Chances are that if you have ever started ANY new endeavor you have encountered Resistance with a capital R. Whether it’s starting a new business, getting in shape, going back to school, whatever- if you’ve tried to grow or improve (and I know you have), you’ve brushed up against Resistance. Steven Pressfield, the acclaimed author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, among many other books, is an expert on Resistance. So much so that he’s written several books on the subject, including The War of Art.
But, like Steven Pressfield and me, I’m guessing that you are all too familiar with Resistance yourself! As a fellow human being, you know what I’m talking about! We likely came INTO this world RESISTING! Think about it! Our own mothers have to push us out of the cozy home we’ve known for the better part of nine months! Hey you, time to leave the comfort of the womb and get out into the world! Time to GROW. Not that you weren’t working hard growing the last nine months. But now it’s time to move on...grow some more. Sheesh....
Resistance comes in many forms that are you might recognize: self-doubt, procrastination, fear, self-criticism, and the best one of all self-sabotage! All these things show up to trip you up. To keep you small. To protect your ego. The good news is that we can begin to recognize the signs of resistance and flip the switch from the negative to the positive by realizing these opportunities for growth!
Though the initial tendency may be to numb the discomfort with some good ole Netflix binging or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s there are many tools to help you overcome resistance when it arises.
If you are ready to face your Resistance head on here are some practices worth considering:
Self-compassion: Many of us are caught in the web of self-perfection. We’ve got such high expectations of ourselves that it leaves no room for anything less than perfect. Perfection is exactly like a web- once we get caught in the stickiness it’s hard to get out! Self-compassion is the antidote to perfectionism. It allows us to give ourselves the same warmth, kindness, and compassion that we would give to a friend.
Social connection: We are wired for connection, but often when we experience self-doubt, self-criticism, and fear we separate ourselves from others and feel isolated and alone. We are NOT alone, but we FEEL that way because we let our fear write the script that we are somehow “less than” and we begin to buy into a story that says that everyone else is living a picture-perfect life and we are a loser! Once we begin to open up and become vulnerable we able to build more meaningful connections with our friends and family.
The Four Seeds of Self-Care: Science is showing us that through The Four Seeds of Self-Care (better sleep, exercise, nutrition, and meditation) our brain health is reinforced and we are more resilient! Our “happy hormones” increase and our “flight or fight” hormones are decreased. Our brain is the main hub that steers and directs all other body organs and systems. Each time you feed your brain for health, each time you get up and move, each time you feed your social connections, each time you take a breath and a few moments to be still you are fueling your brain for optimal health and for good decision making! It’s hard for Resistance to persist when you are at the top of your game!
Many of us get caught up in resistance and stay there for far too long. In fact, Steven Pressfield says that “overcoming resistance is more important than talent or anything else…” One reason we get stuck in resistance is that our sense of autonomy feels threatened when well-meaning folks (friends, family, co-workers) show up to “help us out” by telling us what they think and how “they’ve been there before!” While someone else’s experience can give us some insight, we intuitively know that the answer we are seeking lies within. Self-efficacy is built with each challenge that we overcome. When we rise to the occasion, however difficult it may be, we build confidence, resilience and a positive attitude that enables us to change and grow!
Working with a health coach might just be the kick-start you need to overcome whatever form of Resistance has been holding you back. Health and life coaches listen deeply and help you discover and design the life that you have been dreaming of! We help you build upon your strengths, set goals that you are ready for and take steps to reach them while holding you accountable. And when Resistance rears its ugly head we are there to help you shine a light on it and kick it to the curb!
With Love & Gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel