Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it.
Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.
- Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
I have been practicing tuning into myself — really noticing in my body how I feel when making decisions. From asking myself how I want to spend the break between Zoom calls to what type of exercise I want to do in the morning to what I want to focus on in my professional life, I’m giving myself the opportunity to choose what feels most empowered and energized.
But I’m human. So something I’ve noticed is that the loudest voice in the room is often Resistance. I ask myself if I want to do yoga or dance, and a voice says “You’re tired, why not just sit and read?” The challenge in those moments is to take this personal interrogation one step further and ask: Do I really want to just sit on the couch and read or am I actually committed to moving my body because I know it will make me feel good even if the resistance to starting the activity is strong?
My ego is lazy. She’s also scared of a lot of things. So when I’m tuning in to my body to make a decision, I have to really hone in on how my body feels when I ask myself the question and take the endless commentary from Sally in the bleachers lightly. Sally always thinks I could be doing something easier. She also thinks that she’s/I’m marvellous and is a bit of a showoff, so she prefers to exercise when other people are around too. That means that pretty much since March, she has been trying to sabotage my exercise regime. She only wants to move when other people are watching. When she’s alone, she wants to eat all of the chocolate and escape into a fantasy novel and while there is certainly a time and place for that, it’s not every morning when I get up.
This is where tuning in to what’s beneath the feeling, beneath the resistance is so important. It’s pushing beyond what you want to how you want to be. I want to be joyful and creative. I want to be abundance and possibility and adventure. I choose to live at the edge of my comfort zone so if there’s something I want to do that feels scary, well, then I have to do it.
Rather than letting myself believe my rationalizations about how it would be better to sit and read or stay home or that I’m tired or that it’s far or difficult or will take a long time, I remind myself of what I’m actually committed to. I tap into my core and remember what’s driving me. As Steven Pressfield writes “It’s one thing to lie to ourselves. It’s another thing to believe it.”
I know Resistance will always be hanging out but I choose to overcome it. Fear will always be here…but I’ve lived enough to know that if I’m really afraid of doing the thing, then it’s definitely going to be worth doing.
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