How to Deal With Resistance


Resistance.  It’s that feeling that comes up when you don’t want to do something.  For me it starts at the pit of my stomach. 

I felt it this week when I left my Dad’s house in Cincinnati to go to work with my Mentor and Mastermind.  I wanted to stay home with him – enjoy his homemade Indian Chai with the perfect amount of ginger and the soft sheets of my quiet suburban bedroom for a few more nights.  I wanted it more than anything.   

This, my friends, is Resistance.

As I left for the airport, the 5-year-old girl in me began to say, “I don’t want to do this.  It’s not fair.  You work too much.  I want to play.”   Sometimes she yells.  Sometimes she whispers.  It all depends on the task at hand.  This time she yelled, and stomped. 

Resistance, again. 

When I got to the airport, I realized I had purchased my flight for the wrong date – November 21st instead of October.  I was purchasing Thanksgiving flights at the same time and I made a mistake.  Again, the little voice said, “You can go home now – see it’s a sign!” 

More resistance

Thankfully the agent was able to type into the old system and switch my flight, but I had to pay an extra $200.   Now, the fatigue was starting to set in.

Wow – lots of resistance

And this time the resistance was smart, saying things like, “You could go home and get more work done.  You could get more sales just by getting on the phone.  And you could spend the evening with your Dad.”  My resistance was like a super-star lawyer in front of a jury.  I physically swayed back and forth as the conversation roared in my head.   I must have looked half crazy. 

But there was something else at play.  Commitment.  Commitment to my mentor and the faith that being there with her would produce amazing growth for me, even if I couldn’t see it now. 

Commitment to leaving my home and sharing space with other smart entrepreneurs.

Trusting that my original decision to travel to work on my business was the right decision, and the deep knowing that isolation is the enemy of wealth.  

I also knew that I would be spending a week with my Dad at Thanksgiving and two at Christmas.  So this resistance wasn’t logical – it was just trying to keep me safe and comfortable. 

You see after years of battling resistance, I have enough insight to recognize it.  To understand when the resistance needs to be addressed – and plans changed – and when it is just another form of self-sabotage. 

I write this because I see way too many folks out there giving in to their resistance.  Letting it win.  And the other side of giving in to resistance is not hitting your goals. The outcome of not hitting your goals is watching your faith and self confidence crumble.  

Commitment and Resistance are actually two sides of the same coin.   Once you have one – the other one will inevitably come up.

The first key is to recognize your form of resistance as it comes up.  What does it feel like?  What does it look like?  Do you feel it in your body?  Or is it the voices in your head? 

The second key is to determine how to act in the face of resistance.  It is worth changing plans or bowing out for the day?  Or is it time to face the resistance and do it anyways? 

Most of the time – you should do it anyways.

And the third step is to take an action to get started on whatever you are resisting.  Normally in that process of getting started, the task at hand isn’t so hard.  And you’ll realize it was worth it. 

That’s what happened to me by the way – the mastermind was fantastic. I was reminded of exactly what I needed to learn.

One of my spiritual teachers says that the more we recognize resistance, the more spiritually aware we are.  It allows us to take a breathe in the moment and make decisions based on what we actually want – not from a place of fear.  Here’s to wrestling with our resistance – and winning. 

Leave me a comment and let me know what you thought of this article – it gets lonely over here writing in the dark!

Photo: flickr, theresebeale

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