Do you ever feel like the universe is conspiring against you? Do you feel like you take two steps forward and five backward? Have you ever questioned if your goal is worth pursuing? What you are feeling is resistance.

Let’s Learn How To Laugh At Resistance

We think if we are moving in the right direction that things would come easier, but more often than not you are going feel resistance instead.  Your brain’s number one job is to protect us and keep us safe. Are you a Star Wars fan? I love all those little robots that are always flailing their arms around and yelling, danger, danger, danger! Why is that? Robots are just like your brain, that’s all your brain is – the most magnificent computer ever created.  As a computer, the only thing your brain can help with are things that it recalls.  Your brain records everything and gathers information for future events.
What happens the very minute you decide to venture into something new? Danger, danger, danger – your brain sends signals that states don’t do it, don’t go there. Your brain continues to say; I have no information that says this is going to be okay. Our brain has no information that says if you record videos and put them out into the world that people aren’t going to laugh at you, you are going to get upset; you are going to be sad, danger, danger, I have to protect you. Resistance is what I call this situation.  We have to learn to laugh at resistance because it’s going to come.

Pushing Beyond Resistance

Our brain is going to tell us all the reasons why we should not venture into unchartered waters. What would we ever accomplish if we never try anything new? Would you have learned to ride a bike? Danger, danger, I don’t know how to ride a bike, you are going to fall, it’s going to be scary, you could hurt yourself, you could even hit your head. However, we got on the bike, and we did it, we rode the bike. What happens now? You grow up – could be 10-20 years since you rode a bike, you get on that bike, and you know how to do it because your brain recorded it over and over and realized you were truly safe. Understand that when you decide to start something new, you are going to run into resistance.

I want to read you something from one of my favorite books by Steven Pressfield. He talks a lot about resistance. Believe me, I needed this book, when I started venturing into new territories. Listen to what he says, “what does resistance feel like – first, unhappiness, we feel like hell. A low-grade misery pervades everything. We are bored; we are restless, we can’t get no satisfaction. There’s guilt but we can’t, but we can’t put our finger on the source, we want to go back to bed, we want to get up and party, we feel unloved and unlovable, we are disgusted, we hate our lives, we hate ourselves.” A couple of paragraphs down he says, “sounds like life, I know, it isn’t, it’s resistance.”

The War of Art

Everyone has felt this way. Steven talked about when he wrote his book called The War of Art. He had never written a book like this and only felt resistance – his brain kept telling him he could not be successful writing this kind of book. Writing novels is what Steven use to do. His brain kept saying if he wanted to write about resistance he should write a story about someone who experienced resistance. Steven fought it and pushed beyond the resistance to writing one of the greatest books of our time.

Steven explains it here – “this is common everyone, this is common. You cannot feel alone or inadequate because you are feeling these feelings. Every single person who steps out of their comfort zone has experienced resistance. It’s a fact of life. You are going to hit a wall.”

Every time I hit a wall, I laugh. I want just to laugh and say to my team  . .resistance, here it comes. Resistance is something I now expect. I want you to try this and learn to master it. It takes lots of practice, but frankly, it becomes pretty easy once you start to recognize what’s happening.  Resistance is going to happen just like gravity. You pay attention to it, and you keep moving through it.  Better yet, laugh through it!

Laugh at Resistance has been part 3 of this week’s Top 5 Skills for Success Series. Mindset and Practice being Patient are part 1 and 2 of this week’s lessons.  Tomorrow’s Part 4’s lesson will be Get Comfortable being Uncomfortable.