Fighting resistance is like fighting an invisible force. You know itís there and yet itís often difficult to recognize. Resistance is the thing that makes you linger over the second or third cup of coffee when youíre already full, but not ready to get down to work.
Resistance is the enemy of productivity. In order to create a strong, profitable business you have to work steadily and stay on track. No one ever plans to encounter resistance when pursuing the dream. When it intrudes, you many not recognize it. Let me describe it to you. Resistance wears a costume thatís ever changing. One day it looks like the friend who stopped by to have a chat because you havenít seen each other for a while. The next day it shows up as an urgent request to help an ailing family member. The next day it shows up with two free tickets to a most incredible, once in a lifetime show. When resistance really gets in, it arrives as the never ending nap or long needed rest. Before you know it, a whole day or even week gets sucked into the black hole of resistance.
Score!!!! For the OTHER team.
I was recently asked to join a community group to help others learn about important changes in our city. I was honored to be a part of such a meaningful venture, and I dedicated a few weeks to reading up on current issues, attending meetings and having on-going conversations with other leaders about the concerns. While the causes were all good and very important, at some point I realized that my involvement was allowing me to take the focus off of growing my company, which is my first priority. Resistance, in the form of service was preventing me from doing my work.
Resistance prevents you from doing your work. Not just work in your business, but any kind of work that promises fulfillment. The work of relationship, the work of creating a better home, or losing excess weight, the work of forgiveness, the work of wholeness. Resistance always offers us the option to jump ship or spend too much time sightseeing.
Author Steven Pressfield, in his outstanding book The War of Art gives the most excellent revelation about resistance. As he describes his own battle, it is clear that he has made every effort to get to the other side of the menacing force.
After years of avoiding and getting off track he now has a daily routine. The routine keeps him producing and keeps him on course. With him resistance fights a losing battle. Each day that he follows through, he has over come the insidious monster that seeks to steal his dream of living out his calling as a writer.
How do you overcome the obstacle of resistance? First, like any challenge, you have to know that it is there. Consider it an enemy and get in the fight, determine that you are going to fight to win!
Here are some of the weapons that I use against resistance:
1. No unrequested phone calls before 1:00PMóperiodóPhone calls can really get me off track.
2. Have a set start and stop time for my work. You may be a better night worker, or maybe you like to rise early while everyone else is still sleeping.
3. Educate my family and friends. My office is in my home, but this does not mean that Iím available 24/7.
4. Make a plan. Each night I check my schedule, as a guideline of what I will accomplish the next day.
5. I check my mail once in the morning, and once before I end for the day, unless Iím in the middle of a big project and expecting important communication.
6. Reward myself. I put off spending time pleasure reading until I have finished my work.
7. Ask for help when I need it.
8. Become accountable to someone else.
9. Keep my end goal written down and in view.
10. Stay honest.
If you are in the battle with resistance, (and most of us are at onetime or another) in work or personal life, take a moment to read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Itís not just for artists or creative types. Itís for anyone who wants to get on with the work of accomplishing something.
Resistance is a foe not a friend.