Sigh…resistance. My dictionary defines it as “hostility to, refusal to accept, opposition, fight, stand, struggle”. Resistance is our own, personal fight against change in our lives and it shows up as mind games that give us excuses for not stepping out of our comfort zone, to keep us in our “safe”, little box.
Our brain is literally wired to sustain the status quo. Our heart and spirit want to grow and stretch, but our mind wants to keep us in our place. The reason is security. The same mechanism in our brain that keeps us stuck in a job/relationship/habit that is less than fully satisfying, keeps us on the sidewalk when cars are racing past.
I giggle at clients who defend their position, trying to convince me that it isn’t them who is resisting, that their excuses are “realistic”. I only laugh because I see myself in them. We all do it, we cannot deny it, it is part of the human condition. The trick is to know how to identify it, to be honest with ourselves, so we can move beyond it. Resistance sneaks up on us in a variety of ways. Here’s a list from Barbara Stanny (author of a myriad of wonderful books for women and money. My favorite two are: Overcoming Underearning and Secrets of Six-Figure Women) that is simply brilliant. I dare you not to find one you resonate with:
TWELVE SIGNS YOU ARE IN RESISTANCE
By Barbara Stanny
(reproduced with Barbara’s permission)
- YOU’RE TOO BUSY. (“I have no time.”)
- YOU FIND REASONS NOT TO ACT. (“I can’t because.”)
- YOU PROCRASTINATE. (“I’ll do it later.”)
- YOU’RE SCARED INTO INACTION. (“Omygawd, what if…”)
- YOU DEFER DECISIONS. (“You do it; you decide.”)
- YOU LOSE INTEREST. (“This is boring, it’s not my thing.”)
- YOU’RE FORGETFUL. (“Oh, I meant to, but I forgot.”)
- YOU’RE DISORGANIZED. (“Where did I put that…?”)
- YOU FOG UP, SPACE OUT. (“What are you talking about?”)
- YOU FEEL PARALYZED. (“I just can’t think or get going.”)
- YOU’RE IMPATIENT. (“This is taking way too long.”)
- YOU KEEP RUNNING INTO NAYSAYERS. (Other people say, “You can’t do that,” “That’s not possible.” This form of resistance is especially sneaky. You project your fear out onto others.)
We all do it. (If you find yourself denying it — it is just resistance! Sorry, couldn’t help myself. :-))
Name it and claim it. Accept it. Know you are simply moving into territory that is scary, that’s all. And then do something. Yes, get up and do something. Help yourself feel stronger by working on your Personal Strength. Take smaller steps toward your fear. Ask for help. Get more exercise, fresh air, meditation, yoga. Eat more nourishing foods and drink more water. Then, you know what? You will move into your fear spot and you know what you will find? Not only is the world still revolving and you’re still alive, but also you are stronger and living more authentically. Now isn’t that worth it?