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:

  1. Show up every single day.
  2. Work hard all day long.
  3. Focus on what you can control.
  4. Keep your purpose in sight at all times.
  5. Let go of what you can’t control.
  6. Pray and express gratitude often.
  7. Learn to live with less than ideal circumstances.
  8. Stay committed for the long haul.
  9. Get better at what you do and at who you are.
  10. 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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About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Adversity, anxiety, Attitude, Character, choice, Conflict, control, dreams, Endurance, failure, Growth, Hope, learning, motivation, Optimism, Perspective, purpose, suffering and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Resistance

  1. ideameus says:

    One key formula from the world of Physics has always been an inspiration. F=MA
    Force=Mass x Acceleration (change in velocity in a given direction). Resistance is a measure of drag or friction acting in an opposing direction to the application of force.
    Why is this useful? To understand that in the initial application of effort (Force) in the direction you desire you will experience a combination of the inertia of the problem (the tendency of an object to stay at rest or continue to keep moving in its current direction) and the “friction” or “drag” that will act in an opposing manner to your force.
    As you accelerate (make progress) you establish momentum in a new direction which makes it increasingly easy to over come resistance, and maintain your direction.

    You are at the hard part, maximum resistance, maximum inertia. I hope my prayers, and words of encouragement, and those of your friends, will be adding to your force in the direction you wish to head.
    God Bless,

    • Cam Taylor says:

      So well said Marcus. You are part of the friendship force helping build momentum and keep me moving forward. What you’re saying is what I’ve seen at different stages – jumps in progress almost in surprising ways because I kept moving & didn’t let resistance stop me.

      I’ll read over your comments a few times because there are several nuggets within!

  2. Vicky says:

    New look for the email?

  3. Don Klaassen says:

    Hey Cam,

    Thanks. This afternoon I met resistance from within as a toiled over an editing project that will hopefully be very fruitful when it is done but right now the work is hard. I know the resistance i feel does not hold a candle to yours but you encouraged me. Thanks for pushing back against resistance and writing about it!
    Don Klaassen

  4. Shirlene Henning. says:

    The past 7 days…I’ve been struggling with a resistance. What an internal battle it was or maybe still is. It was regarding the making of a phone call. I pushed through the barrier and called last night. Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised by what happened on the other end. Just silence, and then a ‘click’. However, that is ok. Resistance but another step of encouragement from you two and for myself – to let go of what I cannot control and let God.

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Some times our pushing through doesn’t go as we hope it will but maybe in those times our character is being form just a little! Hang in there because we know you for the special person you “really” are.

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