Today I am writing about change. And resistance to change. How we (our minds) can trick us into believing “we have arrived”, we already know the answer and that we’re THERE. Which instead says NO to anything that might remotely come closer to improving oneself.
The thing is this: its a trap! You wont believe the pain and the struggles one has to overcome not to mention the time we loose in between suffering. What I loved about Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” is the simple and yet profound truth that we can actually learn how to navigate by resistance. Meaning that whatever it is that we’re mostly resisting to (be it eating a healthier diet, taking up exercise, refraining from gossiping, stop offering unsolicited advice, change your job, change your friendships, etc) this IS exactly the thing we mostly need to do at that particular point in time in order to grow.
How many times have we been in a situation (usually not a pretty one) but where you get this nagging feeling that it’s not the first time you’ve been there. Maybe in another context, maybe with other people, maybe in your previous job, maybe when in college, etc. There is a common thread to it. You can’t really put your finger on it but you feel it so vividly in your body. Whether its frustration or the feeling that “something is missing” or “it’s not quite right” the same types of situations will continue to surface in various ways and different forms until we learn to face them & learn our lessons.
I will give you a quick example: you are at work. You have a colleague that has been mean to you. And its not their first time. You let it slide. You feel hurt but you choose to ignore it. Then your girlfriend keeps running late every time you meet. So late that at times you might be there waiting for 30 – 45 minutes until she shows up. You let it slide. Maybe you have a good old friend (you know, that kind of friend you grew up with) and most of the times they will ask to borrow money last minute for an “unexpected emergency situation” only to fail at giving it back at the time they promised. Now that we’ve put it all into writing it’s much easier to follow the thread. It’s a no-brainer someone here’s got boundary issues! Boundaries are so important when it comes to our own sense of well-being. Maybe you’ve been told that having boundaries or “saying no” is selfish. When the opposite couldn’t be more true. Boundaries are act of self-love and they provide us a tool for growth.
Now let’s run the same scenario again, this time with boundaries “switched on”. Enter mean colleague: you choose this time to openly acknowledge what they’ve just said to you and go something like “hey, I heard what you’ve just said, that was totally mean and from now I’m not going to put up with this”. Then carry on with your day. Enter late-running-girlfriend. “Honey, next time we’re meeting I’m OK to wait for you maximum 15 minutes. Then I’ll consider you’re not coming & I ‘ll be on my way. So if you really want us to meet at the time & place you chose please arrive in max 15 mins else I’m gone”. Bam! That was not even so difficult, was it?! Enter money-borrowing-old-friend. “Dude, this is the last time I’m giving you money. I don’t feel comfortable doing this and from now I have decided to stop doing the things that make me feel like crap (which is the part where I ask for my money back & you genuinely pretend you’ve forgotten about it then you try to convince me that you’ve already paid me back then I feel like a bad cop and honestly I have had it). So we’re still friends, only this is the last time I am borrowing money. If you don’t pay it back 2 weeks from now I no longer need it back. Okay?!”
Now that you’ve started creating some boundaries you’ll soon start experiencing life in a totally different way. Like people you work with will start treating you better, maybe they’ll even start looking at you with respect and admiration, perhaps your girlfriend will be “just” 15 minutes late or maybe you’ll hook up with another girl that’ll be more punctual 🙂 or your old friend will actually acknowledge their own behavior and they’ll start working on it once they realise this “habit” doesn’t serve them too.
I am not saying that you need to do all this at once just try and defuse that resistance one step at a time, one day at a time, one situation at a time.
So maybe next time when you get this nagging feeling that “something’s just not right” and “I sooo don’t want to this” instead of taking your phone out or open a new browser window & surf the web just stay where you are and ask yourself “what is it that I need/ feel I really need to be doing at this very moment? what is the thing/ action I am resisting to the most?”. Then get head-on to it.
I promise you’ll be so surprised by what’s going to happen next.
Now I am curious to find out where in your life are you facing the most resistance? In what particular area?! And what is 1 thing that you feel compelled to do and yet you’re not doing it?
Drop me a line in the comments below & if you liked this and you think your friends might enjoy it and find it useful please forward them this email.
Your is kicking resistance right in the butt,
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash