Resistance. Everyone experiences it at one point or another. Whether it’s your kids’ refusal to eat spinach, employees balking at new ways of operating, or your own struggle with an idea, notion, or direction in your business, resistance lurks around every corner waiting to spring into action to defy your next move. The good news is that not all resistance is bad — or bad for you.
Growing up, I honed my driving skills on my Dad’s 1948 Dodge. The emergency brake was a little “soft” so it wasn’t unusual to shift into gear, hit the gas, and drive through town — with the parking brake still in place. That was…until it started to smoke. Whoops!
Resistance — and its influence — is like driving my Dad’s ’48 Dodge. With one foot on the gas, and the emergency brake engaged, you can still putter down the road but at some point, there are signs that all is not right and in need of attention.
Resistance is defined at the act, or power, of opposing. Synonymous with obstinacy and defiance, resistance often accompanies burnout, inability to act, and sluggish growth.
The Voice of Resistance
Resistance can come from others, like kids, partners, employees, even the cleaning crew, but the most detrimental form of resistance is that which is within us.
Opposition to change is the most common form of resistance we read about. Not all resistance is a refusal to accept or go along with, however. Sometimes, resistance beckons a course modification.
Jen Neitzel, owner of The Maven Circle, is passionate about self-care and shared some intriguing causes of resistance.
“Resistance can come to us for many different reasons; fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, fear of losing something important to you, as well as countless other reasons. But it is fear and an inability to deal with the truth that is at the heart of the issue. It’s the idea that whatever we’re resisting is so big that we don’t feel we can handle the changes necessary to deal with the problem, because our ego won’t allow it.”
Wow! Let that soak in awhile. That’s powerful.
Albeit subtle, resistance speaks to us. Its voice is soft and understated. It summons us to take notice; pay attention. And, it shows up in a variety of ways, such as:
• Inability to act
• Initiatives that go no where
• Acting out
And, it effects satisfaction, and subsequently, the growth of your small business!
Make Way for the Truth Train
It’s never easy to tell the truth. Perish the thought! It’s even more challenging to admit the truth to oneself. However, a long-lasting resolution to resistance emerges when the underlying cause or causes are brought into the light of day.
Speak your truth! Spill your guts! What’s contributing to your resistance that you’re hiding from yourself? Is it…
• Lack of confidence in your plan
• Uncertainty in securing results with the direction chosen
• Too many projects/initiatives already in motion
• Not a fit for who you are and what you want to do
• Insufficient information
• Fatigue — this is a big one for me. I was born without an “off” switch
• Fear of failure or looking like a fool
• Not wanting to add to existing workload
• Lack of clarity on next steps
Can you think of others?
Carl Gustav Jung said, “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” That’s why it critical to identify the underlying cause(s) of resistance to get you in motion.
Develop trust in your inner voice. Listen to your gut. Try something new. Do one small thing. Pioneer a different approach. Introduce success into the equation — no matter how small. Pivot.
Although resistance triggers stress and discomfort, it signals an adjustment is afoot. It points us away from actions that are not a fit and towards those aligned with our values, mission, vision, and/or purpose… if we’ll only listen.
What are you resisting?