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The Twelve Faces of Resistance…



You may know the law of physics which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  But, did you know that this law can come into play when you make a decision, commit to goal, or begin to do something new?  There is a force within you that pitches a two year-old tantrum and refuses to acquiesce to your new demands:  Resistance.

This Resistance comes through when you are in the throws of discomfort: not where you’ve been, and not yet where you want to be.  It is what in Expressive Arts is called liminal space.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as: of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition.”  To most, this space feels like trudging through mud and the knee-jerk reaction is to get back indoors to your warm, pink, fuzzy slippers.  Resistance kicks in so we can stay where we’ve been: comfy cozy.

What you might not know is that resistance kicks in most at the very beginning and just before achieving your intended goal.  Those are the times in which you are most susceptible to doubt.

So, know thy enemy…  In her book, Overcoming Underearning®-A Five-step Plan To a Richer Life, Barbara Stanny refers to 12 signs you may be in resistance.  Here are some of the faces it may present to you:

  1. “I have no time.” You are too busy to attend to your intended goal.
  2. “I’ll do it later.” You procrastinate.
  3. “What if….???” You catastrophize.
  4. “You do it…” You give someone else the power to decide.
  5. “This is boring.” You lose interest. You get tired.
  6. “Honey, have you seen my….?” You are disorganized.
  7. “Oh, I meant to…” You are forgetful.
  8. “I don’t know” You space out.
  9. “I can’t seem to get going.” You feel paralyzed.
  10. “I can’t because…” You make excuses for why you can’t act.
  11. “Why can’t I get there already?” You are impatient.
  12. “Are you crazy?  You can’t do that!” You brilliantly attract all the naysayers in your life to confirm your inability to be successful at meeting your intended goal.

As you set new goals for yourself, be they personal, financial, relationship or otherwise know Resistance is going to crave her slippers.  Resistance thrives in inactivity, when you are most vulnerable and likely to give up. Chose to take action, ANY action that is going to keep you moving toward your desire.    Once you’ve recognized the face of Resistance, she won’t hold you in her grip quite the same way and you can take the risks necessary to achieve what ever you have set your mind to.


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