Freestyle: Some Thoughts on Overcoming Resistance

April 1, 2016

Resistance is a big thing in my life, as I imagine it is for most people. By no means have I conquered it. Nor do I think it’s something you can simply vanquish forever, or address and practice by reading advice online or listening to a friend.

My primary feeling about resistance is that it’s never going to go away. As long as your mind functions, and as long as your body is animated by life, resistance will always pervade in some form or another. Our goal in life is not to obliterate it. Nor is it to ignore it.

What we must do is simply attempt to diminish its hold over us as much as possible.

Of course that’s not going to be easy. In fact, I’d argue, that’s going to be one of the overarching themes of our lives. Our constant battle with resistance and the multitude of forms it manifests in. Thoughts telling us things aren’t worth it. That it’s fine to allow ourselves a break. That doing that thing won’t bring us any sense of satisfaction or happiness anyway.

I haven’t met a person yet who’s proven to be completely devoid of these inner mutterings. And those I have met, who are usually older, who usually have lived through a substantial amount of pain (life), who deal with resistance more skilfully, still have to deal with it until the last breath they take.

That’s why the first thing we have to recognise about resistance is its presence. That it will always be there. And that nothing we can ever do will ever make it go away.

But that’s healthy too. Because, depending how you look at it, resistance can be a guiding light showing us what has to be done and conquered. What must be exercised in exchange for respite. However brief that release might prove.

When our minds tell us not to do something or to run away from it, there’s a clear signal that doing it or running towards it is likely to bring some benefit.

When our minds tell us something isn’t worth doing or someone should be avoided, there’s another clear signal that giving it a try or engaging with that person is also likely to move us forward positively in some manner.

These are the games we’re destined to play with ourselves. Instead of losing out to resistance or refusing to take it on though, wouldn’t we do all the more better by stepping up to the plate and having a go? Risking the failure anyway safe in the knowledge we tried?