Do you make plans that never pan out? Do you break your own promises and then dislike yourself for it? I know how this feels…
There have been countless times when I promised myself I would do something – something I really, really wanted to do; something that was very important and, quite often, really good for me. There were even times when I would jot down plans of action, list goals, and print out statements declaring “by this date I shall start doing so & so” or “on this day I shall stop doing so & so.” Only to find myself, months past that date, wondering what the heck happened!
Sounds familiar? Do you list ‘valid’ reasons as to why none of your great intentions came to be? I have too! But then, eventually, I began to ponder the big ‘whys’; why all those reasons were even there, why the list? And I kept on asking myself these questions:
A. What is this about? What am I doing? Why am I resisting and sabotaging that which I want, wish for, and desire?
B. Why am I doing this? What’s wrong with me? Why do I resist what I want? What’s the reason – the real reason?
Let’s consider some facts…
Before I could understand the mechanism and ‘complexity’ of resistance, I had to first become aware of its presents; and I did. Awareness is everything. What followed was quite interesting. I wanted to understand why I did resist all the good I wanted and what this resistance was really about.
First let's define it. What is resistance?
· It can be described as the refusal to accept or comply with something
· The attempt to prevent something by action or argument
· And anything that slows or stops movement or keeps something from happening
Yes, I tried them all! But I most closely relate to the “stopping or slowing of movement” part. I wanted to move on, away, or toward something and it just wasn’t happening. Why? The issue may appear to be complex, but the answer is a lot simpler than you may think. Though there are three factors to consider, essentially, there is only one reason – FEAR.
Let me explain:
1. Fear of failure
‘What if I fail, what if it doesn't work out?’ says the mind. Most of us know this phrase very well, even though, at times, its presents is not that obvious as the mind whispers it ever so quietly. We then worry about what others will think if we don’t get to our goal, if we come up short. So, to avoid the expected criticism and embarrassment, we either stop or slow the movement toward getting to our goal. If we don’t start, we won’t fail; if we don’t fail, we won’t get criticized and feel embarrassed; we’re safe this way!
2. Fear of success
This flavor of fear can be even less detectable. ‘How can I be afraid of succeeding?’ you might object. Well, here is how: things will change! No matter what your goal (new job, relationship, body, etc.), once you achieve it, your life will be different in some way. And, whether we admit it or not, we all resist change; usually because we are afraid of what unknowns will accompany it. Ah yes…the good old comfort zone. We stay put and things stay the same. We’re safe, again!
3. Doubt & Disbelief
This, I think, is the most disguised and unexpected reason for resistance, and it took me a while to realize – and yes, I had help. But once I got it, it really made a lot of sense and explained much of what was happening in my life.
The fact that we don’t believe ‘IT’- whatever IT may be - is a very powerful reason we experience resistance. The truth is, that somewhere deep inside of ourselves, we do not believe in the possibility or attainability of that which we want. Subconsciously, we simply don’t believe in it. We doubt we can have a different body, different career, or a better relationship. Meanwhile, on the surface, we tell ourselves that this time we can do IT! This time is going to be different! We perpetuate our own illusion.
Ready to dive in a little bit deeper?
On the surface, with excitement, we start yet another diet or exercise regime or job search because, by golly, this time we’ll finally get results. My favorite proclamation is: “Okay! Staring Monday…I will...blah, blah, blah...” I know most of you know this way of planning for success, right? How has it worked for you? It has not worked for me – why? I did not believe it would, or that I could actually do it, or that I was good enough or deserving enough of the results! Though important in the process of full exploration of the resistance issue, the reason is not that relevant here. What is relevant is that, deep down inside myself, I simply did not believe IT!
You see, your friend Resistance is keeping you from getting to a point at which all your doubts and disbeliefs have a chance to become evident in your conscious experience. You don't believe in what's on the other side. You don't believe in the possibility of what you want and that is why you resist it! In other words, you’d rather indulge or even suffer Resistance than find out, for sure, that you really can’t do IT; that you aren’t good enough; and that you don’t deserve the results. So you keep yourself from trying to get them because you're afraid to find out you can't. Sad, isn’t it?
Who are you on the other side of the Resistance? What will you feel like once there? How will your life change?
If you’re ready to challenge your resistance then asking the above questions is a perfect place to start. I believe that solutions to any problems lie in the quality of the questions you are willing to ask yourself and the depth of the answers you provide. This usually starts with a simple ‘why?’ and is followed by some understanding, a bit of curiosity, and a lot of courage. I know you have all those things and more. I also know that the more resistance you feel the more ready you are for that which awaits you on the other side. Consider the following quote (one of my all-time favorites) and tell me what you think in the comment section below.
“Most of us have two lives, the life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance” – Steven Pressfield
If you’d like more information, guidance and support conquering Resistance, you can get in touch with me here.
© 2015 Marta Stanczyk. All rights reserved.
About the Author
In early Spring of 2011, as I sat with my journal at a family cabin, I felt the seed of my creative writing come through from beneath the surface. As I picked up my pen to begin my first journal entry, I felt a feeling of profound peace and indescribable comfort. All was well. I felt I was Home - finally!