Does Resistance Get In Your Way?

For those of us on the path to a more authentic expression of ourselves, resistance is bound to come up. Then, of course, we wonder what to do about it! There are large bodies of discussion in the world regarding the nature of this resistance, its purpose, and how to handle it. Is resistance good? Is resistance bad? What does resistance look like? These and many other questions and opinions get passed around – especially in the self-help and spiritual growth circles.

Let’s look at the two basic flavors of Resistance, how to tell them apart, and what you can do about them. All resistance, however, looks the same, so you won’t be able to distinguish your flavor of resistance by appearance. Like the Universe itself, Resistance can show up in an infinite number of ways. Here are just a few:

  • hesitation
  • doubt/fear
  • procrastination
  • addiction
  • drama
  • accidents
  • illness
  • depression
  • isolation
  • grandiose thinking
  • escapism
  • getting distracted/difficulty focusing

Can you relate to any of the above? I think we all can.

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Two Flavors of Resistance

Before we look at the two messages our Resistance can have, lets look at the definition of the word itself:

re·sist·ance [ri-zistuhns]

noun

1. the act or power of resisting, opposing, or withstanding.
2. the opposition offered by one thing, force, etc., to another.

As you investigate your Resistance, a great question to ask yourself is: What are you Resisting? It is here we find the nature of the difference.

Resistance has both two opposing causes, as well as two unique invitations. And, ironically, they both have their own danger if we miss the message our resistance is trying to get to us!

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Resistance Flavor #1

I list this type of resistance first, because it seems to be the one most talked about in self-help and inspirational books. Resistance #1 is the type that comes up when we’re hesitant to step into our greatness, afraid of our success, or hiding our gifts and talents from ourselves and the world. You may deny your brilliance to yourself, but the world isn’t buying it!

You get comfortable doing what you’ve always done, and however wonderful being successful sounds in theory, you also know that it will be different. It becomes easy to affirm that you won’t know how or that you’re not enough. Yet deep inside you have a passion and it urges to be expressed in your unique way.

You may feel this resistance as a mixture of anxiety and excitement with a sprinkle of confusion, and your ego-mind will be busy at work with lots of reasons/excuses/projections about why you shouldn’t head in the direction of your heart’s desire.

Cause: Fear of the unknown that comes with experiencing new levels of success.

If you’re experiencing resistance of this nature, you’re invited to step up into your power, out of your comfort zone, and toward your dream. You can even use this flavor of resistance as a guide – wherever you feel the most resistance is the area where you’ll have the biggest WIN once you break through it! In this way, you can steer your path forward and head into the direction of the most discomfort, creating greatness in your wake. Tackle the issue that scares you the most.

Invitation: Step out of your comfort zone and into your greatness – you can do it!

What happens if you don’t take the invitation? Well, unfortunately we all suffer. There is something you have to give that the world will only get if you give it. If you allow your resistance to keep you from giving life your best, not only do you not to reap the rewards of a successful life, but those of us who would have benefited from you miss out.

Danger: Lose/lose: you don’t get to give your gift and we don’t get to receive it.

Resistance Flavor #2

Naming and claiming this type of Resistance can be a bit more of a challenge. This is the kind of resistance that comes up when you’re in denial about your true path and you’re trying really hard to head in a direction that isn’t yours. Think of Mozart attempting to be a great baker.

Why is this such a pervasive issue? Well, its partially because our culture’s mindset is very mechanistic. Too often we view ourselves as a computer that we can just insert a new program into, or a wad of clay that we can mold into that which society deems valid. In reality, way too many of us spend way too much energy trying way too hard to become something that is against the grain of our soul.

If you resonate with this type of Resistance, somewhere in your life you are trying to shove yourself into a box that you’ll never fit. Call it what you want – your soul, your essence, your higher self, or your inner child – but it is screaming, “Please don’t make me go over there, I’ll die if you make me stay! That’s not me!” In your body this may feel like a knot in your stomach or a lump in your throat. Your ego-mind will be busy at work telling you lots of reasons why you should go ahead and shove yourself in that box, and all the great that might come of it.

 Cause: Denial of the truth of who you are, your unique path, and the gifts only you can give.

If you’re currently experiencing resistance of this nature, you’re invited to listen to your heart and reevaluate the direction of your life. This may require asking some tough questions: Are you following your own path, or that which someone else decided for you? Are there roles or responsibilities that no longer suite you that you maintain out of guilt,  shame or just habit? Is fear of change keeping you stuck in smallness?

Invitation: Stop trying to be something you’re not. Listen to your heart and be the You you’ve always dreamed of!

What happens if you don’t take the invitation? Stress and exhaustion. Trying to be something you’re not takes a lot of energy, as does convincing yourself that you “should.” You may become envious of those who follow their passion or experience fulfillment, since you’re unconsciously not allowing yourself to do so. Bitterness and resentment are on the horizon. Stress-related illness is common as we deny who we really are..

Danger: Feeling unfulfilled, stressed, and possibly bitter toward those who succeed.

 

As always, I am here to support you. If you’re dealing with either of these flavors of resistance you don’t have to do it alone! I would be honored to lovingly guide you on the path to revealing You. You’re worth it!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments… How has your resistance held you back?

 

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