I have often come across people resisting change and inadvertently procrastinating. They are unable to take decisions which they know will change their life for the better. They are unable to manage the resistance hurdle which in their mind’s eye is a big green monster. Well, I too found that overcoming resistance is one of the biggest challenges. At times i have struggled and fallen in the dirt trying to overcome this obstacle and to be honest, have failed many times. However, I have figured out a simple approach for people like me who are struggling with crippling fear when it comes to changing their life for the better. Some of the things which come to my mind to overcome resistance are –
we do not generally think about resistance and understand that it is always there most of the time. We generally think that – let me start eating healthy, sleep for 7-8 hours or at times just spend more time with family. Invariably some or the other distractions tend to crop up and we succumb to resistance. Combat this by realizing that you are facing Resistance. Once you become aware of it, you can fight it and beat it. It can be difficult to become more aware but the key is to focus on it for a couple of days. Write down the words “Defeat Resistance” and put it somewhere visible as you work. This will help remind you to be aware of Resistance. Every time you do something that isn’t the most important thing you could be doing right now, be aware . I have a couple of post it notes in front of me at eye level reminding me of many situations where I am trying to overcome resistance as of now.
Become a professional:
Combat resistance by turning Pro.This was exactly the chapter I had read in a book couple of years ago. It mentioned that the professional unlike the amateur, comes ready to work. He’s doing it for a living (and loves what he does). He knows that as long as he shows up and starts working, the rest will come. Approach your work like a professional and you’ll get the work done. Remember the work might be in your case might be that of a doctor, housewife or even a student. When you do something with sincerity then there is no reason why things will not fall in place.
Be very clear, and focused:
Before you start the day, be very clear about what you want to accomplish for that day. You won’t be able to finish 10 major projects but you could finish at least one important project or maybe move it along to a certain point. Set the three Most Important Tasks you want to accomplish today. Once you have those things defined you’ve got to focus on them to the exclusion of all else (at least during your most productive time). Do them first. Focus, finish and then move on to the smaller tasks you need to complete for the day. If you find yourself being lured to do something that’s not on that short list of three things, bring yourself back and focus.
Clear away distractions:
With so many distractions around us, it is common for most of us to succumb easily. However I have realised that to overcome resistance one must first clear distractions around us, be it an unorganised workstation or a kitchen. First thing is to move away things which are a major source of distraction and try to focus on the job in hand. Yesterday in the gym, a girl commented that the music was too loud and she could not focus on the job at hand. I told her to press the mute button in her head and filter out all unwanted voices around it. With practise this would be a walk in the park. whatever the distractions is, ensure you handle it and get to work on your objective.
Have a set time and place:
Make your first important task a daily appointment. For me that’s programming my mind . I always start the day with a rewiring of my mind to face the day’s challenge and re validate the short and long term goals . For you that might be different. Have a set start time, be it going for a run or doing a deep breathing exercise(which is an excellent habit for people low in energy). whatever it is, always ensure that your most important tasks at hand are done first thing in the morning. I usually devote a couple of hours during the early mornings to myself.
Know your motivation:
Why are you doing this? Why is this task important? What is it working towards? And how important is that end goal to you? You need to know these things to build up the motivation level to overcome Resistance. Most of this can be answered by asking yourself some simple questions.
In the end all the tips in the world won’t make as much a difference as this simple (and timeless) instruction. Just sit down and start. Feel Resistance to doing that? There’s no way to overcome it than to just start. Reading all the books in the world about Resistance won’t help. Going to an online Procrastinator’s Forum won’t help. Working on your to-do lists won’t help. Only doing actually helps. And the only way to do something is to just start.
So how do you start, when you feel resistance? You just start. Feeling the need to do something else? Stop yourself from getting distracted. Remind yourself what you need to be doing and why. Sit down and the set time and place. And just start.
For me that means taking the first steps towards the outcome be it writing, running or even standing more while working. Usually after the first few steps I get into the flow and then use the force of the momentum to propel me forward. Just like the famous saying “A journey of a thousand miles begin with the first step” so does overcoming resistance begins with you just starting.
I sincerely hope that I have managed to put across my thoughts through this article on overcoming resistance. I generally see people succumbing to resistance and living a far less fulfilling life than they really deserve. Even if one of you can manage to overcome resistance in an area of your life then I definitely feel that the purpose of writing this article has been fulfilled for me.
By the way if you or your friends feel you are facing a huge challenge in overcoming resistance and it is limiting your life do feel free to write me a mail on email@example.com or you could also reach me on my Face book Page www.facebook.com/B.N.Satishrao.