You’re familiar with resistance. It reveals itself every time you think about doing something new or something you don’t want to do. It’s that uncomfortable feeling that hits you somewhere in your stomach or your chest. Successfully handling resistance is important if you want to get things done. Those that give in to resistance are the same people that tend to struggle with life.
Resistance can strike when you’re thinking about going to the gym, working on a report for work, calling the in-laws, or mowing the grass. Resistance is the feeling that leads to procrastination.
Learn to overcome your resistance and get things done:
1. It’s just a feeling in your body. Your brain is excellent at dissuading you from doing things it considers dangerous on some level. However, resistance is nothing more than an uncomfortable feeling.
- You can deal with a little mild discomfort and avoid letting it derail your plans. The discomfort is much less severe than suffering through the common cold, and you’ve done that successfully many times.
2. Observe it. One of the best ways to lessen the effect of resistance is to look at it objectively, like a scientist. You might think to yourself, “Hmm, isn’t that interesting? I think about going for a run and I get a slight queasy feeling high in my stomach.”
- Continue to observe and something interesting will happen. The negative feeling will begin to dissipate.
3. Avoid running away. The common reaction is to distract yourself. Depending on your habits, you might turn on the TV, get on the internet, text a friend, or eat a cookie. This is a huge mistake. Just stay with your discomfort until it subsides. Running away just reinforces the pattern of allowing resistance to stop you.
4. Remove any distractions. However, don’t allow the process of removing distractions to become a distraction in itself. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself determined to clean the entire house when all you really needed to do is put your phone away and clear off the desk.
5. Focus on your breath. Concentrating on your breath will shut down your thinking. You can’t think about how much you don’t want to go to dinner at the in-laws if you’re preoccupied with your breath.
6. Remind yourself why this task is important. What is the purpose of getting it done? A healthier body? Increased income? An attractive yard that won’t offend the neighbors? Have a good reason and you’ll be more motivated.
7. Recognize that the first step is the most challenging. Avoid thinking about sitting at your desk and working on a report for the next three hours. Instead, think about sitting down in front of the computer with a cup of coffee and typing the first word. If you’re headed for the gym, your primary task is to put on your workout clothes.
- Do whatever it takes to take that first step. Everything that follows is much easier. You’ll often find yourself surprised by how easy the task was to complete once you got started.
Everyone deals with resistance each and every day. It’s part of the human condition. We naturally avoid those things that are perceived as unpleasant. However, your success is limited by how much you allow resistance to rule your decisions. Use these strategies consistently and you’ll be back in charge of your life.