“I have an important question for you — and I promise to keep this absolutely private.”
That’s the opening line to the email everyone who signs up for The Rebooted Body newsletter receives.
It continues, “What’s your most burning fear right now with regards to changing your lifestyle and moving toward getting fit and healthy?”
Of all the responses I receive, the most common has to do with the fear of failure. It’s safer to avoid commitment — to stay on the sidelines — because committing places the burden of failure square on your shoulders.
It doesn’t help to hear that 90% of “dieters” not only fail, but gain back more weight than when they started. Total Body Reboot isn’t a diet and doesn’t lead people down the rabbit hole of bad advice, but that statistic lingers in your mind nonetheless.
So how do you conquer this fear and self-doubt? How do you battle against the addictions and dependencies you know will try to derail you? Is it even possible to change and to make a new lifestyle?
It’s more than possible when you learn to conquer the Resistance.
The Resistance is inside all of us, and it’s powerful.
Procrastination, distraction, self-medication, negative self-talk, doubt, and fear are all weapons wielded by the Resistance that is within all of us.
The Resistance is a concept well defined by writer Steven Pressfield in his book, The War of Art.
To be clear, the Resistance is not the same as extinction bursts. While extinction bursts and the Resistance share the same goal, the Resistance is far more clever and cunning and is constantly working to undermine you.
The Resistance arrives when we’re doing our best, most important work.
The functional alcoholic who shows up to work on time, is relatively productive, but suffers from a clear addiction that negatively impacts his life is not a victim of the Resistance. On the contrary, the Resistance is nowhere to be found.
The day the alcoholic decides to sober up and takes the first step toward doing so, the Resistance is awakened. The Resistance always arrives when we decide to do our most important work.
This goes for breaking addiction, changing jobs, starting a company or important project, reforming how you parent, and so on. Creatives encounter the Resistance all of the time. It’s the leading cause of failure, of not finishing, of not shipping, and of every excuse.
The Resistance is cunning, can take many forms, and is good at both hiding and redirecting your focus.
What does the Resistance tell an addict — or what does it tell someone trying to Reboot? The messages are similar, eerily so.
“This new life is not who you are. It’s so inconvenient. And It’s boring. You can just cut back a little bit and you’ll be fine.” Or, “you can’t afford it. And even if you could, you have better things to worry about.”
That’s just the start. The more you fight and refuse to give in, the more conniving it becomes.
“You’ve tried this before and failed. Trying again will just mean failing once more. Do you want to have to face that again?”
But onward you fight, and it continues to change it’s game plan.
“You’re a special case — you’re not like other people. You can’t be helped. Accept that you’re a broken person. These people who tell you that you can change are crazy. In fact, it’s their fault; you should blame them for what’s happened to you.”
The Resistance is mean, it’s persistent, and it’s heartless.
So, how do we fight it?
How do we quiet the Resistance and protect our mission? How do we overcome its weapons and cunning nature? It starts with seeing the gaping hole in its armor.
When you encounter the Resistance, you’ve identified what needs to be done.
The Resistance will do ANYTHING to get you to quit and to fail. But, even with all of its tools and slyness, has one glaring defect.
Because it is always there when you’re doing your most important work, the Resistance is like a lighthouse that constantly reassures you that you’re sailing in the right waters.
Quieting the Resistance starts with adopting it.
“This doubt I’m feeling, these emotions that are bubbling up inside me, this negative self-talk — it’s the Resistance talking and I love identifying it because it lets me know that I’m still here doing something meaningful.”
If the Resistance is telling you not to do something, that’s exactly the thing you should focus on doing.
In the end, persistence beats resistance.
Just keep showing up.
Day after day.
One foot in front of the other.
The Resistance hates persistence.
You deserve to be fit and healthy. And you have my permission.
“I’m destined to be overweight. It’s almost like I don’t deserve success.”
I hear that too and all too often.
You deserve every ounce of it.
If you’re sitting around waiting for permission to succeed, I’m giving it to you right now.
It’s not who you are that holds you back in life, it’s who you think you’re not. The Resistance wants you to define yourself as a failure and keep you thinking that you’re not meant for success.
The truth is that you get to define yourself however you want to and the voice inside your head is a liar.
While you can’t go back and make a brand new beginning, you can start today and make a brand new ending.
Quiet the resistance.
Latest posts by Kevin Geary (see all)
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- RB079: A No-Bullshit Health Dialogue with Brett Veinotte - August 15, 2014