The Path of Resistance

Be faithful to that which exists within yourself. ~Andre Gide

Fall leaves 2012 154

I find when I resist doing something it is usually the very thing I need to do. Completing the action moves me forward or teaches me an important lesson. Perhaps it is what comes after that I resist.

What causes us to resist doing the things which we feel driven to do? I can only guess it is fear. We fear failure. We fear judgment. We often resist because we think others expect us to be perfect when in fact we have set ourselves up for failure. Yes, we set ourselves up because we are the ones who put the thought in our heads. It is this fear of being less than perfect that paralyzes us. We know perfection does not exist, yet we continue to fall prey.

When I find myself intrigued and resistant to a prospect I tend to explore the possibilities and educate myself on the subject by study and research. If I feel a passion for it I pursue it.

Part of me wonders if success would feel nearly as sweet if not for the tug of resistance along the way. How can I reprogram myself for success?  I’m going to allow my ideas time to incubate. I will ban perfection from my vocabulary. I will only entertain reasonable expectations. I will forget what other people might think. I will concentrate on how I will feel when I complete the task at hand. I will keep in mind the purpose of my project. Any suggestions? What do you do when you feel resistance to doing the thing you feel called to do?

26 thoughts on “The Path of Resistance

  1. I wonder what it is about super-accomplished people like you that makes you question yourself. SuziCate, you are multi-talented. You are charming. You are intelligent. You are funny. You are beautiful. (Now I’ve never met you in person, but Alex says I’m totally on the money with my “analysis”.) See, flakier people (like me) never really worry about failure or perfection. I fail all the time. And I’m never perfect. I just plod along doing dumb stuff and letting it amuse me when things go wrong!

  2. Procrastination and resistance are not always negative. Often when I resist doing something . . . it’s because the time is not right.

    By postponing the task until I feel “ready” to tackle it, I find that everything falls in place and makes for smoother sailing.

    • It seems when I put something off and approach it later I am more prepared to tackle it. I really think sometimes I have more to learn about it or I haven’t given my project enough “incubation” time.

  3. Yes, Suzi, I think it is often fear that holds us back. Like you shared, being perfect and judgement. And it’s funny though, because the judgement we feel is often the judgement we have of ourselves – those voices in our head.

    Also, maybe it’s success that we really fear. Because when we succeed, we might feel, “Okay…so what’s next and how are we going to top that?”

    What I say to myself if I’m being resistant to something that I feel called to do but hesitate is, “There is no such thing as failure, as long as give it a go and learn something from it.”

    Great thought and feel-provoking post, my friend!

    • We are our own worst critics…I’m being nicer to myself these days. I’m taking my time and approaching projects as I feel the urge. Some days I just want to read, and I do just that. Yes, I’m following my bliss!

  4. Thank you friend for sharing this article quite interesting, hopefully we all get real happiness yamg rays began to warm our hearts and make the heart glad, when we can share it with sincere to each other. Affectionate greetings from Gede Prama 🙂 🙂

    • I think it’s all about the warmth inside. When we feel it others feel it as well. As they say, happiness is contagious! I’m allowing my heart to guide my creative endeavors. Some days I’m prolific and other days I take time to rest or reside within.

  5. By banning perfection, I think you have lots in common with great people in history. Many of the great composers and Christian authors never felt like they reached their potential with a piece of music, a work of art, or a book. Yet, we still celebrate their offerings today as that of a “master.”

  6. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies, Suzi. We fret and worry when we should be trusting. I’ve found that, with a particularly difficult scene to write, if I can get away from it for a bit (maybe take a walk, maybe concentrate on beading a piece of jewelry), when I return to it, it FLOWS. We don’t always have the luxury of getting away though, do we?

    • Yes, we are. I’m learning to be more trusting. My procrastination or resistance is usually a good thing. If I dive head first, my end result is not as thorough as waiting can make it.

  7. Went to the library with grandson this week on Wednesday. He had homework. He hit the math problems beautifully, then as we got to #12…no wind, no interest, zip, nada. So I told him to take a walk around the circular room and come back to finish. Then he found his second wind. I agree with Debbie, walking away and coming back can help us find a second wind.

  8. Sometimes it is the fear of change that causes the resistance … sometimes it is simply avoidance because of everything else that is going on in my life. Like now .. there is too much going on out of my control, life is simply too busy and complicated so resistance/procrastination is a survival skill I am glad I have. There is a time and a place for resistance .. it is not always a bad thing.

  9. So Saturday morning, I woke up with fear in the pit of my stomach. I KNEW, as in my heart and my gut would not let me out of this, that I had to confront my fear on this day, as much as I did not want to. I “leaned into the discomfort,” as Brené Brown teaches, and I followed through by setting up a time to discuss very difficult topics with a loved one. I set my intention of courage, and I bravely followed through. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and yet, once I expressed my sadness, and my intentions, through my tears, I felt somewhat liberated from the fear. Yesterday was the saddest day I can remember, behind the day I found out Daddy was gone. Rather than be overwhelmed by the recent sadness that has visited my life, I have resolved to learn and grow from it. I am moving forward, and progressing. Thank you for this post. You always inspire me, or encourage me, to continue on my journey with confidence in being my best self.

    • That’s so brave to confront the fear. Often when we work through it we find it wasn’t quite as big as we thought.Or perhaps, it was big but not the end of us as we had feared. Thanks for you sweet words, Denise.

  10. What a beautiful photo, Susan. I tend to procrastinate out of fear. The undercurrent of perfection is something I struggle with and that stunts my resistance to start certain projects for fear that I may not be successful. I am reading a book right now called “The Art of Getting Started” to help tackle a project that I’ve continued to postpone.

  11. Fear is a major player in my procrastination. Sometimes, I put things off because I just don’t have the time to dedicate my thoughts to them. Figuring out the reason can sometimes be tricky for me.

  12. I think its true that sometimes we ourselves hold ourselves back from being better or doing better – if we can just push that fear aside, think of how successful one could be!

  13. Life would be so boring if everything went according to plan all the time, wouldn’t it? But I’d like to try it for a few decades!! Seriously, it’s always the struggle that makes accomplishment taste soooo sweet.

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