We have all been there. Maybe it was early Monday morning after a long weekend. Or, maybe it is the first day of a new diet or exercise routine. Perhaps it was the moment before having a really difficult conversation with someone who wronged you.
It is the moment of resistance.
Resistance is a powerful force that acts as a wall keeping us from moving forward towards what we really want. Because, if we are honest we want to have a deeper relationship with God, be in better shape, attain our goals, and have healthy relationships. Yet, there is always something standing in the way.
And, I know this isn’t really news to anyone. We all get what it feels like to experience resistance when it is time to do the right thing. In fact, some would argue feeling resistance is a pretty good indicator you are on the right track.
This idea is completely contradictory to what is being sold to us daily. Advertisers use our innate desire for avoiding resistance to sell us products ensuring a life free of stress and worry.
As Allen wrote this week, we want to avoid the work to get to the goal. I love his example about proofing mathematical equations. While I was never so smart to be able to skip steps to solve a math problem, I did feel the elation of finally getting through the work to solve the problem.
A couple of weeks ago I was part of a team who trained new facilitators on our Teen Lifeline curriculum on group dynamics and facilitation. Part of our team was a local counseling professor who worked through active listening techniques and some of the theory behind the curriculum.
During one of her sessions she described the very issues I introduced earlier in the post. She framed it in terms of feelings. We all have strong feelings associated with things we love and hate. Feelings are an incredible force bringing us to the heights or spiraling us the depths. If we are honest, we can be held captive by feelings of fear, doubt, anger, or even apathy. In response to the power of our emotions, her point was simple.
“Doing changes feeling”.
While this seems overly simplistic, think about your typical Monday morning after having a great weekend. The alarm goes off, your kids are going crazy, and you have to go to work. There is a point in the morning where you will feel incredible resistance and feel the temptation to call in sick. But, once you overcome the resistance, go to work and get settled in, you feel better about things. The same is true about exercising, eating well, engaging conflict, or even starting the new project you have been putting off.
Michael Hyatt has an incredible podcast on the idea of overcoming resistance that goes in-depth on the subject. You can find it here.
This especially is true with our relationship with God. Do we ever feel more resistance than when it is time to pray, read our bible, or go to church? In this case resistance comes in the form of distractions and fear.
This weekend, I want to challenge you to overcome an area of resistance in your life by simply doing it to change your feelings on the issue. See what happens. Maybe you have been putting off going to church. Or, maybe there is a conversation you have been avoiding. Overcome this fear and resistance by simply stepping into the resistance and changing how you feel.
Because, sometimes that is all it will take.