Resistance is a topic that has been coming up a LOT for me lately, as I navigate the journey of running my own business. It's been popping up in books I read, courses I'm taking, and it's a common thread in my journal. Here's what I've learned...
Recognising when you’re resisting something, and delving into the reasons why, is key to spending more time in the creative flow state that we all desire.
Why are you resisting?
All resistance stems from fear. Fear of being judged, rejected or ignored. Fear of perceived failure. Understanding why you’re resisting can be all it takes to let go of it. What are you afraid of?
Ask yourself, am I resisting because I’m afraid, or because I really don’t want to do this?
When you think about finishing the task, does it make you feel expansive, excited and aligned with your vision? If the answer is yes, then you need to push through and get started.
If you really don't want to do it - maybe it’s not the right time, or the task doesn’t align with your values - can you let go and move on to something else? Letting go of tasks and projects that don’t serve your vision will create space for projects to do excite you!
How to Recognise Resistance
Resistance can manifest in many different forms - procrastination, exhaustion and even sickness. As someone who’s self employed, it’s so easy to find ways to procrastinate - friends to meet, appointments, groceries, washing, cooking. I avoid the challenges at hand by telling myself that these other things have to come first.
Tiredness is another red flag. It’s so easy to say ‘oh, I don’t feel my best today - I’m not going to do the work’.
Check in with yourself. Are you really tired? Or are there deeper feelings beneath the surface that you’re avoiding?
Physical symptoms are often your way of masking feelings of ‘not enough’, frustration and fear. Learn the difference between resistance, and actually needing a rest (sometimes we really do just need a break!).
What are Your Patterns?
Is there an area of your work or life that you constantly find yourself resisting? Simply recognising this can help you break your habits. For me, the initial ‘ideas phase’ of a project is where I tend to feel the most resistance. The fears of not having any good ideas, of the client not liking what I come up, of the project being too hard, culminate in one big ball of resistance. As soon as I actually start creating, I sit there going ‘what were you making such a fuss about, this is so fun! ’
The more you become aware of your resistance patterns, the easier it is to break out of them.
I know from experience that if I just start with one small step, I’m likely to get into the flow of things and begin to enjoy the process. If I’m putting off doing research, for example, I’ll take myself out for coffee to make it more fun. What can you do to make starting easier?
I’d love to hear your thought on this topic! What are you resisting in your business? Do you have any tips for dealing with resistance?