

Watch a baby trying to stand up.  A baby will get frustrated because it can’t do it, but it will keep doing it.  Keep talking.  Keep doing things that a Baby does without thinking – ‘I’m bad, this is shit, I’m shit, I’ve got no confidence.’ The baby doesn’t doubt themselves and has no fear of failure.

So, that is what you have to adopt in your own life. Failure is just a thing that is in your head.  The fear of failure.  Failure is part of the process, just learn how to do it and move on.


Fear of discomfort

l say this again and again and again.  The reason why most people want to change is because where they currently are is giving them discomfort.

We are pleasure seeking animals.  We are either searching for pleasure or avoiding pain and we’ll do twice as many things to avoid pain as we will to get pleasure.

We like being in our comfort zone.  We don’t like being in our discomfort zone.  People don’t like discomfort but you have to get over it because if you’re forcing change on yourself it’s because of a reason.

If you are stopping drinking alcohol or smoking – there’s a reason for doing that.  The reason is because it’s causing you more pain than it is giving you pleasure or it’s starting to cause you more pain or you are getting pain out of it.  So push yourself through the discomfort of change to something different.

You not only get rid of the pain in the present but you get rid of all the accumulating future pain as well.


Fear of succeeding

People fear succeeding as well as they fear failing.  It’s a weird one to get your head around.  When people push themselves forward to do something and succeed in that thing, it means that they are sort of glued to it then.  You have to do that thing from now on.  You’re bonded to that life style and that way of doing things.

If you succeed in quitting alcohol it really does mean that you’re never going to have a drink again in your life.  Oh, my God!  Forever and not having a drink.  That’s scary and that’s success, so, this is success – and quitting drinking alcohol is never having a drink again in your life.

But success in quitting alcohol also means that you DON’T WANT to ever have another drink in your life.  That’s success.

Quitting drinking alcohol means that you’ve pushed yourself beyond the self gratification that drinking allows.  You’re growing as a person.  You’re growing in many different areas of your life, everywhere where you used to use alcohol as a tool and are now using something else which is hopefully more healthy for you.

So, that’s it. That’s nine big reasons why people don’t like change or don’t want to change.

If you have any questions at all, leave a comment down below.  Come on over the website we’ve got a load of resources over there from different forms. We’ve got video courses on quitting drinking alcohol, books, audio books, there’s a lot of posts that are arranged … in some kind of an order over there anyway and you can leave comments on the website as well. So visit https://www.alcoholmastery.com.

So until tomorrow.  Take Care of yourself and keep the alcohol out of your mouth.

“Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change”

Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!

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  1. Debbie

    I have 2nd day of no alcohol…I have headache..chills…slight fever and body aches…

    • andrew

      Stick with it Debbie I’m on day 11 and its getting easier

  2. Lisa Connally

    Listening to you is such a comfort…like home! Thank you, Kevin!

  3. pm

    i had dreams(nightmares) last night that i went back to drink………..i hope you keep walking/talking…….thanks


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