"Working With Resistance" Some Thoughts
On Healing - by Richard Ross
This past week, I had the opportunity to work with several
new clients who were each feeling intense emotion suffering. The personal situation, and nature of their feelings were quite
different for each of them, however there was one common experience that all shared.
They were all greatly "resisting"
that personal situation that brought them to be working with me. By resisting I mean that they were each putting a lot of
emotional energy in saying "no, no, no, I do not want this situation", they were putting a lot of energy in "trying to push
You may say to me "well, of course, it's only natural to push away something you don't want" and you would
be right. Resistance to an unwanted experience IS a natural reaction, though it is one that we would be much better served
without. You see, in my work and in my life, I've come to realize that........ almost ALL suffering is caused by our resistance.
Let me say that again, almost ALL suffering is caused by resistance!!! It is NOT caused by the actual situation itself.
I think this is wonderful news! What it means is, that if we could eliminate our resistance to what is going on in our life,
we could also eliminate our emotional suffering.
Now, of course, I'm not suggesting that we go blithely through life
saying that whatever happens to us is just fine. I believe we need to take charge of our experiences. We need to recognize
that we are totally responsible for what happens in our life. However, when something seemingly "bad" happens to us, the quickest
and most direct route to moving through it is acknowledging it and accepting it. Surrendering to it!!! Yes, it happened. Yes,
maybe I created it. What do I need to learn from this? And yes, it is now time to move on!
It is actually quite amazing
what this simple shift in perspective can accomplish. I see it time and again. In my emotional freedom work with my individual
clients, I support them in quickly, and painlessly, dissolving their resistance. And the results are quite remarkable.
are you resisting??? Are you willing to make that shift to accepting and surrendering to it? Try it and see what happens!
You may be amazed.
If you are interested in learning more about how my work can support you in this, consider taking
one of my free introductory teleclasses or call for a free consultation, 1-800-653-4465.
Do You Procrastinate?
By Thelma Mariano
about to begin an important project - & suddenly all the chores you’ve been ignoring demand immediate attention.
This happens whenever I head towards my computer for some serious writing. Dishes, laundry, plants that need repotting –
anything and everything keeps me from my desk.
According to recent studies, we ALL procrastinate. For twenty percent
of us, it is a chronic problem in our lives. Procrastination makes us feel weak or indecisive… and later on, guilty
for not doing what we said we would. Want to overcome this? Here are my methods.
Ask Yourself WHY You Are Not Getting “X”
Whose idea was it?
you are trying to please someone else but it isn’t what you WANT to do. In that case, can you graciously refuse? How
about delegating this task to another person?
Do you need more preparation
Bring yourself up to speed and then try again. I found this worked in writing this article.
I couldn’t get near the blank page for several weeks but ideas “stewed” in my subconscious and spilled out
when I finally sat down to write.
Are you ready emotionally?
Often we tell ourselves to do something that sounds logical but balk at the task because we aren’t ready on
an emotional level.
For instance you receive a request for an interview from a prospective employer but can’t
get yourself to call him back for days. The reason? You still need to come to terms with your recent lay off and sense of
betrayal at the way you were treated.
One way to tell if you’re ready: when you picture yourself doing or meeting
“X,” you feel calm, not anxious or upset.
Face your inner conflicts
Get in touch with your inner conflicts by brainstorming. To do this, place your question in the center of a piece
of paper and write out your key thoughts, not stopping to think about them. For example your question may be, “What’s
stopping me from completing my new business plan?” and the quick answers may be: “Alex doesn’t think it’s
a good idea – maybe he’s right” (self-doubt); “What if it takes off? I’m not sure I can handle
the extra work!”; and “What if the business fails?”
What are you afraid of?
Fear is one of the underlying causes of procrastination. Often this is a fear of failure or of not getting it right.
You may be a perfectionist and find it easier to put off doing something than to do it at a substandard level. Allow yourself
to start off badly and then work to improve.
2. Deal with Your Resistance.
Listen to Your Resistance.
What is it telling you? I always procrastinate when I need to write promotional copy for myself or my services. Why?
I have to first see the value in what I am doing before I can advertise effectively. Maybe you need to do something else BEFORE
you tackle “X,” like having a serious discussion with your partner.
Also pay attention to your energy level.
If you are forcing yourself to do something when your energy is really drawn elsewhere, consider switching gears. Before I
started life coaching, I wanted to write a personal growth column but my energy just wasn’t there. I gave my attention
to the life coaching instead and the ideas and focus for the column came one year later!
Conquer the Resistance
Some people are paralyzed by their resistance. They are too intimidated by the task at hand to even
get started. To conquer such strong resistance, use the “Swiss Cheese Method.” Take one small, easy step towards
your goal; stop immediately if you feel queasy. Later take another small step.
For example, if you want to switch
to translation work but feel overwhelmed at the prospect of change, research the Net. Then speak to someone who is already
in the field to find out more. Whittle away at that slab of resistance until it’s full of holes. This works well if
you are venturing into unknown territory. The more you learn about your goal, the more familiar and less intimidating it will
3. Make a Decision.
the words “try” or “should” from your vocabulary! Look at what you want to accomplish, after considering
the reasons for your resistance, and decide if now is the best time for your project. Make a decision to postpone it if appropriate.
Think in terms of “do,” “do later” or “not do at all.” If you say to yourself that you
are “trying” to do something, and then you don’t do it, you disempower yourself. See yourself as someone
who makes solid decisions. When you commit to something, honour it. What you gain in self-respect will pay dividends.
Prioritize and Dramatize.
Of course you are facing a multitude of demands on your time – we all are! Put this
task at the top of your list, as a “must do,” or it may remain at the bottom forever. Give yourself a deadline
and work towards it.
Some people stay on track by using two lists. The first itemizes the high priority and time sensitive
stuff. The second list contains low priority items like updating files or ordering a new book. They handle items on the high
priority list daily and periodically go through the low priority list to choose something at random that they feel like doing
For many people, a sense of urgency is needed to accomplish their goals. If this is you, dramatize the importance
of doing “X.” Picture the headlines: “MESSY SOCK DRAWER RE-ORGANIZED” or “JAIL TIME AVERTED;
OVERDUE BILLS FINALLY PAID.”
5. Avoid Distractions.
It’s easy to be tempted away from your task
by distractions like TV, the Internet or invitations to socialize. Many successful people habitually seal themselves off from
the world to work on their pet projects. Remember, what you don’t accomplish today will be there to greet you first
thing tomorrow. Wouldn’t you rather just get it DONE?
6. Get support.
Many procrastinators join groups
or link up in a “buddy system” to motivate themselves to accomplish their goals. When you tell others what you
are planning to do, and at the next meeting must account for your actions, you quickly run out of excuses. Also, there’s
nothing like a little encouragement to get you moving!
7. Break It Down.
Many times the tasks we find the hardest
to begin are overwhelming when looked at in their entirety. I remember how intimidated I was when writing my first novel –
until I learned to outline, and then to focus on one chapter at a time, then each scene.
Draw up a game plan, with
reasonable deadlines for each phase of your work. Remember to check off every step you accomplish in order to acknowledge
8. Just BEGIN.
Don’t wait to be “in the
mood” - just begin. I’ve learned to do this in my writing. I allow myself to write a really bad first draft, just
to get going. If I stare at the blank page, trying to find the perfect place to start, I freeze. So take a step, any step,
towards your goal. You will most likely feel compelled to continue.
9. Visualize Positive Results.
with the finished product and FEEL what this does for you. Are you relieved, happy, excited? See and feel all of this in detail
and do it on a regular basis. This alone will help to overcome your doubts and fears.
10. Reward Yourself.
you must complete something you don’t relish, promise yourself a little reward. It could be something as simple as a
stroll through the park or renting a movie. Looking forward to a tangible reward spurs motivation.
You can also reward
yourself WHILE you are tackling your task. For example, you can listen to your favourite music as you prepare your income
It is also important to allow yourself to feel good about your accomplishments. We tend to get down on
ourselves for the things we HAVEN’T done instead of giving ourselves credit for our progress so far. Remember the little
stars you received as a child for good performance? Create your own system to recognize what you’ve done, even if it’s
checking items off your “to do” list with a green marker.
Next time you find yourself procrastinating,
go through this checklist to see what’s stopping you and then kick-start yourself into gear. Still procrastinating?
Allow yourself to do something enjoyable, with the provison that you deal with your task later. Then come back and do it!
Struggle & Human Growth
By Jan Stephen
Let’s define struggle to mean any personal goal achievement accompanied by discomfort and resistance. This leaves
out struggles of an interpersonal kind. There are many forms of struggle, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s divide
struggle into negative, positive, inevitable, and chosen.
Negative struggle is goal achievement to eliminate a deficit
state. This occurs when you are attempting to get back to the norm, such as mastering a life-limiting phobia.
struggle is goal achievement that involves transformation from your steady state into a more evolved, grown, or developed
state of being. Positive struggle, in contrast to negative struggle does not involve overcoming pathology. Examples of positive
struggle are going to graduate school or writing a book. Positive struggle may still certainly involve overcoming resistance
Inevitable struggle deals with the necessary losses and attendant discomfort that are conditions of
your life in this world. As your mother struggled to birth you, you struggled to adjust to a new and less comforting world.
During your life, you will struggle with sadness and loss when your friends, parents, or partners die or go elsewhere. These
struggles are an automatic condition of your life.
Chosen struggles are the product of personal choice and are not
automatic conditions of life. Simple examples of chosen struggles are climbing a mountain, going to graduate school, or becoming
a body builder.
The basis of this article is that personal struggle as it has been defined has benefit, and conversely,
the avoidance of struggle is often harmful. It may be helpful to you to consider the following ideas regarding your relationship
to the active or potential struggles in your life.
1. Struggle should be embraced, not avoided.
2. The basis of all
addictive behavior is the avoidance of struggle.
3. The discomfort
that accompanies struggle may be neither harmful nor lasting.
4. Discomfort is often
an automatic aspect of the growth process.
5. No one can struggle
6. You can't struggle
for another person, although they may certainly want you to.
7. Struggle is often
a normal part of life.
8. Avoidance of struggle
often results in low self esteem & personal atrophy.
9. Embracing struggle can result in increased self esteem & personal growth.
10.Evolution as well
as collective and individual development embody struggle itself.
Regarding individual development, some people start life off
“ on the wrong foot”. This can happen when well-meaning parents either do something for a child that they can
do for themselves or impede a child’s activities because of their own fears. Both of these situations diminish the necessary
struggle that the child must engage in to grow, experience mastery, and learn that the world around them and their efforts
have a relationship. A sad but effective example of this is parents who excessively hover over, and worry over their toddler-child.
The child might even come to believe that falling is dangerous, harmful, maybe fatal. People WILL fall, but they get up as
well: this is essential learning for children and for adults with that kind of child “inside them.”
We all have the innate capability to grow “new selves” at any point in our life cycle by embracing
and “working” our chosen and inevitable struggles. We can learn a great deal about this capacity from the discipline
of body building. Those people that choose to “grow” their muscles are aware of a phenomenon called the “training
effect.” This means that when our muscles are systematically and repeatedly subjected to a lifting (resistance/struggle)
effort greater than their capacity, they will grow to adapt to and meet the newly-introduced demand. This involves considerable
discomfort, BUT YOUR MUSCLES WILL NOT GROW UNLESS THEY ARE SUBJECTED TO A LIFTING TASK GREATER THAN THEIR CAPACITY. The art
form in this process is to keep the weight lifted slightly more than your growing lifting capacity. This implies that optimal
growth is a process, not a goal.
Muscles grow in another way: they can be stretched. The age-old discipline of Yoga,
and the newer Pilates involve retraining of the muscles into a more flexible arrangement of components that create a body
with a much bigger range of motion. The physical discomfort that accompanies this work is often referred to as “sweet
pain”, because the discomfort is a sign of growth that is occurring.
THE PARADOX OF COMFORT
feels good, it plays little if any role in your growth. Take the concept of routine, for example. Routine means an established
way of doing things that is repeated, because it has proved effective and/or useful. Routine feeds on itself because comfort
is self-reinforcing. The paradox of comfortable routine is that although it has proven useful, it will eventually severely
limit the scope of how you experience the world. You may drive to work and return home the same way, but stop to think of
how much you are missing and experiencing by not trying alternate paths.!
GET STARTED NOW!
You can change your
life right now by embracing struggle and discomfort. Start by making your decisions based on how you can best grow and evolve.
Spend less time basing your decisions and choices on their comfortability.
Jan Maizler MSW, LCSW, is a widely-read veteran therapist/author.This is an excerpt from his
newest book, “The Blessings of Struggle.” You can read more and/or contact Jan at www.transformationhandbook.com,
By Judith Richardson, M. A.
Virtually any type of organizational change involves role transitions of some type. In light of role transitions, it
is almost natural for employees to resist major changes in the workplace environment. Some contend that resistance to change
is “natural”; they contend that this resistance is instinctive; that humans have a desire for perpetual stability.
Many processes recognize that resistance. Individual interviews provide an environment where individual stories can
be heard in a safe environment. Whole Person Process Facilitation can be used in focus groups with an appreciative inquiry
and vision based diagnosis approach to identify resources the organization already possesses that are currently utilized,
under-utilized, or have been previously unrecognized.
Open communication, honouring tradition, stakeholders feeling
heard, and attending to grief are all important components of organizational change, and drastically reduce resistance. In
any change process, resistance can arise at any given moment. During the change process tough decisions have to be made and
communicated. New possibilities and new priorities are intimidating to employees – the ones who most often have to live
with the effects of these decisions. The simple announcement of changes in an organization can bring forth feelings of apprehension,
insecurity and fear – leading to stress.
Reducing resistance includes giving voice and paying attention to grief
work; building capacity for change into the integration project plans and management approach; communicating decisions as
early in the process as possible; not underestimating the emotional impact on the people involved (including senior management),
dealing with the “me” issues as early as possible; treating the past with respect while speaking frequently about
the new opportunities and challenges that call for new responses in a positive manner; allowing time for healing. Many theorists
believe that the main reason organizational changes fail is because management does not focus on the endings that are a natural
consequence of any change.
Why Don't You Want What I Want? The Three Faces of Resistance
By Rick Maurer
a one-word reason most ideas never see the light of day: Resistance.
Resistance is often behind the glassy-eyed stares
you get following a presentation, the sarcastic put-downs you have to put up with when you describe your vision for a new
product or service, and people's abrupt departures from the water cooler when you approach, enthusiastic and ready
an idea. What people are saying to you, either directly or indirectly, is "I've heard your idea and I don't get it, I don't
like it, or I don't like you."
Resistance to new ideas and change is inevitable; however, by understanding what's causing
it, you can learn to turn people's initial opposition into support. Here's what the three most common forms of resistance
Level 1 resistance-"I don't get it." When you see a person's eyes glaze over or eyebrows furrow, he is sending you an unspoken
message: "I don't get what you're saying." That's your cue to slow down and touch base with the person before he gets so confused
or lost in the morass of your idea that he loses interest altogether. Level 1 resistance generally involves the world of facts,
figures, and data.
. Level 2 resistance-"I don't like it." Sometimes your idea
can trigger an emotional response, typically rooted in fear, that causes another person to hem and haw about the idea or actively
oppose it. Some of the fears underlying these Level 2 responses include: Concern that something about your idea will make
the other person look bad or lose status in the eyes of others; worry that your idea will cost the person his job or endanger
his financial security; and nervousness that your idea will cause the other person to fail.
. Level 3 resistance-"I
don't like you." While the other two types of resistance have to do with your ideas, Level 3 resistance is about you-your
history with others, and their bias against, prejudice against, or mistrust of you.
To deal effectively with all levels
of resistance, step outside yourself and try to see and hear yourself as others perceive you. Other helpful tips for managing
the three levels of resistance include:
. Converse, don't present. Ask questions to find out what's going on in the
other person's mind and why she opposes your idea.
. Listen carefully to what others say in response to your idea-both
verbally and through their body language and behaviors.
. Avoid knee-jerk reactions, like defensiveness, sarcasm, and deference.
Find ways to connect with others. Make it clear that there's room-and opportunity-for others to join you as you move forward
in developing and implementing an idea.
Resistance is good because it demonstrates that others hear you and are intrigued
enough about your ideas to oppose them. That may sound like cold comfort, but it's not. Figure out what's behind resistance
and you'll be well on your way to turning opposition into support.
Claiming Back Your Energy, Understanding Your Resistance
By Hershey Wier, MBA
This article is an excerpt from
the ebook (and future hardcover) Dream... Invite Peace & Clarity Into Your Life. Dream... is first of a three-part course
series designed to help you discover and attract your career & life goals.
This article may be reproduced in electronic
format as long as it is left in tact, with author's name, contact information and url included.
In the full ebook version
of Dream... you receive 20 lessons spaced over the course of four weeks. These lessons, when applied as directed, can release
you from ways and thoughts that are no longer working for you, and guide you onto a new, fulfilling life path.
Yes, CAPS, because it is a biggie. We all have it. Why? Because we're human. Resistance is built
into us to protect us. To keep us from trying things that will make us look foolish, or worse, that will harm or kill us.
Ever walk to the edge of a cliff and get a shot of adrenaline shooting through you saying "DANGER! DANGER! STOP!" That's
you know what is more important to me than making sure my house is decluttered and spic and span? Making my professional deadlines.
Getting my work done and done well. One of the reasons
is that when I was a child, my homework was my only responsibility. When I came home from school (particularly in my grade
school days), I had to sit inside the house with my mom, I had to get my homework done. No ifs, ands, or buts. I couldn't
go outside and play, even though my friends did, and their homework could wait until after dinner. Not for me. I had to get
that homework done, and get this - I even did this on many Saturday mornings. My mom was alongside with me, and, actually,
it was kind of fun. But, it was definitely a must-do before anything else
could be done.
So, what value do you
think I grew up with? Cleanliness is next to godliness? Wrong.
Now, when I've got a choice in my adult life, to spend
time working on professional deadlines or do a domestic chore - guess what I gravitate toward, and guess what I ignore. Ding,
ding, ding... I don't even have to tell you the answer.
The underlying force behind it? Resistance. Resistance because
a voice is telling me that if I don't work on that deadline it won't get done.
And, if I don't get it done, it will
lead to a string of consequences that I'll be eternally sorry for, and maybe even lead to my destruction. Okay, well, a little
bit of an exaggeration - or is it?
Resistance is put in our bodies to protect us from danger. It's the survival instinct
that our ancestors' ancestors had from way back. I don't fight it. I work with it. If that resistance to getting my housework
done is meant to protect me, then I listen to it. I'm an animal with instincts, and something in my mechanism is telling me
that I will survive best when my deadlines are met. What to do with the housework? Put it lower on the totem pole of priorities,
because my protective animal instinct says so.
I honestly feel that I cannot do it any other way. My wiring doesn't
allow it. So then, we're back to working on those "problem areas," the things that don't get done - house clutter, for example
- working at them with baby steps and the techniques I'm sharing with you in this
Notice that from the
point of view of my animal instinct - which is focused on survival - I don't have a problem. That instinct, put there to protect
me, doesn't see a problem with ignoring the housework. That animal instinct -that resistance - is determined to make sure
I survive - and - it dictates that above all, my professional deadlines must be met. The rest - "Who cares!" - the voice of
Meeting my professional deadlines also happens to be something I love to do and gravitate toward.
There is no fighting it. It's in my genes, my wiring.
Same for many of you who have job responsibilities or care-giving
responsibilities. Your resistance gets you to focus on your "survival" concerns first, ignoring the others or leaving them
For those of you planning to read Create...(Course 2-Self-Discovery) and Succeed...(Course 3-Attracting
Your Life Goals), most of you may have an idea what you'd like to do in your life, but you're facing resistance. Something
is telling you not to go for it. Listen to the reasons why.
I'll leave you with this: We're either in two states with
1. Open - willing to listen, learn, try, willing to stick
to whatever goal we set.
2. Closed. We don't want to try or we give up, or we become bored, or whatever - but it isn't
action, and it doesn't belong in the "open" category.
If you find you're in the closed stage with a particular issue
- you can:
1. ask yourself why
2. journal about it and see if something comes up eventually
3. ignore the issue
that you're stuck on because it doesn't matter anyway
4. stay stuck / closed until you're ready to open up again.
your resistance on this one. For some reason, it just may not be time to get into action.
As human beings, we cannot
set an internal timer in ourselves that says: "Okay, at 8:00 am each day, I'm going to do _____, then at 8:30, ______ , then
10:00 am ____ etc." We're not machines. It doesn't happen (unless your paycheck is tied to it or someone is standing over
you with a crowbar).
Yet, how many programs are out there that tell you to do exactly that - to become a robot. To
do something regularly every day, or in intervals? It may work for a day or so, or maybe you're really on a roll and can keep
it up longer. But, at some point, most people will quit if the program doesn't fit their wired-in cycle. It's not you - it's
your cycle, your system.
You have limitations - know them. And, if it's not you that's holding you back, it's that
"life-stuff" that happens. For example, a friend or relative has a baby - or you had to go out of town. Stuff happens suddenly
and throws a wrench into your cycle. Life is like that.
Be careful, however, what kinds of "life-stuff" you allow to
side-track you. For example, do you take a phone call from a friend wanting to chat? Or, should your answering machine be
turned on during your productivity sessions. These are decisions to make as you continue to note and understand your resistance.
About Your Resistance
What is one main area of your life in which you are feeling resistance?
In what way does
that resistance show up? For example,
What excuses do you make for yourself in order to allow the voice of resistance
to win? What activities /'to-dos' suddenly become in urgent need of your attention? Day of week / time of day that your resistance
shows up more than others?
Do you feel comfortable with your voice of resistance?
What would you like to say
to your voice of resistance?
A note that we work heavily on exploring and dealing with resistance in Create...(Course
#2-Self-Discovery) of the Dream... Create... Succeed... Course Series.Would you like to learn more?
This is an excerpt from the book Dream... Invite Peace and Clarity Into Your Life. To learn more, visit http://www.HersheyWier.comDream... Invite Peace And Clarity Into Your Life,
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