The coaching conversation on “What has you stopped” or “What’s blocking you” is due for an update.

You can start by putting a new frame around the picture. Instead of “challenge” or “obstacle” or “block,” think in terms of resistance.

Usually we think of an obstacle or block as something to be overcome. Or fixed. Healed. Eliminated.

This all stems from the old paradigm of Control/Conquer/Dominate.

By contrast, you may be familiar with resistance training, an approach to fitness that uses resistance to help you develop strength, often very selectively. By working with the level of resistance that best supports your body at any given time, you can isolate and build specific muscles.

If you aren’t paying attention, however, you can also injure yourself.

Remaining connected to your body and what it tells you, is essential. In other words, your degree of connection with yourself is required in order for you to work effectively with resistance.

So notice:

The most effective use of resistance depends upon a dynamic relationship with connection. 

We tend to think of these two as being polar opposites. And yet: The mindful inclusion or integration of these apparent opposites gives us something all together new.

Resistance and connection working together bring us a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.

The dynamic interaction between resistance and connection can also come into play in your inner world.

Just to be clear: Consider “resistance” to mean “whatever prevents the forward movement you want” (or think you want).

Resistance can show up as your being stuck or caught in an old pattern or habit that won’t shift. It can also appear as non-movement or inconsistent movement toward a goal..

Have you, or a client, ever experienced a stop-start-stop-start pattern of progress? This can be really frustrating if you don’t know why this happens, or how to work with the pattern when it shows up.

Or, have you ever had a long term goal you can’t seem to reach? Whether it is starting a regular exercise routine, dropping that last 5 pounds of holiday weight gain, or launching a new offering to your market, if you just can’t seem to get there, resistance is likely involved.

The good news is: You don’t have to feel held hostage to your resistance.

And as a coach, you no longer need to feel frustrated or buffaloed by your clients’ resistance.


There’s nothing wrong with resistance or the fact that you may be experiencing it.

When you learn to identify and work with resistance, you change your relationship with it and instead of stopping you, it now serves you.

Interested in learning more? Check out the companion article, coming in a few days, on one of the biggest areas of resistance  humans can experience.

And, if you want to be part of a related conversation, you’ll want to join the free monthly Heart and Soul of Coaching community calls.

In celebration of your resistance and all it has to offer you!