The 10 Biggest Roadblocks to Personal Transformation


strodthoffPersonal transformation is the process of changing an aspect of ourselves to a more desirable state. People may encounter many difficulties when creating change, and each person’s experience is unique. Outlined below are 10 of the most common roadblocks I have observed.

1. “Therapy” is a four letter word. There is a real stigma around the word therapy. Whether it’s session work, a conversation with a good friend or communing with nature, therapy goes by many names and is really about finding ways to fully experience life.

2. Big issues require big resources to transform. People sometimes struggle with issues for months, years or even lifetimes before they are ready to make a change. It’s easy to think that since the issue is a long-standing one, then the process to transform it will involve a huge amount of time, effort and money. This is usually not the case. Simply put, personal transformation can be relatively quick and easy, and even fun.

3. Trying to change a habit or behavior instead of the underlying cause. Sometimes we try to stop a behavior cold turkey or substitute a different behavior. This approach ignores the thought patterns and processes that are creating the behavior in the first place, and as a result, the behavior is usually very difficult to permanently change.

4. Forgetting to set an outcome or goal. Since we know that a behavior will change much more easily if we address the patterns that create it, then we need to make sure we have a desirable outcome to accompany the rearranged pattern. If we only set a goal to move away from a certain state of being, then we tend to revisit that state cyclically until we give ourselves a different one to move toward.

5. Asking “why.” “Why can’t I stop this habit?” “Why do I keep getting myself into this position?” The answers to these types of questions may provide useful information, but most often they do not. When we ask “why,” it tends to anchor the issue even more solidly, reinforcing the very thing we want to change. It is important to acknowledge the fact that you are here now, and that there was an event at some point that helped get you here. Reliving that event or digging up all the details is usually not helpful. Ask “how” you want things to be different and “how” they can be changed.

6. Blaming ourselves and/or others for our situation. When we blame, we place judgment on whomever or whatever we’re blaming. Doing so lowers our energy, keeps us looking backwards and prevents us from seeing options and possibilities right now. Our best option is forgiveness. By forgiving, we release restrictive patterns and free up energy that can then be used for something else. Then we can come back to experiencing this current moment.

7. Giving away personal power. Often we give up our own power and responsibility and let external factors take control of our existence. As long as we do so, we get pushed through life and don’t allow ourselves to move and live from the essence of our being. We need to free our “trapped” energy, accept responsibility for ourselves and regain authorship of our life story.

8. Over-analyzing the situation. We spend a lot of time thinking with our heads when we’d be better off feeling what’s in our hearts. The trick is to be curious about what’s happening. If we stay curious, we can allow things to flow and manifest easily and naturally in the moment.

9. Forgetting to be grateful for the benefits of every situation. Every situation, no matter how distasteful, has a beneficial aspect to it. This may be one of the hardest concepts of change to employ, but there is always something in there that has been helpful in some large or small way. Gratitude is easy to forget in difficult times.

10. We feel stuck and unable to change. When we find ourselves frequently thinking about something we’d like to change about our existence, there is a good chance that we’re ready to make a transformation. Unfortunately, we believe that we can’t move, we don’t have the ability to change, or what we want isn’t ever going to become reality. Good news! There are always options. Once you open to that idea, you’ve already begun the transformation process.

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