Resistance: Where It Comes From And How To Crush It
I’ve got a question for ya (actually, let’s be real, I’ve got a bunch of questions). What are you resisting in your life right now? What are those things in the back (or front) of your mind that you know you need to do, but you’re putting off?
Now that you’ve got those resistance-inducing activities in mind, I’ve got another question: What’s stopping you? In other words, what’s the block that’s in your way?
Is it the actual act of doing it that you’re dreading? If so, how can you bring more joy to it?
Is it fear that once you do it, people won’t respond the way you hoped? Or you’ll fail? Or it won’t be good enough? If so, how can you detach from the judgements of others (and yourself) and reclaim your power?
Is it a subconscious worry that things will change once you’ve completed it? If so, how can you reframe those changes to be in service of your highest good?
Or is it because doing the thing you’re resisting isn’t in alignment with your goals? If so, should it really be on your to-do list?
In many cases we either consciously or subconsciously resist things because we’re trying to avoid something that we’re not totally comfortable with — but we tend to forget to focus on the most important thing, which can help us bulldoze straight through the resistance in our way — and that’s asking yourself, how will I feel when it’s done?
We do (and don’t do) things because of how we believe they’ll make us feel — so taking a sec to consider the end feeling result is super powerful.
Does that feeling align with your ultimate vision of your life? Completing things we’ve been resisting often makes us feel empowered, accomplished, capable, brave, confident, free, and the list of positive outcomes goes on. So when we take a moment to really plug into those feelings, it’s kind of a no-brainer to just do the damn thang. Why wouldn’t we want to feel great?
The negative feeling outcomes usually only spur from places of our “safety” being threatened — if we feel like doing this thing will make us vulnerable, at risk for judgement, or that it will change something important in our life (like relationships).
Our brains are hardwired to keep us safe from harm (you know, from the stone age when we were literally being chased by sabertooth tigers), so in many cases, resistance comes from that unconscious place that’s not applicable to the world we live in today. Also, these perceived “negative” feelings typically only last a short time, and ultimately result in positive feelings and further clarity (extra silver lining, what-whaaaat!)
We normally only resist things that are either: A. crucial to our self-development (it can be scary and uncomfortable to grow), or B. aren’t in alignment with our values and vision. So resistance is either a signal to push through and keep going, or to eliminate that task from your list completely. I have a little exercise at the end of this post to help make the difference between the two crystal clear for you.
And hey, guess what? I actually just succumbed to resistance and started aimlessly scrolling Facebook mid-post-writing after getting distracted by an alert that popped up on my screen. Oh, the irony! I caught myself, rolled my eyes, laughed, and closed that resistance-enabling tab with a firm click.
Our relationship with resistance doesn’t have to be serious, it can actually be playful (it’s way more fun that way — and life should be fun) — but they key is being mindful of it.
We need to be able to be honest with ourselves instead of making excuses and rationalizing our resistant behavior. When we’re doing things that were born from a place of resistance, it’s so much more productive to be like, Okay, self — I get it that you’re scared of really putting yourself out there and committing to this, but strap on your big kid boots and just do it already! Scrolling Facebook isn’t doing anything to get you closer to your goals, but getting [insert task you’re resisting here] WILL. And you’ll feel amazing when it’s done. So, giddy-up!
This of course only makes sense if you live your life intentionally. By that I mean — if you’re the type of person that crafts a vision of what your ideal life looks like and works towards that by chunking it down into bite-sized goals that you tackle and achieve (or even reassess, if they’re no longer serving you and your vision) one-by-one.
So, if you fit that description — my challenge for you (if you choose to accept it) is this:
- Grab two pieces of blank paper and a pen.
- On the first sheet, divide a piece of paper into three columns.
- In the first column, write a list of all of the things you need to get done that you’re resisting in some form or another, get them alllllll out. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are — they’re all things that weigh on our subconscious and lower our vibration when we resist them. Also, it feels good to put some order to our to-do’s in this way.
- In the second column, write down why you’re resisting each separate thing, you may have to dig deep on some of these. This will give you clarity around your personal limiting beliefs and the common blocks in your life. Those are what you’re choosing to let stand between you and your goals. This is so powerful, because once we name them, we can work through them. Mindfulness, for the win! (Also, whenever I write down my blocks/limiting beliefs it immediately takes away their power because I can see that they’re not real — they’re just something I’ve constructed in my head.)
- In the third column, assess whether each of these tasks is aligned with your ultimate vision for your life. Go though them and write “yes” or “no” next to each one. Once you’ve done that, look at all of the “no’s” and cross them out. If they don’t serve your vision, they don’t serve a real, meaningful purpose and shouldn’t be on your to-do list. Get them the hell outta there, yo! Simplification + alignment = joy.
- Now, grab your second piece of paper and divide it into two columns.
- In the first column, write down a squeaky clean new list with only the tasks that got a big, whopping “yes”.
- In the second column, write down how achieving each one will make you feel. These should be super positive, affirmational words or phrases. Whenever resistance starts taking over, plug back into those feelings to get back on track.
Now, check it out — this is your new resistance-busting to-do list. Doesn’t it make you feel so much lighter and more purposeful?
This should be a working list, as goals and priorities naturally shift over time — so grab your calendar and schedule time for yourself at intervals that make sense for your life (monthly, quarterly, etc.) to reassess.
Watch out resistance, we’re comin’ for ya!
#resistance #intentions #goals #simplification #wisdom