We’re surrounded by resistance. From a societal level where both “sides” spend tremendous energy battling the “other” to a personal level where people fight their inclination toward any number of failings, we are in resistance mode.
How’s that working for us? For you?
The underlying concerns that brings rise to resistance are valid, but the “resist” approach often comes up short.
Carl Jung made well-known the concept that what we resist persists. When our energy is focused on what we don’t want we only seem to invite more of it.
Try it. Bring to mind something you’re resisting, like carbohydrates, procrastination or watching too much TV. Are your feelings ones of excitement or apathy? Are they light or heavy? Feelings drive behavior so it’s important to notice how you feel and whether those feelings lead you to what you want or keep you stuck in the behaviors you seek to avoid.
Listen to your language. Do you say things like “I shouldn’t eat that” or “I have to go to the gym” or “I have to stop spending so much time on the computer”? Can you feel the heaviness, the drudgery that accompanies those phrases? How would it feel to stop resisting?
Compare those to “I choose to eat this” or “I get to exercise today” or “I can’t wait to call my good friend (instead of checking out in front of the computer).” That feels more like lightness, personal responsibility (i.e. control) and enthusiasm.
It’s more than semantics. Our language trains our brain, creating neural pathways that are strengthened by behavior. Over time old pathways lessen and new ones become prominent. This can work for us or against us. What makes the difference is being intentional in our language to reflect the outcome we desire (e.g. feeling healthier, stronger, clothes fitting better) instead of resistance of what we don’t (deprivation, tight pants, boring food).
I regularly coach my clients on noticing their self-talk and shifting it to reflect the behaviors they desire to become habits. When we stop resisting, what we want can truly start to feel easy.
Are you willing for it to be easy?