Post #37. On Inner Resistance

(This post is a reflection on Steven Pressfields book The War of Art)

“How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, developed tumors and neuroses, succumbed to painkillers, gossip, and compulsive cell-phone use, simply because we don’t do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is calling us to?
Resistance defeats us.
– Steven Pressfield

We all experience this stuff which the legendary writer Steven Pressfield has chosen to call “Resistance”…

Basically, resistance is another word for fear…

The word is from French “résistance”, which is from late Latin “resistentia”, which is from the verb “resistere”, which means… ‘to hold back

The kind of resistance which Pressfield is taking about has to do with the “holding back” of our gifts, passions, dreams & visions for the very reason that they make us feel fear…

Pressfield explains that  resistance shows up in our lives when we do: 

“Any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity. Any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower.”

In other words its the stuff that stops us fro really living, expanding & growing as human beings…

THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF RESISTANCE
So, through the rapidly growing research done on the human brain, we are gaining a deeper understanding on fear… Where it is “located” in the brain and how it is functioning, as a part of a very complex machine that is our brain…

So, resistance, a.k.a. fear, is located in the part of the brain that is called The Limbic System. This is our most primitive brain and its main purpose is to keep us safe from harm… This is where resistance lives… 

Soothing
HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR RESISTANCE, WITH YOUR FEAR.
The cool thing about this challenge is that, we have come such a long way on finding ways we can overcome this resistance… Not overcome for good, but time and time again overcome it anew.

Here are some ways that has worked exceptionally well for me, try them out and see for yourself:

1. AWARENESS
Gain deeper awareness on how resistance is showing up in your life…
& how fear is trying to limit you from expressing your highest potential…

Ask yourself: What is something I would love to do, start, create, experience in my life, but have not done?

Then ask yourself: What has stopped me? What is stopping me from starting this right now?

If the answer is “fear”… Fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of what others may think, fear of exposure, fear of the unknown…?

Know that YOU CAN overcome this... Many have before you… Many will after you… 

2. USE YOUR WORDS
When we learn things… We give ourselves an option in life… If we’ve always been running from fear, if that’s all we know… Then, memorise this mantra, if you will, from Ribin Sharma… Give yourself an option…
“Fear is nothing but bravery training.”

Another use is from Brian Johnson on Optimize:
“Obstacles make me stronger.”

I use these many times throughout the day… They give me an option on how to deal with fear… 

3. CHOOSE YOUR FOCUS WISELY
Work with your fears by:

a) Focusing on the process rather than on the outcomes…

b) Focusing on what you want, rather than on what you don’t want…

c) Focusing on your choices rather than in your circumstances…

Basically, focus on what it is in your zone of control, things you can choose… Because everything else is out of your control to some extent… and its not very beneficial for anyone to focus on that… 

4. SCHEDULE FACING YOUR FEARS
When you seek out to face the things you fear, a major shift will happen…
I started to “face my fears” with cold showers & cold swims…

“The more you schedule and practice suffering, the less unplanned suffering will disrupt your life.”
– Timothy Ferris

With suffering, I’m sure Tim Ferris means facing your fears & doing difficult stuff…

I know for sure that he’s not suggesting that we go out and hurt ourselves physically… 

But what I believe he’s suggesting is that we go out and face our “perceived fears” to see them for what they are: “perceived fears.”  Often they’re not as real as we think… Not as scary as we thought… 

“I CANT DO THIS!”
What if we have many great reasons why we can’t do all these things we so deeply long to do, pursue, create…?

We are masters of finding reasons why pursuing our boldest dreams is impossible…

* I don’t have enough time… (then make time)

* Im not good enough… (then become better)

* Im not smart enough… (then start learning & thinking more)

* Im not talented enough… (then pick a skill & start practicing)

* Im not good enough… (then work on getting better)

Please know that YOU ARE NOT A FINISHED PRODUCT…

Please know that YOU ARE A WORK PROGRESS…

Pleas know that YOU CAN CHANGE…

We also have to recognise this:

—> EVERY EXCUSE WE EVER TOLD OURSELVES & EVER WILL TELL OURSELVES, IS ONLY LIES THAT FEAR HAS GIVEN US, TO KEEP US SAFE FROM HARM… <—

+ I can’t quote this gem from Preston Smiles enough:
“Love will find a way, everything else will find an excuse.”

No matter how difficult you might have it… there’s is someone who had it more difficult…  But they had cultivated strong love for the dream, the vision, the thing that they were after…

F.ex Tolstoy had thirteen kids and wrote War and Peace. Lance Armstrong had cancer and won the Tour de France.

So, what were your excuses now again?

Oh, they’re gone? 😮

Well, I think its ok! 🙂

Time to take action!

Let this quote by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe give you a gentle push.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.”

***

What are you “holding back” in your life? 

What dreams? 

What gifts? 

What passions? 

What skills? 

What knowledge?

Please, do yourself a service and work with your resistance, instead of letting it work with you… Take charge…

With love, 

Daniel J. Galoven 

One thought on “Post #37. On Inner Resistance

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