Episode 130 | “I’m Struggling To Move Forward…” – Why Resistance Can Appear & How To Stop It From Holding You Back

I was thinking about a topic to talk about this week and I decided to cover something that I've been experiencing throughout the last couple of weeks that I thought would be really helpful to talk about - Resistance.

As business owners, resistance is something that comes up at different points in our business journey. It's something that we need to learn to navigate. I've had some resistance coming up over the past couple of weeks just because there's been so much change, so many new opportunities, so many new things and goals that I've been wanting to achieve coming into fruition and really requiring me to kind of up-level and step up into all of that. It's been so exciting and so amazing, but it's also come with its fair share of resistance. Now, what I mean by resistance is essentially that feeling where you want to move forward, but something's just holding you back. You want to take action on something, but for some reason you're just not.

And I kind of think about it like if you're wading through a pool and you feel that kind of force coming against you from the other way, and you really have to push through that and wade through that sense of resistance if you want to move forward and achieve your goals. Now this is something that doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing and I haven't really seen it as a negative thing myself. I've seen it more as an indication that I am up leveling that new things that I have wanted to manifest in my life and my business are coming up for me. And it requires me to step into that new space, which can be a little bit scary. It can be scary to move into change and the unknown. And outside of your comfort zone. And I think that's when resistance can really come up for us.

So I wanted to talk about this in a bit more detail. I wanted to talk about some of the things that I really believe encourage resistance to pop up. I also want to talk about some of the things that have been helping me over the last couple of weeks to manage my resistance and to move through it so that it doesn't end up holding me back long term.
So first of all, let's take a look at some of the common drivers for resistance. And these are just some things that I've brainstormed that I think are reasons that resistance or that feeling of being held back or that feeling of kind of pushing up against something rises.

1. Procrastination - Procrastination and resistance go hand in hand. When you're feeling like you're procrastinating - you're feeling resistance, you're feeling unable to move forward, unable to take action. You distract yourself with anything and everything, you do whatever you can to avoid actually taking action on that thing that you want to take action on. And this can also be better known as fear. So a lot of the time, procrastination and resistance come up due to our fears. And there are a number of different fears that can come up for us. And it's different for everybody and maybe it's one of these fears, or maybe it's a combination of these fears, but some really common fears are things like the fear of failure, the fear of making a mistake, the fear of judgment or criticism, the feel of the unknown, the fear of success sometimes as well, which is something people don't think about too much, but sometimes stepping into a new space of success can bring up all the feels. And then there are other types of fear that might be popping up for you depending on your particular situation that leads you to then procrastinate and have that sense of resistance. Because really this is just your mind and your body protecting you. They're trying to keep you safe. They're trying to protect you from the fears that are coming up, the unknown, the “what-ifs” and the uncertainty that can come with moving forward and they're just trying to keep you safe. And really that's all procrastination and resistance is, it's trying to hold you back to keep you safe and secure. But what we need to realize is that a lot of our fears are irrational. They're made up circumstances and situations in our mind that may not ever happen and most of the time never do happen. And that we need to actually learn to push ourselves through that fear and still take courageous action through procrastination, through resistance, and support ourselves to take that step forward. Because most of the time, everything that we're looking to achieve is on the other side of that procrastination. And we just need to take the steps and we need to take a courageous leap of faith and move forward anyway because caving safe and secure in your comfort zone is only going to get you so far.

2. Control - The next one that I think is really a driver for resistance is the need for control. And this kind of stems into a little bit of that comfort zone that I was just talking about where you want to stay in that comfort zone. You want to feel like you're in control, you know what to expect, you know what's coming, you know what it feels like. You know how you show up when you're in this comfort zone. Everything's predictable and safe. And when we start to move outside of that comfort zone, we feel that our control diminishes. We don't know what's coming. We don't know how to prepare for it. We don't know what to expect and we get really concerned about that. And change becomes this big scary thing that maybe we're not ready for yet. And maybe it's easier to just stay in our comfort zone and resist the change. But this is again, something that we need to move through. So if you're feeling like there's some big changes happening in your life, if you feel like there's change on the horizon for you or there's changes that you're really motivated to make and step into, but you're feeling a little bit of resistance coming up, it might be because it's tapping into that sense of losing control or fearing the unknown or not knowing what to expect on the horizon and is it all going to be worth it? Is everything you wanted to achieve actually going to happen or are you safer to just stay where you are and do nothing? Often most of the people that I speak to feel like it is going to be better for them to take action and step out of their comfort zone to know that they've tried and maybe not succeeded or maybe they do succeed, but if you stay in your comfort zone where it's safe and warm and cozy, you will never know. So we need to embrace change. We need to look at it as a positive, as a step forward, as an opportunity for growth and take the leap.

3. Overwhelm - The next thing that I think drives resistance is overwhelm and this is probably something that I've been feeling. I think this is the space that I've been in over the last couple of weeks where I haven't really known where to focus my attention and my energy because I've had a lot of competing demands coming up. I've had a lot of things that I've needed to address in my business, in my life, in working with my clients in my Wealthy Wellpreneurs group, in managing my free content in all of the things that can come up as a business owner. And I have really had to be intentional about where I give my attention, where I give my energy, how I plan out my schedule and my time so that I can make sure I'm still getting things done and not just going into a complete overwhelming meltdown. And that's really what overwhelm is. It's that feeling of I just don't know where to start. I don't know what to focus on. I don't know where I need to be or what I needed to be doing. And it's just too much. The input into my brain is just too much and this is where I was feeling like for me, I could get stuck in the resistance where there's just too much going on. It's too hard to think about. It's too much input into my brain so I'm just going to shut off. I'm going to resist it all and I'm going to avoid and that's definitely not a space that I want to be in. It's definitely not a space that you want to be in either. So you really need to be able to recognize that overwhelm when it's coming up to recognize that maybe there's a few too many things happening right now and to shift into a space where you can start to prioritize where you need to spend your attention and your energy be as that is what's going to help you to start weeding through all of the things on your to do list and to work out what's the most urgent and important tasks that you need to focus on for right now to get that done and then to be able to move onto the next without it feeling like there's this huge mountain of tasks and responsibilities getting thrown on top of you.

4. Burnout - And then the final one that I think is a real driver for resistance as well is burnout. And this is kind of the step beyond overwhelmed where maybe you've let overwhelm impact you for a longer period of time than necessary. And you've really been doing all the things that all the hours wearing all the hats constantly go, go, go, do, do, do feeling very overwhelmed and stressed and anxious as a kind of normal feeling throughout your day and feeling like that's just the way life is. That's just the way it feels and it needs to be for me to get things done and your body has eventually kind of stepped into that phase of mental or physical burnout where you're beyond not knowing where to start and you're feeling more like, I'm not going to start. If there's one more thing that comes my way, I will explode. I will just lose the plot. It's like that straw that broke the camel's back. It's like it could be the smallest, most insignificant little thing like, “Hey, what's for dinner?” And everything goes into a meltdown because it's just that one thing too many that's coming into your consciousness and your brain and you've just held on for so long. You've juggled all the balls in the air and spun all the plates in the air and it's time where everything just drops and the resistance is just all too much and it's basically that point that you get to where you just say, enough, I'm done. I'm out and none of us want to get to that point. But I think that if you are feeling a lot of resistance currently, if you're really struggling to move forward with things and it feels beyond overwhelm and it feels more like literally, if one more thing comes into my conscious awareness that I need to add to my to do list, I'm going to have a meltdown, then you're probably very close to burnout. So I would really encourage you to take notice of that if that is how you're feeling because it is not normal to feel that way as a business owner, as anyone really. And it can be really detrimental to your mental health and your physical health if you let yourself keep going down that track and letting the resistance build and build and build to the point potentially of no return and you might become ill, you might have physical exhaustion or some other kind of health concern and you're not going to be any good show your business at that point.

So there are some of the things I think that really drive resistance that if you're feeling resistance, if you're feeling like you're holding yourself back or sabotaging yourself in some way, or you're really stuck in this kind of space and you don't know how to break free from it, it might be one of those four things where maybe you're procrastinating or you're basically just filling all the fears and not sure how to navigate that.

You are feeling like you're lacking control or you're losing control of your situation or your environment and that's scary and you don't want to move into that space where you're not in control. Maybe you've just got overwhelmed, you just got far too many things that are on your plate right now and you just don't have the space for all of it. Or you might be pretty much in that space of burnout where you've just let it all go on for too long and you really need to create the time, space, energy for yourself and your own wellbeing. So now I want to talk about some of the things that have been helping me to move through resistance. And one of the biggest things I want to share is that we all have periods of resistance. So it doesn't make you a bad business owner, it doesn't make you a bad mother, parent, entrepreneur, colleague, friend, any of those things. If you're experiencing resistance, it comes up for even the most successful entrepreneurs. And that's really why I wanted to share it today because I wanted to share that I have this as well, that we all have it and we all know we have it and that's why I want to bring the conversation up because we don't always talk about it and I want to normalize it that this is something that is going to come up and it will continue to come up. But where you become more skilled and effective is being able to notice that resistance and to move through it faster. So that resistance that maybe you've been resisting taking action on something for six months and it's been on the back of your mind and you know you've really wanted to take action but you just haven't been able to, for whatever reason.

Instead of it taking six months, maybe it starts to be something that only takes one month or maybe it then becomes something where you only feel resistance for a week and you're able to navigate it and move through it. And then over time you get better and better and better. So you notice this resistance. As soon as it's coming up, you're able to address it head on and not let it continue to hold you back from your goals. Taking action on tasks, taking courageous and confident action towards your dreams and your goals. So I'm going to talk about some of the things that have helped me that I really think are universal and will be so helpful for you if you're experiencing resistance granted that everybody is different. Everybody manages things in different ways. So this is just what's been helping me and I thought I would share them just so that you can see what I've been doing to really navigate this feeling and this sense of kind of push back that for some reason is coming up for me.

And I think it really was that overwhelm, just having far too many things on the go at once. And so you'll see that part of what's been helping me has been managing that overwhelm and managing my schedule.

Space - All right, so the first one that I really wanted to share is when you're feeling resistance, that it's this pushback from moving forward. And maybe a lot of procrastination is to give yourself space, give yourself time to really do nothing. So maybe you've found that you're procrastinating a lot. Maybe you're watching Netflix, scrolling on Instagram, finding yourself, cleaning out your kitchen cutlery drawer instead of doing the business tasks that you're supposed to be doing. And you might already feel quite lazy or unproductive because you've put these things off for so long. But now I want to flip that and make it intentional space that you give yourself. You intentionally give yourself the time to sit on the couch and do nothing. You intentionally give yourself the space to go to a yoga class when you know you should be doing something else. And starting to give yourself the self care and the acknowledgement that you need a little bit of downtime and a little bit of space here to navigate these feelings, to navigate and understand what's actually happening here behind the scenes and push through it and clear the field so that you can move forward. So that's the first one. So I was giving myself a lot of space over the last two weeks, even though I had so many things that I needed to be doing, I gave myself space. So an example of that is exactly with the podcast. I didn't commit to a podcast episode over the last fortnight because it would have been adding one too many things for me at that point. And I intentionally gave myself the space from that so that I knew when I did show up I would be able to come from a place of flow, of intention, of passion and not feeling like there was any force or pressure behind it.

Journaling - The next one that has been really helpful for me has been journaling. So what I've been doing with my journaling over the past couple of weeks is really getting clear on what is pushing back, what is coming up as resistance for me, really understanding why is this presenting itself for me right now? What is it that I am resisting? What am I afraid to take action on? Or what am I afraid to step into? Or what am I prioritizing and valuing over other things and how am I actually impacting my own sense of four direction in the tasks that I'm choosing to prioritize? So I've been doing a lot of that through journaling and just getting really clear and understanding what is actually happening here so that I can better address it and account for it basically support myself to move through it. So if you're into journaling then I would highly recommend that as well because it really gives you that opportunity for self awareness and to really acknowledge what's going on as well, which is sometimes hard to do. Sometimes we can sit in procrastination and resistance and not really know what the hell is going on and kind of not be able to move through it because we don't understand it. So a big part of being able to move through it is understanding it and being aware of it in the first place. So I find journaling really helpful for that.

Positive or Negative Reason - The next thing that I wanted to mention is also inquiring with yourself about whether you're resisting something for a positive or a negative reason. So in my example, I was resisting some things or putting things off or kind of putting things on the back burner so to speak, but it was with positive intentions. So I was prioritizing things over other things because they were urgent and important to what I needed to do to achieve at the time. And that meant that some things needed to take a back seat. And so that was for a positive reason. I wasn't putting things on the back seat as you know, deflection for responsibility or to feed my fears or to listen to my inner critic or let self doubt take over. It was far more intentional and positive than that. I was really being super strategic and intentional about where I was spending my time and my energy with a high priority on my own self and my self care and what I know I needed to recharge to actually keep being able to move forward and not burn out. And yeah, I think that resistance can have a positive element to it where you can be prioritizing tasks with positive intentions rather than it all being negative and that knowing the difference between that is key as well. Because when I framed it in this way, I didn't say my resistance as a negative thing. I actually saw it as a positive, as a message from my mind and my body saying, you know, something's got to give here. You need to be intentional with what you're doing. You need to look after yourself throughout this time and you need to understand why this is coming up so that you can move through it effectively and not let it hold you back.

Being kind on yourself - And that kind of goes into my next point, which is around being kind on yourself through resistance. So really not beating yourself up if you are coming up with resistance, if you're feeling like you're sabotaging yourself or you're holding yourself back or you're stuck in this feeling of procrastination, really trying to be a kind on yourself during that period, not kind of telling yourself you're lazy or you're unproductive or you're unworthy or you're useless, all of that is just garbage for your brain. You need to be understanding that resistance is coming up for a reason. It's coming up to protect you from something. Whether that is an irrational fear or a real fear is up to you to decide. But knowing that it's coming up to serve you and support you is so empowering because then you can say thank you and be grateful for it and then be able to take action to move through it. So being kind to yourself throughout this process.

Being fair on yourself - The next one is being fair on yourself with what you can realistically achieve. So I am a recovering type, well, I'm probably always going to be a Type A, but I'm recovering from doing all the things myself and piling things on top of each other. Having shiny objects syndrome as an entrepreneur and really focusing in on one thing and having clear goals, clear visions, clear tasks that I need to be completing. So I need to be very intentional about how much I pile on and I need to be fair on myself with what I can realistically achieve within particular time frames. I need to manage what I say ‘YES’ to; manage what I say ‘NO’ to; manage the people pleasing that comes up, if someone asks me to do something or I get a request via an email or an invitation for something. I need to be consciously thinking of all the plates I have spinning in the air and how many more I can take on at once. So this is something you need to consider as well. Are you unnecessarily piling too much on your plate saying yes to anybody and everybody and then finding yourself in a place where you're completely overwhelmed and you're just wondering, I don't even know where to begin - just too much, too much, too much, too much computer says no, and you go into procrastination and overwhelm. So just being mindful of how much you can realistically take on within certain time frames.

Acknowledging the past doesn't dictate the future - And then the final one that I have, which I really love because I think it's something we don't think about a lot, but it's the acknowledging that the past doesn't dictate your future. So sometimes with resistance we come up against it because we may have been in this situation before, it may not be exactly the same situation, but it may be a very similar experience or situation. Or maybe you're even trying to achieve a goal that you've tried to achieve before, which for example, could be something like losing weight. It could be committing to fitness goals. It could be committing to new business goals that you may have tried in the past that didn't work out. And resistance can come up because you can almost say to yourself, well, I've been here before and I failed or I've been here before and it didn't work out. Why would I bother again? Or what's gonna be different this time and the resistance can come up and prevent you from taking action again because it's trying to keep you safe. So a real key with this is if you're in a situation you've been in before or you've got the self awareness to acknowledge that maybe the resistance is coming up because you're in a similar situation that you've experienced in your past. Then to be telling yourself that your past does not dictate your future. Just because the situation has gone one way before doesn't mean it's going to go the same way again. You're a new person now. You have new skills, new insight, new awareness, new resources, and the ability to have a completely different outcome and experience so this is a really big one if you feel like you're kind of saying, why bother? What's the point? It's just gonna be the same as last time. I really encourage you to acknowledge the fact that you're in a different space now and you have the experience of what went wrong last time so that you can make sure it doesn't happen again and you can make the right tweaks and the right changes to what you need to do to get the results that you're after.

So I hope that that's been helpful for you. That is what I've been working on over the last couple of weeks while I've been working on a lot of life stuff and business stuff in the background and I really thought it would be a helpful topic to bring to the podcast because I know, know, know, know that this is coming up for all of you in one phase or another. And if not, if you're just like the resistance queen and it never comes up for you, then it may be something you experienced in the future as you uplevel or you kick all of your goals and start feeling like some of the fears or new experiences or testing you a little bit. So you can always move through resistance when you give yourself the opportunity. And that's why I wanted to share what's been working for me and helping me to basically move through this so that it doesn't become those situations where six months down the track you realize you basically let everything go and you have to start from scratch. So we really want to be able to move through these kinds of feelings and acknowledge them and understand them as soon and as effectively as possible so that you can address them and keep moving forward to make all of your goals and dreams are reality.

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