Follow Your Resistance

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” ~ Steven Pressfield

Resistance.

It’s a powerful force that’s opposed to the path you’re on.

It can come from the environment, from the words and actions of others, or from your own heart. Wherever it comes from, it feels like the message is the same.

Stop.

Turn back.

Unsafe.

Run away.

You may be tempted to follow this guidance because it feels right, because it seems to relieve your pain. Sometimes, this may be the right answer. But in my experience it’s not the right answer in most cases.

Follow your resistance

For me, resistance provides important information and clues about where to go and what to focus on.

I may feel resistance to changing my diet, or ending a difficult relationship, or facing a painful past experience.

I don’t feel resistance when I decide to watch Netflix all day, or eat more than I need, or avoid difficult conversations. If I always chose the path with the least resistance, I would never grow physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

Doing something that’s hard, but necessary almost always comes with resistance. The resistance itself is the ingredient that fuels the growth.

So when you feel the resistance, instead of following your instincts to run, lean in and say to yourself “I’m on the right path.”

You’ll discover a version of yourself that’s more powerful, self assured, and resilient.

17 Signs You’re Trying Too Hard

There is no state of being called “trying.” ~ John Yokoyama.

  1. You’re taking yourself too seriously.
  2. You’ve become too rigid in your thinking.
  3. You’ve lost perspective of the big picture.
  4. You’re overly concerned with what others think.
  5. You’re pretending to be someone else.
  6. You’re afraid to fail.
  7. You’re constantly stressed.
  8.  You’re losing sleep.
  9. You’ve stopped praying for guidance.
  10. You’ve lost your patience.
  11. You’ve become angry and bitter.
  12. You take shortcuts to get ahead.
  13. You’re constantly comparing yourself to others.
  14. You’ve become entitled and ungrateful.
  15. You think you have all the good ideas.
  16. You’re too proud to ask for help.
  17. You’re either thinking of quitting or feel too invested to quit.

Robert Schumann’s first goal in life was to become a concert pianist. In order to compete with the likes of Chopin and Liszt, he over practiced and used a device meant to strengthen his fingers. Instead, he permanently damaged his right hand and his dreams of becoming a famous pianist died. Only then did he decide to become a composer. Only then did he find himself. Today he is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic period.

If you are fortunate to catch yourself trying to the point of injury, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual, consider it a moment of grace. Stop. Think. Pray. Surrender.

If Schumann did not become himself, the world would not have known his music. Stop trying so hard. Be yourself. Don’t deny the gift you are to the world.