What is standing between you and your Dreams?
You’ve got that dream, that desire. You want to record that album. You want to become a great slide guitar player. You want to be able to sing just like Robert Plant. You want to learn every riff and every lick that Van Halen ever played. You want to be a great songwriter like James Taylor, Stephen Stills, or Neil Young.
So, what’s holding you back? Why aren’t you doing it? Why haven’t you done it? What do you say to yourself about these dreams? Do you tell yourself they are silly, just childhood fantasies, that they could never really come true?
I have the answer as to why you are telling yourself these things. There’s ONE big thing holding you back. It holds me back, people on my team back, the guys in my band back, everyone I work with back…it’s called resistance.
It’s within every single one of us. What we perceive as that little voice in our heads. The “Oh, you should start that tomorrow,” voice. The “It’s too late to record anything now,” voice. It gives us excuse upon excuse… you’re too tired, too busy, too old, too young. It reminds me of that joke by comedian Jim Gaffigan. He talks about being “too fat to go work out.”
This is the kind of logic that resistance will use on you. It tells you anything and everything to keep you from going after your dreams. And it comes in different forms, uses a lot of tactics. I want to break some of these down for you.
Rationalization or “rational lies”
We tell ourselves these lies. Sure, you probably do need to get up early for work, but is that really keeping you from reaching a goal? The real reason you didn’t get something done? Our dreams, passions are the reasons we are here on this planet, so why so often do we feel pulled away from our “life’s work?”
This little demon resistance is around to keep us in check, from going too crazy, or getting into trouble. It wants to keep our life copacetic. It likes routine, not risk. It doesn’t want to deal with the shenanigans of fulfilling our heart’s desire. It doesn’t like danger and it will make sure we know it. “You’re gonna spend how much??”
Physical or Mental Form
You come home from work, you grab a quick bite to eat, and go into the studio to start writing a song. All of a sudden you feel tired, or you feel like you have a headache. So you tell yourself you’ll watch TV for a bit, until you feel better. Until your “symptoms” go away. It’s just resistance. Are you really tired? Do you really have a headache?
Maybe the physical form is an actual person. You set aside time to get work done, and the phone rings. It’s an old friend that wants to go golfing, catch a show, whatever. Resistance is calling you away from your dreams. That sneaky bitch.
Even when you’re in a good mood, you can experience resistance. If you feel like you got a lot done in a day, you might take it easy that night. Or on the other hand, a bad mood can bring it on. If you haven’t started that project yet, why start now. Start next week. You’re just letting yourself down. You’re never going to do the work.
So, what do you DO about resistance? How do you combat it?
You’ll never have a day without it. The most successful people in the world have it: Donald Trump, Prince, Lady Gaga, no one is safe.
You have to know it’s going to happen, watch for it. If you’re feeling a certain way, ask yourself if those feeling are taking you closer or farther from your dream, your life’s work. When it comes down to procrastination, physical feelings, rationalization, here’s a good tool to use: make yourself a bargain.
I call it the “Ten Minute Bargain.” Let’s go back to that headache you had earlier. Just try to work through it for 10 minutes and see what happens. I guarantee that 90% of the time, that headache will become a lot more manageable, or even disappear. And that work session will go from 10 minutes to maybe hours. You can beat resistance. The hardest thing about ANYTHING is the beginning of it.
I’m not talking about some ultra-spiritual thing, moving into other dimensions and communing with the beings of the ether. But I am talking about sitting and becoming quiet. If your mind starts to wander, bring yourself back to breath, stare at a candle, a metronome, draw a spot on the wall, focus on something. Try to do this for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. You’ll train yourself to deal with resistance. Focusing on the breathing or the spot on the wall, it helps you defeat resistance in that moment.
Finish your work.
If it doesn’t get you in the beginning, it will get you at the end. People will tell you that you are afraid of failure, but actually you are afraid of success. We hear stories all the time…the musician that blew the audition because he was out partying the night before…the friend that finally got the interview of his dreams, but failed the drug test. All forms of resistance. Remind yourself that you deserve success and that you can handle success. Then you’ll really start to grow.
Use the tools: Preparation, meditation, completion. And I’ll add one more…accountability. Talk to other people about your dreams, and about their dreams, your combined issues with resistance. It will help keep it top of mind.
You don’t want the live you’re living and your unlived life. Kick resistance in the ass today!
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