When you set a goal you are filled with optimism. You’ve named your next finish line, and you can see just what it looks like. You can see the profit, the product launched, the speaking gig booked. But the honeymoon won’t last. Very soon after the reality sets in that there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be fear and doubt creep in.
Welcome to the fight stage. This is when your goal’s dark side appears, resistance, and how you choose to respond to it has the power to make or break your success. Resistance is that thing that keeps you from doing what you say you are going to do.
I’m not going to give you three easy tips for overcoming resistance because there is nothing easy about this problem. But I will give you three mindset shifts that are going to prepare you for the fight ahead.
1. Expect resistance.
Resistance takes many forms. It could look like your family obligations, friend drama, client fires, illness, the weather, the government, you name it. It will have a different face for every person, but it’s your resistance. And when it comes up, it almost always looks like something else.
Steven Pressfield, author of the War of Art, says, “Resistance is the equal-and-opposite reaction of Nature to the New Thing that you and I are called to bring forth out of nothing. There would be no Resistance without the Dream.”
So if you have a big goal, expect big resistance. It’s all part of the fun and by “fun” I mean the kind of fun my trainer refers to when she says we are going to run hill sprints. It’s the kind that makes you stronger and more confident but is in no way easy.
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2. Change the conversation. Stop saying “I can’t focus,” “I procrastinate,” “I’m easily distracted,” “I never follow through,” or “I don’t have clarity.” Even if they are true, they are surface level. If you go a layer deeper it’s just plain old resistance. There is nothing that empowers resistance more than calling it by a false name.
So if you think you didn’t write your blog post this week because you were busy look again. Resistance. Didn’t call that prospective client? Resistance. Didn’t finish your course. Resistance.
3. Ask good questions. Resistance is a brilliant teacher if only you are willing to ask the right questions and hear the answers. I like to ask questions like, what am I avoiding? What makes me uncomfortable about doing this? And am I willing to endure this discomfort in order to achieve my goal? Most of the time once you know what you are resisting and why, you will face it in the name of your goal.
Be ready for resistance. Accept that it’s supposed to be there. Name it when it shows up. Let it be your teacher. Ask really good questions. Listen and be open to the answers no matter how uncomfortable. Then decide to stretch beyond your discomfort or downright fear in the name of achieving your dream.
To help you stay on track in the face of resistance, I’ve created this Emergency Response Plan (ERP) worksheet. This is a great tool to use on your own or with your accountability partner or group.
Related: How to Stop Procrastinating and Achieve Your Goals
Want more? Join me tomorrow February 8th on Facebook Live as we take a deeper dive into your ERP and how you can use