There will always be parts of ourselves and associated behaviours that we don’t like. I know for I have them too. These parts trip us up. So yes, they can be really frustrating and annoying. Despite all the effort and all the trying they still block us. They sabotage us, prevent meaningful change and we find ourselves faced with internal resistance.
So what can help as we face this polarity between the part of us that wishes to change and the part entrenched and embedded in old patterns?
I suggest coming to this situation with non-judgemental curiosity. Perhaps even some humility. Recognising that this entrenched behavioural dynamic, this part that you struggle with, was at one point important and useful. It is well established precisely because it served you well. It may be true that it no longer serves you but, at some point it did and hence the resistance.
Working with compassion and a non-judgemental stance around such resistance often reveals that what is so hated, disliked and labelled as “bad” often served a useful function historically. It may have protected us in some way or kept us safe.
Recognising how our younger selves managed difficult situations and came up with creative solutions can be quite powerful. It allows us to move toward humility and compassion towards our younger self who did what was needed to keep us in life and support our growth.
It may be true that these creative solutions have now established themselves into behavioural patterns that are no longer helpful. However, at the time they were suitable. And now with the passing of time there is an invitation to change.
Holding this stance of kindness and compassion towards ourselves, in particular our younger selves can allow the process of change. We meet ourselves with love, not hate and a dialogue can be facilitated between the desire to change and the older entrenched part. As opposed to feeling stuck and frustrated we notice movement and the beginnings of change.
In my work I have repeatedly witnessed how working with resistance and including all parts of ourselves with love and compassion has been the first step to facilitating change. Working with that which we see as a block or impediment can be very rich, deeply rewarding and supportive in the counselling process.