Do you ever have a morning like this? In this moment, my thoughts are scattered. I feel all over the place. I don’t want to work. I want to drink a cup of tea (hot chocolate deemed too caloric), cuddle with my 14-year-old dog, now snoring softly beside me and read the latest chick lit mystery. Yes, I read a lot and most of it is thought provoking books on world events thanks to my wonderful book club or books on the latest discoveries in neuroscience and mind-body connection, but some days I just want to chill. That would be great but this is not Saturday morning, and I have work to do. What are the best strategies to overcome resistance when you are having days like this?
Do you want to overcome resistance?
The simple and yet most profound answer is: just do it.
Do it now! Don’t wait another moment.
Resistance is a combination of fear and procrastination. We don’t know what to do. We don’t want to do it wrong, and we’re fearful of not doing it, whatever it is, perfectly.
Fear is not going to go away. In fact, every moment you wait, the fear will be greater. Have you ever allowed fear to keep you from doing something and later regretted your decision not to act? If so, you’re not alone. The vast majority of people live with regrets.
Resistance often rears its ugly head when we’ve made a big commitment. Recognize your resistance but don’t let it get in the way of keeping your commitments. Try these three strategies for overcoming resistance.
Cut down on the decision making
Resistance comes when we don’t know what to do next. Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? Are you even eating breakfast and if so what’s for breakfast? Will you exercise before or after breakfast or after work? Without some morning routine or plan, you’re exhausted before the day even starts. Is choice A best or is Choice B or C? It’s like what’s behind the curtain in Let’s Make a Deal with an infinite number of choices. Estimates are adults make about 35,000 decisions per day. By making routines and deciding which decisions to consciously put on auto pilot, we free up some of that decision making for more important uses.
Have a plan
Get out of your head and do something. You can spend the next three hours or three years debating what to do next. Chances are you may not pick the PERFECT action. Most of the time there is no perfect action, but once you have taken action, it will be much easier to decide what action to take next that will bring you closer toward your goal. Have you ever regretted not taking action? Don’t miss that next great opportunity because you fail to take action.
Yes chances are life will not go according to plan but if you have a plan a general sense of direction, a mission statement or even a midlife manifesto; you have a guideline to tell if the action is on task with what you are resisting.
The plan can also be a wonderful guide, a way of forming habits. Every day I…. and on Monday I…. and Tuesday I ….. When we have a plan and have a commitment, we do what our plan says to do whether or not we feel like it.
Having a plan lets us know where to start and for many of us just getting started is the hardest part.
Just do it
Not sure where to start or vacillating on the plan because you slept late or got interrupted. Just start somewhere. The hardest part about resistance is that it keeps us stuck, inactive, frozen.
Don’t know what to do? Take an action, any action. Work on it for 15 minutes. If it’s not the right action, you will know. Pick something else and just do it. We often spend more time worrying about something than doing it.
A Note on Creative Types and Resistance
Entrepreneurs, particularly solo entrepreneurs tend to have trouble with keeping our commitments to ourselves. We’re great at getting projects done for others, but when it comes time to do those activities we need to get our business running and marketing ourselves, we fall short.
Many entrepreneurs are highly creative people, and I love working with creative people. Being creative also makes it difficult to set up and stick to a routine. Resistance often comes in the form of Shiny Object Syndrome, chasing after the next greatest, best idea instead of following through on what we are doing. Dealing with resistance can be as simple as figuring out what works for you, creating habits and routines and systems that keep you doing it and giving yourself permission to follow through.
For years I felt I couldn’t trust myself to keep commitments to myself. I made up all sorts of excuses why I was not staying on track. I know my people-pleasing, perfectionism and procrastination were getting in my way of keeping commitments to myself.
Three Best Strategies to Overcome Resistance
You’ve made a commitment, and you can feel the resistance. So try these three strategies to keep you on track;
- Create routines to cut down on decision making.
- Create a plan to eliminate those thoughts of what do I do next.
- Just do it. The greatest resistance busting tool of all is taking action and in some cases, any action will do.
Let me hear from you. I’d love to know what works and what doesn’t as you overcome your resistance.
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