How do you help someone who expresses unhappy self defeating mind sets? – ARTICLE

When you try to help someone who is in a self defeating attitude, they will usually resist the change you propose.

Why because a negative mind set is still a comfort zone.

People will often say they want to change but when the change process starts taking place, they will often resist it, step back and try to avoid the catalytic forces you use to stimulate that change.

Yes! This emotional reaction is logical – It is a reaction of fear to the unknown.

The question is “How do you handle that resistance as a friend, family member or coach?”

What do you do every time someone withdraws their energy or input just when you are about to break through?

Basically, they retreat in their well known self defeating mind sets.

What do you do when this happens without feeling like you need to carry them energy wise.


An important shift needs to happen at that moment!

The reason they shift their mind or withdraw is because energy wise, they will get more energy from you if they resist.

The partnership you create when they start moving forward is based on the combination of your two energies.

When they slow down or resist, it would usually force you to put up a higher level of power to keep that ship going.

If they complain, say it is not working, it is simply their way of offering resistance so that you feed that partnership more.

It is a power game!

It is a battle between your mind set and their mind set!

Once you understand that, you need a new posture to stand in so that their emotional reaction does not touch you.

You need an instinctual instant response so that specific moment.

Here are the options:

  • Force to move forward whatever doubts or resistances the person has
  • Let them take the lead and redefine the goals or shift directions if they want to
  • Let them know what they are doing and telling them about these dynamics we just mentioned
  • Challenge or attack them.
  • Dissolve the relationship on the spot and stop working with them as soon as they show resistance
  • Don’t work with them in the first place when you foresee that type of problem or behavior.
  • Simply agree with what they want
  • Simply shift target instantly and let them reorient according to the new targets or needs

The thing that you need to understand is that they don’t actually want you to succeed!

It is your mind set against their mind set.

Your energy reality (positive, outgoing, fresh, etc) against their energy reality(depressed, unhappy, moody, self defeating, etc)

When these two energy realities enter in conflict within a discusion or coaching session for instance, they will do anything they can to stick to their mind set and defend their position.

It is a battle for securing their mind set.

Yes! It is a contradiction because this mind set makes them unhappy but it is logical because they are “comfortable” with that mind set.

If someone has been living in a swamp for their whole life, the idea of moving to a sunny beach location is threatening!

It means change.

It is the same type of change process people face when they shift from unhappy to happy.

It’s a profound transformation of their inner beliefs and emotional base.

This is why they are afraid to step out of that unhappy comfort zone: it is because unhappiness has become their base.

They are familiar with it.

When you bombard them with positiveness, it challenges that base.

This is why all the resistance builds up!

Yes! There is a perfect response to that.


Obsviously, challenging or attacking could strongly reinforce the conflicting attitudes.

Instead, you need to give them the control seat and let them realize that they are in charge!

If they want to stop, you stop on the spot!

Why? Because you have other friends or clients and if they can’t go faster, you will go faster with someone else.

This stays their agenda, always.

Even if they feed their agenda with negative self limiting beliefs and target changes.

It is their right to stand still if they want to.