When Your Inner Resistance Won’t Let You Be Great
Progress can be hard.
Making the decision to open a new business or start an exercise program, or move forward on any of the dreams swirling around in our head can be difficult enough. We may have talked ourselves out of it many times before because… excuses. But then we say enough is enough and make the decision to embark on a journey that we hope will pay off by making those dreams reality. But the decision is just the beginning. A long journey awaits; filled with hurdles and obstacles that can easily knock us off track if we’re not one-hundred percent committed to reaching our destination.
Once the decision is made, and a firm commitment in place, we need to figure out how to not suffer unnecessarily on our road from goal to manifestation. Self-knowledge and self-awareness are critical here. People often try to bulldoze past deeply ingrained negative patterns using temporary motivation and limited willpower. But when initial bursts of energy dissipate and we no longer have the inner strength to fight against our inner resistance we can end up taking the nearest off-ramp exit from our journey via self-sabotage.
So what can we do to address our own resistance before it cripples our ability to reach our goals?
Prepare for inner resistance in advance. The devil we’re not aware of can be much more dangerous than the devil we can see clearly. Taking notice of our patterns of behavior in certain circumstances allows us to anticipate how we’ll likely to handle future, similar circumstances. Attempting to dismiss these patterns or think we’re better than them only makes us more vulnerable. Once acknowledged, we can focus on how to work around and side-step them, thus nullifying their grip on our behavior.
Notice and acknowledge inner resistance in the present. Acknowledging our feelings puts us in a position of power and gives us access to information that can help us recognize the origin or our discomfort. Sometimes the solution can be as simple as giving that discomfort a voice. Acknowledgment matters. We want to be acknowledged by others, but we need to acknowledge our own truth even more. Just the act of doing so can release some of the negative energy attached to it. Acknowledgment also allows us to come up with solutions that resolve our issues.
Reconnect with our purpose. Inner resistance can also be an indicator that we’ve gotten off track emotionally and disconnected from our true goals and desires. When this happens, it’s easy to latch on the easier, quicker, shallower wants. We deeply want to lose weight but when we’ve become disconnected from that purpose, we can more easily become distracted by a more shallow desire for cake at a friend’s get-together, for example. So when we feel inner resistance building, we should take time to meditate on our true purpose; on the very real reasons we decided to embark on this journey in the first place.
Adjust our self-image. We are who we think we are, and we behave accordingly. If we believe ourselves to be poor, it’ll be difficult for us to think and act like a wealthy person, mainly because it’ll feel inauthentic and dishonest. We don’t like lying to ourselves and will resist it at every turn. The problem is, if we don’t think and act like a wealthy person, we’ll never have wealth. See the dilemma?
If you want to know what this resistance feels like, just close your eyes and try and convince yourself that you’re not currently on planet earth but instead somewhere on Mars. Just try to buy that truth for a second or two and feel how your whole body just rejects it. Because this is an exercise, you’ll probably recognize this inner resistance pretty quickly. If there were ever a goal that needed you to believe that you were currently on Mars your inner resistance would be so strong you’d likely never do what you needed to do to attempt to reach that goal. In this case, your inner resistance would probably save your life or at least stop you from looking like a fool. But in other instances, that inner resistance could very well sabotage you.
Ultimately, our behavior is a reflection of our inner beliefs about who we are. Our need for congruency and authentic expression drives our behavior. This means we must update our self-image by learning how to believe we already are who we’re growing into and becoming. If we believe we are, then there is no lack of congruency in our behavior and no need for inner resistance.
One way to update our self-image is by practicing affirmations that are in line with the person we’re becoming. We should affirm that version of ourselves as often as possible.
And lastly –
Take responsibility. At the end of the day, we’re responsible for our behavior. It’s important to accept this truth as the only truth worthy of our acknowledgment. Simply put, that means no excuses. Whether it takes longer, or it’s harder, or less fair, than it should be, the responsibility is ours and ours alone to go out and get what we want. If ever tempted to reach for an excuse, just keep in mind – we cling to our excuses at the expense of our own success.