Sunday, March 10, 2013

Getting past the resistance

Why is it that we choose to continue living the routine? Why do we choose to accept the "golden handcuffs" that keep us in the quotidian grind?

The answer is simple: the Resistance. The Resistance is the voice in your head that always has an excuse, a tale, of why not to do something. The Resistance loves routine; hates change. And so it works extra hard to keep you put, even at the expense of following your heart and dreams. But the thing with the Resistance is that it's like a child—providing lame answers (or excuses) to big question. And that, if you think about it, is its weakness.

It's a weakness because it allows you to catch it in the dog-ate-my-homework act. Because when you listen to what the Resistance has to say, you'll realize just how unfounded it's reasoning is: "You're not good enough"; "You won't be as respected as you are here"; "Do you really want the extra work?"... All lame, miserable excuses. If you identify this "type" of voice, you'll be able to ignore it, and in turn focus on the voice that is pushing you forward, and the real work that's at hand.

Now, ignoring the Resistance is not that easy—I know! So here's a tip to help with that: treat the Resistance as a devil's advocate. Think of it not as a roadblock, but as a warning sign: it is trying to get your attention to the dangers that lie ahead, trying to prepare you for what's coming next. So when it raises its "concerns" about not being good enough or respected enough or over worked, thank it for its concern, explain to it why it is wrong and then dismiss it.

The Resistance will come back and try again, but if you keep focused you'll beat it at its own game.

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