Resistance is the voice in your head that says “I don’t feel like it right now”. The voice that will convince you “I will do it later in the day”. The voice that makes up every possible excuse to keep you from achieving your dream goals and doing the crucial and meaningful work that has to be done.
The moment you want to write, practice your instrument or work on your project, and you decide to make yourself some coffee first, check your email, clean up your stuff or take care of something urgent, you’ve been deluded by “resistance”.
Your mind will fabricate any distraction to not have to do anything that SEEMS kind of hard or difficult. It looks for a way out by choosing to do the easier stuff. Yes unfortunately, your mind is programmed that way.
But no worries, you can defeat your resistance by consistently applying these key steps.
- Why. First ask yourself “Why do you want to do what you want to do?” before you go after your dream goal. Ask yourself “Why” three times, and you’ll come to the real and true answer, or at least very close to the real answer and motivation for your goal. Say you want to write a book. “Why do you want to write a book?” Because I want to become a professional writer. “Why do you want to become a professional writer?” because I love to write and it would be great to make a living out of it. “Why do you love to write and want to make a living out of it?” Because writing heals my soul, it’s something I naturally did since I was a kid, and I would do it all day if I could. And just like that you have a real and honest answer. The answer could also be less glamorous and more confronting. Then you have to decide if the path is still worth pursuing. First ask why, then start doing the work.
- Don’t listen. Ignore every excuse your voice is telling you to distract you from your work. They are all deceptive lies. Yes, your mind is designed to play the devil’s advocate, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s just convenient and more comfortable to be lazy and escape from doing what is hard, or what often seems hard. Your resistance doesn’t care if it’s in your best interest, or that it will make you grow as a human being and accomplish great things for yourself, for others or the planet. It doesn’t care if it will make you utterly happy and fulfilled. It doesn’t care less. It doesn’t give a damn about you. So don’t listen.
- Start, just start. The most important thing of all is just to get started. Don’t think about how, how long, how this or how that. Just start. Once you’ve started and you’re a few minutes in, small things will happen, ideas will suddenly appear, work will develop, materialize and progress. The stars will align to help you do your work. You’ll realize your resistance was wrong. It’s not the work that’s hard, it’s the starting part that’s hard. It’s all about the starting part, defeating your resistance. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. JUST START.
- Be conscious. Another way of ignoring the voice of resistance is to be conscious. If your heart is telling you to start doing the work that matters, but resistance is distracting and seducing you with all kinds of quick feel good, but empty temptations, then just be conscious. Be fully conscious of the task at hand and let thoughts for what they are. They will be there but, don’t engage with them. There is an old Zen saying: “Your thoughts may visit, but don’t serve them tea.”
- Every day. Make “Achieving your dream goal” a daily habit. If only for a few minutes. Do one or two small things that will move you further towards your dream goal. Time is not essential here, the habit is. The continuous cycle of the daily habit will beat resistance in the long run. Once you’ve created a habit of doing the work daily, resistance will no longer have any power over you. It has lost it’s case. A solid habit will outlast resistance.
- The reward. If you get to work the reward comes in the form of inspiration, growth and fullfilment. Once you start doing the work inspiration will come to help you accomplish what you set out to do. Gradually creativity will unfold and come into existence. The magic will happpen while you’re at it. You don’t have to believe in it, you only have to trust in it. Do the work, reap the rewards and achieve your dream goals.