Resistance is a powerful, invisible, and internal force that can paralyze us from pursuing our dreams, taking healthy risks, and living a fulfilling life.
Maybe you want to leave your job to pursue a business, end a toxic relationship, move somewhere new and exciting, or pursue a deeper relationship with yourself and heal internal trauma. Whatever you decide to pursue, you will likely be met with resistance.
What may be causing you to feel resistance:
A sense of safety in what is known and familiar.
As self-sabotaging as it may be, resistance is your ego’s safety mechanism encouraging you to hit the breaks before steering yourself out of your comfort zone and into the realm of the unknown. Even when we are not satisfied with our current state of life, our perception of the known is more comforting than that of the unknown. Our ego often chimes in to say, “things could always be worse.” When our current discomfort is perceived as unbearable, the ego usually lowers its defenses and permits us to venture.
However, unbearable discomfort is not a prerequisite to change if you are aware of the reason for your resistance. When you understand the feelings that accompany change are natural and, in many cases, your fears irrational, you’ll be more apt to move forward, even if that means taking baby steps.
A conditioned fear of not having all the answers.
Our society doesn’t take kindly to ignorance. Ironically, this lack of tolerance for ignorance breeds ignorance because almost everyone is afraid of not having the “right” answer or saying they don’t know. We end up with a sea of self-proclaimed experts merely parroting the opinions and systems of another as well-researched facts and personal mastery.
When we stray away from what we know, we are entering the space of ignorance. However, if we break free from toxic conditioned beliefs and rhetoric, we can perceive this newfound ignorance as an opportunity to learn and grow. Fear and doubt will transform into curiosity and excitement because we will no longer attach our self-worth and intelligence to what we currently know.
A list of what-ifs.
Isn’t it funny how many of the “what-ifs” that run through our minds are focused on the possible adverse outcomes?
What if I get further behind my peer?
What if I put in all this work, and I fail?
What if I make the wrong decision?
What if I lose all my money?
What if I let down those close to me?
What if everyone is right and I am a failure?
What if we “what-if” ourselves into a more positive state of mind and possibilities?
What if I start a positive chain reaction that impacts countless people for the rest of human existence?
What if I pull this off?
What if I build something that I am proud of?
What if, at the end of my life, I have no regrets because I tried?
What if I could share the story of how I dared to follow my life’s passion and purpose?
What if I can travel the world and spend time doing what I love because I started this business?
What if I meet the love of my life?
The thing with what if’s is that they are all hypotheticals. No one knows what will happen. However, whatever happens, you decide how it will affect your perspective and the choices you make in the future.
Next time you get stuck in a sea of negative possibilities, ask yourself what options you have if that were to occur. What choices can you make to get back on the right path? What mindset shifts can you make? What alternatives are out there?
Knowing we have options makes taking risks easier without fearing losing everything because we have a plan.
The journey ahead seems too daunting.
“Are we there yet?” I will never forget when my parents told me we were going to Disney World. I was overjoyed and filled with euphoria at the idea! However, the journey to Disney World was a grueling 12-hour car ride.
Just a couple of hours in, I asked my parents, “are we there yet?” Thirty minutes later, an hour later… as the hours passed and the discomfort of being stuck in the back seat of a car with nothing to occupy my time, I quickly felt the excitement wane and began to wonder if it was worth it.
I had lost sight of the outcome because it seemed far out of reach.
Having a vision of what we want and doing what it takes to get what we want can seem worlds apart. The initial high we feel in the dreaming phase tends to lose momentum as we start taking steps towards our goal. A lot of effort may seem to advance our progress barely. Worse still is when we feel we have taken steps backward instead of forward.
Anyone who has accomplished great things will tell you three things:
Take it one day at a time and never lose sight of the outcome.
Enjoy the process.
Realize that every step towards your goal is a step forward, even if it seems backward.
Steps backward (aka mistakes, pivots, etc.) can catapult you forward when seen as learning experiences.
When we get lost and consumed by a quick-fix or overnight success mindset, we tend to give up before getting started. This is the mindset of the masses and why many people will never achieve their dreams or goals.
Other people are influencing your decisions.
The opinions of others can weigh heavily on our decision-making process and create an immense amount of resistance. This is especially true in cultures where putting yourself first is a disgrace to yourself and your family. While I do not believe egocentrism is the answer. However, I feel that if you are not harming others and seeking to better yourself for the greater good, others’ opinions shouldn’t get in your way.
We must remember that while most people want the best for us, they are likely victims of fear themselves and want to prevent you from making a decision that could be risky and harmful, in their opinion.
This is where you must talk through the choice you are making with them and hopefully ease their concerns. However, if anyone refuses to support your choice and abandons you because of your pursuit, you must ask yourself, was this a strong and unconditional relationship to begin with?
As painful as it may be, do not sacrifice your dreams and happiness due to the disapproval and rejection of others.
We are likely the most significant obstacle in our way to success and fulfillment. This is actually great news BECAUSE all we have to do is step aside and get out of our own way.
Easy said than done, you might think. Sure. If that is what you think. As Henry Ford once said, “If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are right.”
If you believe it is hard, it will be. If you believe it is a shift in perspective, that is all it takes.
The key to concurring self-doubt is developing awareness. When we lack awareness of our power and creative ability, we can feel trapped, stuck, or a victim of our circumstances.
It’s important to realize that self-doubt is not inherent but a product of experience or conditioning.
You’ve got this! Don’t allow resistance to prevent you from living out your full potential. You will inevitably meet your final days with regret and sadness if you do.
If you want support in overcoming resistance, we have excellent specialists who are eager and willing to help.