“Most of us have two lives. The one we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.” ~ Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art.
Resistance is the inner force that distracts us and prevents us from doing an important work. It is one of the biggest obstacles in achieving our dreams and it stands in the way of our greatness. Most of us never express our talents because of resistance. UK’s leading coach and author Nick Williams estimates that about 80% of human talent and potential goes unrealised because of people’s resistance.
Resistance shows up when we want to do something more meaningful and important.
See if you relate to any of the following:
- You dream of writing a novel but you do not write it,
- You want to leave your boring job and work on something you love but you don’t do anything about it,
- You buy a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic,
- You have an idea for a great business but you do not start it,
- You have an inner dialogue that operates to sabotage even the best planned projects,
- You procrastinate,
- You play small,
- You make excuses,
- You hide,
- You doubt,
- You overthink,
- You hesitate,
- You start an important project but never finish it,
- You come up with all kinds of reasons not to do the very thing you should be doing.
This is called “resistance”. Resistance works hard to sabotage our success, it prevents us from fulfilling our potential and realising our biggest dreams. It is so powerful that it scares us from doing what we most want to be doing. Resistance kills our inspired ideas and stops us from doing the work we were put on this planet to do. It is the enemy within us.
Why are we faced with resistance when we want to make important changes in our lives? Because our ego is threatened when we want to change the status quo. The ego wants to stay in the comfort zone in order to maintain a sense of being in control. It likes what is familiar, therefore pulls us back into our old comfort zone like a giant magnet.
Resistance operates in many different ways. It might look like any or all of the following:
- Procrastination (It’s not the right time / I’ll do it tomorrow / I have more important things to do today)
- Laziness (I just don’t feel like doing this right now)
- Lack of time (I am excessively busy)
- Confusion (This is too complicated)
- Perfectionism (My post is not good enough so I won’t publish it)
- Excessive need for information (I’ll do it after I’ve read ten more books)
- Undervaluing oneself (I’m not good enough to succeed in this)
- Internal distractions (Let me check Facebook first)
- Despair (I’ll never make it)
Resistance shows up when when we want to do something more meaningful / really important. It is an excellent teacher because it shows us our life’s purpose and where we need to go to do bigger and more meaningful things.
Resistance is so powerful that it will keep us from creating the life of our dreams if we don’t recognise it and learn to manage it. In my next post we’ll be looking at some of the ways to overcome resistance.