There is a battle that rages whenever we try to do something great – something significant – something to move us forward – something beyond what seems possible – something noteworthy. When the goal is progress the battle will be with Resistance.
The “R” word came to mind today because I’m in the middle of a Resistance battle right now. I’m moving towards the goal of putting my full weight back on my right leg but I’m hitting a wall. Yes, my leg has been through am 18 month season of repair and rebuilding but now it’s time to wake up! It’s time to strengthen the muscles that remain, harden up the bones, tighten up the tendons and tell my sleeping leg to rise and walk!
The problem is the message is taking it’s sweet time to get through!
Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art talks about some of the activities that most commonly elicit Resistance:
- The pursuit of any calling in life – any creative art
- Any diet or health regimen
- Any program of spiritual advancement
- Any program designed to overcome a bad habit or addiction
- Education of any kind
- Any act of moral or ethical courage
- Any undertaking aimed at helping others
- Any act that entails commitment of the heart
- The taking of any principled stand in the face of adversity
In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favour of long-term growth, health, or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any of these will elicit Resistance.
My short-term goal is to be weight bearing but longer term my goal is to work with the body I have, maintain a hopeful and optimistic attitude and make a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis.
The goal of Resistance is to get me sidetracked from that goal!
What does Resistance look like? (a few more nuggets from Pressfield)
- Resistance is invisible – you can’t see it but you can feel it. It’s negative and tries to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.
- Resistance is internal – it does not come from those around us (our spouse, our job, circumstances, physical condition) but within us. It’s self-generated and self-perpetuated.
- Resistance is insidious – it will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It has no conscience, will double-cross you with deals, and is always lying.
- Resistance is universal – you’re not the only one who struggles with Resistance. It affects everyone in some way.
- Resistance never sleeps – the battle against Resistance must be fought anew every single day.
- Resistance is fuelled by fear – it has no strength of its own. Every ounce of energy comes from us and is fed by our fears. Master fear and you conquer Resistance!
What does Resistance look like for you? What worthwhile pursuit are you going after that is being interfered with by Resistance?
Resistance whispers in my ear “You’re not recovering fast enough? You’re not where you want to be by now? What’s wrong? What if your knee is too messed up to be weight bearing? Your surgeon thought you would be walking by now without crutches. You are stuck aren’t you? Your plans for greater mobility are failing. Why bother with all the exercising and stretching – what difference is it making anyhow? You are being held back from pursuing your dream!”
And so it goes!
But I have a choice and so do you – a choice to grab hold of these 10 handles when Resistance tries to grab hold of us:
- Show up every single day.
- Work hard all day long.
- Focus on what you can control.
- Keep your purpose in sight at all times.
- Let go of what you can’t control.
- Pray and express gratitude often.
- Learn to live with less than ideal circumstances.
- Stay committed for the long haul.
- Get better at what you do and at who you are.
- Take time to laugh and play a little every day.
So today, what will you choose in order to
deal a decisive blow to Resistance?
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