Individual and organizational change are rarely linear with an unbroken path to success. There are almost always unexpected problems, blind alleys, and failures which can make you feel like you are "going in circles" or "sliding backwards."
Such difficult feelings are more likely when we fall into thinking and acting like change is linear. This can happen outside of our awareness. Surprise then is unexpected. This puts us at risk for wasting emotional and psychological resources on feelings of failure, shame, and demoralization,
The key is to think of change as a spiral unfolding upwards--it feels like going in circles but there is steady progress forward. (Prochaska et al, Changing for Good Avon Books,1994) Expecting surprise, roadblocks, and set-backs increases our resilience to stay in action. In behavior change, "those who take action and fail in the next month are twice as likely to succeed in the next 6 months than those who don't take any action." (Prochaska et al)
For more perspective, see the Blog post, Talk about the risks of change right from the start.