When resistance shows up

Awesome!  You’re off to a good start, tuned into your willpower and tapping your toes to the sound of your own success!

Then, BOOM! He shows up.


After your rah-rah-rah moment of starting something cool.
After the flush of endorphins have flooded the feel-good centers of your brain.
After fifty of your facebook friends have high-fived your early efforts.

Resistance has shown up to this party in one of his disguises:

  • fatigue. “I can’t work out, get on my mat, take on ____; I’m too tired.”
  • always. “I’ve always been this way…who am I fooling to think I can change now?”
  • just not feelin’ it. “Maybe this ___________ just isn’t right for me after all.”
  • too busy. “Of course I can’t work out, get on my mat, take on ____; I’m too busy already.”
  • mysterious aches & pains. “I need to go to the doctor & solve this before I _______.”
  • accidents. You bump your head, back into somebody in a parking lot, or twist your ankle.


3 ways of handling Resistance & the effects:


Let Resistance quell your inner yearning for growth.

You could buy into his “you’re too stuck, too bored, too afraid, or too ugly and your momma dresses you funny anyway” story, but don’t! Don’t quit now.

Wrestle with Resistance and try to push him away.

The harder you push Resistance, the harder he pushes back. Aggressively pushing past Resistance often backfires – leading to overwhelm. Spend too much time in overwhelm and you end up quitting anyway.

Resistance is actually performing a valuable service for you. He is there to slow you down. (There are biological reasons for this, but that’s a story for another day.)

You can only go as fast as the slowest part of you is willing to go. Resistance is the part of you that lags behind…the part of you that needs a little extra TLC in order to cross the finish line.

Resistance might initially show up with a large-and-in-charge attitude, but he’s no ugly monster out to sabotage you. He is  there to get your attention.

Which is why I recommend the following method.

Wrestle with Resistance – but just enough to look him square in the eye and ask him to dance.

You’ve got to be kind to yourself and kind to Resistance during this process. Notice the Resistance and get to know the accompanying feeling.

Slow down!

This is not easy. You will feel more like fighting Resistance than slowing down and being with the feeling.  You may even feel more like quitting than taking your time.

But don’t fight. And don’t quit.

Think of this as a dance – not a wrestling match! And Resistance is your partner.

You have to take the lead. And you have to slow down. Listen, pay attention and breathe.

The first time you lead, it will be unfamiliar. Like trying to do a whole new dance with a new partner to music you’ve never heard. Think 14-year-old awkwardness on the dance floor.

Acknowledge the challenge. But stay with it. Stay with yourself.

Reminders can help here. Words like “Slow and easy” or “You’re catching on” or “Keep at it!” What kind of coaching would you like to hear while you’re in the ring learning a new dance?

You will get better with practice.

If Resistance shows up at your party, you might as well ask him to dance.