Why we’re immune to change (and what to do about it)

Have you ever felt like you are the biggest thing getting in the way of what you want?

I know I have. 🙋

What’s your version of getting in your own way? Maybe it looks like:

  • A behavior you repeat, even though you know it’s not in your best interests.
  • Sabotaging yourself
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • A behavior that makes you feel bad about yourself, but you just can’t seem to stop
  • Something else…

We all have some behavior that’s in direct conflict with our best intentions and yet, we seem to be powerless to change it.  

Why oh why is that?

If you’re up for a quick down-and-dirty inquiry into a behavior you can’t seem to change, grab a pen and prepare for some eye-openers and a-ha moments!

Write down your first response to the following prompts:

  • If you could wave a magic wand and make an unwanted habit or behavior disappear, what would it be?
  • Write down ALL the things you’ve tried in the past to change this behavior.  
  • How successful were those measures? How long did they last? Why do you think they didn’t “stick”?

I have good news and some not-so-good news. The good news is that the reason you haven’t kicked the behavior is not because you lack the discipline, it’s because you’re trying to use willpower.  And willpower simply doesn’t cut it because it focuses on surface behavior, without taking into account the deep-seated, often unconscious beliefs that uphold them. Think of it like an iceberg.

So, what’s an ambitious creative entrepreneur who’s committed to making some big changes in 2023 to do?

Think about change differently.  

Enter, Immunity to Change Theory. I was recently introduced to Immunity to Change by Tara McMullin.  I’m fascinated by what makes us humans tick and the name and concept immediately grabbed my attention. One quick google search later, I found Lisa Lehay who, with her longtime collaborator Robert Kegan, is credited with discovering why humans consistently act in ways we know conflict with our best intentions.  

I literally stopped everything, watched her fantastic talk, Seeing and Overcoming the Immunity to Change, and worked her process.  I discovered that my willpower-resistant behaviors have nothing to do with my commitment or good intentions, but rather the deep-rooted assumptions, beliefs, and unconscious conflicting commitments.


If you’re ready to make significant progress you need to make significant changes. And that work is a mix of beneath-the-surface work (identifying your unconscious beliefs and conflicting commitments) and above-the-surface work (goals, strategies, working the plan).

The work isn’t always pretty, but it is eye-opening, and ultimately liberating.

If you’re up for some personal liberation (which, BTW contributes to the liberation of all), here are three recommendations (do as many as you wish in whatever order you wish).

  1. Watch Lisa Lehay’s video and work the steps (give yourself 2-3 hours)
  2. Do a brain dump of ALL the things you’d like to be/do/have/achieve/make progress towards in 2023
  3. Join me and the Freelancer’s Union for a free virtual workshop called Create a Plan to Make 2023 Your Best Year Yet. Reserve your spot here.

I can’t wait to hear what a-ha’s come up and what you’re planning for 2023. Let’s make it the best one yet!


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