Most of us have two lives: the life we live and the life within us.  Between the two stands Resistance.  Steven Pressfield

In Resistance is the gift. Cindy Reinhardt

A beautiful hike on Spanish Creek in the quiet of morning's beauty.

A beautiful hike on Spanish Creek in the quiet of morning's beauty.

At one time or another most of us have been told (by self or another) to overcome our resistance and ‘just do it’.  Whatever ‘it’ may be, if we’re resisting then certainly it’s something that we ‘should’ (ugh!) do.  Of course, there are times when this is a choice that serves us, moving us ahead toward a goal or keeping us on a favorable path.  But, for any resistance on the surface, there is something deeper to be discovered.

This week I (re)discovered that the more deeply I examine my resistance (in this case with support from my coach), the richer my awareness is.  All too often though, we don’t take that deeper look.  Heck, I wasn’t even aware that I was resisting.  

My pattern, when I do notice my resistance is for my ‘should-o-meter’ to kick in. I automatically tell myself to ‘stop resisting’ and ‘just do it’. After all, that’s how you conquer life, right?

But what about those times when our resistance may have a different message, one accessible only with a bit of digging?  For me this week the message from resistance was 180 degrees from ‘just do it’.  Upon taking a close look, I saw that my resistance was asking me to reassess a business decision. My clue to look deeper came when I noticed that I felt trapped by that decision. It seemed that I had to do it: no choice, no renegotiation, ‘just do it’. Ugh!

What was it that had me feel trapped? Working with my coach (thank you Patrece!), I realized that I had made a decision to essentially trade my personal peace for a short term financial gain.  I would likely suffer (rather than laugh) all the way to the bank. It’s little wonder that I was resisting. The gain wasn’t worth it.

My willingness to look at my resistance to doing a few small actions presented me with the gift of this awareness.  Had I barreled through and ‘just done’ those things, I mostly likely would have created a week of stress. And that would have taken me significant energy to recover from.  In resistance is the gift.

As I began to see the situation from this perspective, a clear course of action revealed itself. I needed to renegotiate a promise with a customer. Surprisingly, I felt no resistance. That path felt much lighter. After some initial reluctance, the customer agreed. This week is unfolding nicely.

I’m not suggesting that there aren’t times when we need to overcome resistance and just get ourselves into action.  I’m sure that I’ll have those from time to time as I continue this sojourn.  Our learning opportunity is one of discernment, of stepping back and taking a look at our resistance to determine whether it is simply lazy, childish avoidance (yes, we do); an underlying fear that it’s time to address; or, as with me this week, it wants my attention for the sake of inviting me to take a deeper look at a choice that I’ve made.