5 Forms of Resistance + The Paradox of Difficulty
Resistance comes up when we're stepping out of our comfort zone and taking new action. Something unknown... where there’s a possibility we could die.
When this happens…
Our ego steps up to defend us.
The Paradox of Difficulty
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From a literal perspective…
Without resistance there can be no growth.
The only way to become stronger is through repetition and resistance.
From a biological perspective...
God designed our brain to keep us alive, keep us safe, and to seek the path of least resistance.
This innate survival mechanism has served us well as we've evolved in the world of meat, bone, tooth, and claw where...
You may need to call upon every ounce of strength to escape the charging panther.
… the same survival mechanisms which drive us to avoid difficulty at all costs… are the same mechanisms holding us back from living a life of purpose... and fulfillment.
If you have a pattern of starting and stopping things in your life... then it's likely your ego is doing the talking.
Remember… it’s your ego which seeks to keep you safe.
It does this by manufacturing forms of resistance.
Gay Hendricks in his book, "The Big Leap" calls this your, “Upper Limit Problem.”
(... I’ll expand on this in another post.)
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.
Resistance can be hard to recognize.
If you can expect the resistance. You can know ahead of time what form of resistance you turn to as a default.
It's gonna be easier to foresee and interpret what's happening.
Before I get into the 5 forms of resistance keeping you from being a more balance dude... so you can leading your family from the front…
... I’ll share my default form of resistance with you.
I’m a regular dude like you.
I’m insecure and think each day, “I’m a failure.”
I feel “undeserving” at times.
Each time I have success in my biz my ego shifts to self-sabotage.
If I didn’t make a sale in 24hrs or someone quit my gym… I'd go into self-destruct mode.
I’d trap myself in a state of “confusion” and wouldn't "know" what actions I needed to take next.
As men, we second guess ourselves all the time.
But here’s the truth…
You’ve gotta give things time to work.
It takes time for what we have in our mind time to catch up to the action we've been taking.
A lot of the time my moments of "confusion" would set in after a coaching call.
I'd wait for the next call or opportunity to take action. I'd stop what I was doing to "gain clarity." Instead of taking ACTION right away.
Which leads me to the...
5 Forms of Resistance Holding You Back...
Research and Planning:
This happens after “confusion” like I mentioned above. You fall in the trap of “more research” because you're confused.
You become a man of consumption vs. a man of production (ACTION).
This’s a BIG ONE for men... Paralysis by analysis.
Just when you're about to take new action... your ego develops this thirst for NEW INFORMATION. You think you need to know everything before you get started.
Ask yourself... do you know enough to take the next step? Your ego has you believe research and planning is essential.
While it's important to plan... it shouldn't become a form of resistance to avoid doing the hard work.
This ties into research and planning.
When I say, “procrastination…” I’m not talking about binge watching Cobra Kai on Netflix.
Or taking some needed time off... but rather, telling yourself, "before I can do 'X', I need to do, 'Y'."
Ask yourself... "of everything on my todo list... which is going to move my life forward TODAY?"
Your ego is smart and takes PLEASURE in giving you the run around. What do you need to delegate or not do at all?
It's easy to identify procrastination.
This's all the little shit not moving your life forward. Brian Tracy calls this, "Eating the Frog."
Getting the most "painful" tasks done first. Legacy-grade work which will outlive YOU.
Not, "I need to clean the garage before I can do my workouts in it."
Which leads me to...
Lack of Resources or Excuses:
If you hear yourself say, "well I can't because..."
"Before I can get my workout in I need to _____ and therefore I can't exercise."
Men create obstacles for themselves which are insurmountable.
It's faulty thinking.
There's always a small step you can take to move yourself forward.
Start where you are and take the first step.
Thinking You're Special:
"I get to skip the rules of what everyone else has to do."
You must lift the weights... you gotta do the hard work. You can't bypass rules and skip steps because you think you're above the law.
You can't skip the inner work required to get clear on why you haven't been consistent with your efforts.
Theres a difference in "questioning rules" and sidestepping reality.
Fear, Your "Terror Barrier":
This comes out when your ego has pulled all the tricks and nothing is working on you.
It's where your ego pulls out the BIG GUNS. Where you become anxious or experience new emotions.
Fear is an indicator of imminent transformation.
This is the last ditch effort for your ego to kick you in the balls and keep you from your purpose. Men underestimate how much fear affects them.
Don't misinterpret fear as, "you're afraid of something."
Or you’re a little bitch, “pfff I ain’t scared of nothin.”
Fear is acknowledging that which has control over you.
DON'T GIVE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES MEANING.
Being a man is approaching your "Terror Barrier" as my coach's coach puts it. As you're on the cusp of transformation, you back down.
“Something comes up.”
"I have to stay late at work again."
"Family is coming into town."
The dangerous part?
The next time you come against your terror barrier…
it's BIGGER and creates more anxiety.
Recognize fear for what it is.
Acknowledging that which has control over you.
The more fear you have... the closer you are to a breakthrough.
If you're in the middle of transforming your life and approach fear... it's your Terror Barrier.
Your ego's last ditch effort to hold you back.
It's your “upper limit problem.”
So now what?
What should you do with this information?
One thing is for sure.
You'll never sever these forms of resistance from your life.
Here's what you can do.
Get REALLY good at recognizing resistance as it tries to creep in the back door so... you can manage it better and avoid beating yourself up.
Do these 4 things instead:
- Pay attention to the next time you're not taking action towards the tasks which will move you forward.
- Keep these 5 Forms of Resistance handy and refer to which one you're in when you feel stuck.
Take notice of your patterns as these are coming up for you.
- Get to a point where you can acknowledge resistance is present... and move forward & take action ANYWAY.
- List 3-5 Actions and reflect on why you didn't take action on these and don’t BS yourself.
Drop a comment and let me know which of these is your default form of resistance.
Or if there isn’t one listed…
Let me know when you notice you feel “stuck” and what emotions are coming up for you.
Thanks for reading my man.