“The more important an activity is to your soul’s evolution, the more resistance you will feel.” – Steven Pressfield.
My acting coach, Jock MacDonald, used to say this all the time: “If you don’t feel like doing it, it’s because it’s exactly what you need to be doing right now.” We tend to resist the things we actually need to do, the things that will help our expansion, our growth, and our coming out of the dreadful comfort zone. Nothing changes nor grows in the comfort zone, but it feels secure and safe, which is why resistance is so persistent at times.
It’s been on my mind a lot lately. Resistance can have many façades. Fears disguised as excuses, procrastination, feelings of unworthiness, lack of trust, self-sabotage, etc. Sometimes I feel this resistance towards doing good things for myself. Every day, I’m “supposed” to do yoga, meditation, self-reiki, journaling, tapping, using my oils, eating my greens, sleeping eight hours per night, drinking my warm lemon water, juicing, fasting, and the list goes on.
I keep adding to that to-do list until I realize there are still only 24 hours to my day. Yes. That just sounded like an excuse because it is an excuse. Why do I feel so much resistance towards doing what’s so good for me? Everything that I listed above, I manage to somewhat do some of it, not without procrastination or a puss face on, though. Self-Reiki and working out are definitely at the top of the list of things that I love to procrastinate on. All these wellness, holistic, and spiritual practices open up many doors and bring back many things to the surface, which tends to explain my resistance towards it.
I believe fear is one of the primary reasons why I resist so much. Something good for us will undeniably bring some changes. The fear of finding out what lies behind the door of expansion, the fear of change, the fear of discomfort, the fear of finding out things I’ve pushed so far down, etc. For me personally, I think one of my biggest fears is that if I stop resisting what’s good for me, it might open up a can of worms, and healing will need to occur. Healing is not always fun, and sometimes it’s even painful but so crucial. We want to avoid being present because if we’re present for the good things, we have to be present for the bad ones, too. I thought meditation was always so fun; music, crystals, and incense, me setting on my little meditation pouf, looking all grounded and calm. But honestly, I don’t always enjoy it. When I let go of my resistance, reflections and realizations come in by the dozen. Very overwhelming and uncomfortable. When you go headfirst in your shadow work and stop the spiritual by-passing, you’ll be present for all of it; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
And if I’m truly sincere here, I’m resisting because I’m also afraid I might be wrong. My ego steps in and starts acting up. If I stop fighting it, what happens next? What if I was wrong? What if my interpretation of my intuition or instincts was wrong? What if it’s not as good as I had hoped for? What if it’s not a match for me? What if this is precisely what I need to grow, but I might have been wrong about the timing, and I’m not ready yet?
These constant inner battles drain so much energy and time, our two most valuable currencies. I spent more time fighting about not wanting to work out than the actual workout itself. I spent more time debating when to meditate than actually my meditation time. Then begins the vicious circle of spending so much time procrastinating that I end up believing I’m running out of time for actually doing it. We believe we lack time, and we lack energy. Oh, and the best one; lack of motivation! But what does “motivation” even mean?
I feel resistance in simply trusting the process. I feel so impatient towards myself sometimes. Or I believe it happens to and for others, but not to me, not for me. And here, you can definitely hear the voice of unworthiness creeping in. I want to be certain it actually works and that I can actually be excellent at it before I go for it. Not trusting the process is just another passive way to resist what is actually good for you.
Deep down, there’s also maybe this thought of not considering I’m good enough or worthy enough to give myself what I need to evolve. Oh boy, is that just another can of warm opening? Being nice to myself and doing nice things for myself implies that I love myself and know I’m worthy of all the love, care, compassion, and healing. It is easier to be nice to others and care for others than actually to do the same for yourself. It’s an unconscious core belief: that you don’t deserve to spend time on and be nice to yourself, that you shouldn’t be selfish and that others come first. In fact, it’s plain and simple. We resist what’s crucial for our self-development. Self-sabotage to its finest. We’ve trained ourselves to feel happy with the “wanting” not the “getting.” Once we get it, we don’t always know what to do with it. We resist, so we can’t and won’t get it, and we can stay in our “wanting it” mode.
In a sense, when I think about it, resistance is actually great. It shows me that important emotions are right underneath the surface and might need attention. It shows me that if I’m resisting, there must be something good for me there, something that will bring change, growth, and expansion. It shows me that I might need to practice more self-respect and self-acceptance. It tells me that I need to show more patience and compassion towards myself. So resistance is much needed. Either I am resisting something because it’s actually good for me and my self-growth, or it is just simply showing me that it is not aligned with my values, vision, dreams, or my higher self. In that case, that’s my intuition speaking, and I need to be listening carefully. Resisting is then a great sign of either I need to push through, keep going and not quit, or I just need to let go, release and accept it is just not meant for me.
Maybe it can make me stronger, but perhaps it can make me more vulnerable too? Brené Brown says that without vulnerability, there is no bravery, and with no bravery, there is no vulnerability. So I need to be brave now? And that might lead to me being vulnerable? And maybe being more vulnerable makes me more sensitive, even more than what I already am, even closer to my emotions and myself. But bravery and vulnerability are just getting me closer to my freedom.
To be able to work through our resistance, we first need to notice it. Notice what we procrastinate the most, notice how resistance towards certain things makes us feel, notice why we feel resistant towards what’s actually good for us. Notice these little hints given by your resistance, and become aware of your resistance. With awareness, we can start to change and let go of our resistance so we can embrace coming out of our comfort zone.
Stay out of self-judgment, be honest with yourself and use these journal prompts to help you out with your resistance:
- What am I resisting at the moment?
- What am I resisting the most?
- Why am I resisting so much?
- How is my resistance showing up? What is my resistance showing me?
- What could come out of me letting go of my resistance?