Since I was feeling resistant to writing my blog this week, I decided to write about overcoming resistance.
Have you noticed that, as soon as you set a goal (and especially when you write it down), you feel pressure to do something, as if you have signed a contract that you cannot break. This is cognitive dissonance — a conflict between what is and what is desired. Some use the discomfort as motivation to take action. Others avoid it by letting go of their goal.
Underpinning this inner conflict is a part of you that doesn’t want you to succeed — the part that is naively motivated by the belief that it is keeping you safe from harm.
Steven Pressfield, identifies this part in his inspirational self-help book, “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles,” which he wrote at a time his war-based novel writing was blocked. He names the part of you that is a master of excuses, “Resistance”, which he describes as the “Enemy” and the “Most toxic force on the planet,” while encouraging you to do everything in your power to defeat it. It is a great, quick read, which I highly recommend.
Here are a few ways resistance shows up:
* Working a job you hate just because it pays well.
* Working late under the pretense of dedication to a work you love, while not admitting to yourself that you are avoiding conflicts at home.
* Not speaking up in meetings or asking for what you want.
* When your standards are so high, you think you can never do it good enough.
In the moment you notice resistance:
* Acknowledge yourself for noticing, awareness is the door to change.
* Revaluate your goal to see if it is still a priority. Choose to stick with it, change it, delay taking action or let it go.
* If you notice an “all or nothing” train of thought, perhaps you would benefit by practicing H.A.L.T.
Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?
The acronym H.A.L.T. reminds you to stop when you are feeling overwhelmed and to take a time out. Sometimes taking a break from a routine opens the space for more creativity to enter.
A Toastmaster friend, whose career is online marketing, wrote a book called, “The Unbreakable Rules of Marketing” (available on Amazon.com). Whenever resistance to doing my weekly newsletter and blog arises, the still small voice in my head keeps repeating her #1 rule — “Consistency Beats Ability” — when the louder voice says, “No one will miss it.”
This week, I call you to distinguish between the loud voice of your ego, which wants to keep you stuck and miserable, and the still small, loving voice of your Higher Self.
Ego resists. It would love to sabotage your progress. Your Higher Mind, is open, peaceful, present and makes choices that are fulfilling. Listen only to your Higher Self.
Live in your Power. Follow through on your commitment to your dreams.
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