What stops us from chasing our dreams, moving to our favorite city, changing jobs, meditating, breaking-up with unhealthy friends on social media, or giving our time to charity?
It's not that we suck, are selfish, or have no willpower.
It's Resistance- a nasty, diabolical force that lives inside our heads; better known as self sabotage.
I was ecstatic to finally be able to put a label on the intense negative force I'd felt throughout my life after reading The War of Art and Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit, by Steven Pressfield.
Steven brilliantly brings to light what every-single-one of us feels whenever we are about to breakthrough and do something that is critical for the health of our Soul.
He explains that Resistance is a radiating, lethal, internal force that keeps us from doing what we know, deep-down, we should be doing.
When does Resistance show up? Anytime you're trying to move from a lower soul state to a higher soul state. That's when this Debbie Downer on steroids taps you on the shoulder and says, "Um, excuse me bitch. Just what do you think you're doing? Oh- hell no! You're not smart enough, strong enough, cool enough (insert the foul adjective you hear on the reg) to do that. Idiot..."
Some predictable times Debbie may creep-up beside us are anytime we so much as think about:
overcoming an addiction (social media, wine, bad reality TV, etc)
exercising or starting to eat healthy (i.e. going vegan)
buying a Self-Help book or bettering yourself in any way
trying to make a new friend
doing anything creative (redecorating your house, writing, painting, acting, learning a new language, etc.)
meditating or chanting
ending a toxic relationship
So how do we get her to shut the F'up? Well, the bad news is this voice is like a bad tattoo; you can make her less noticeable but she's never totally going away.
The first step in getting this chick to take several seats is to acknowledge that it's Debbie- not you, your intuition, or God- that's filling your head with doubt.
I'll give you some personal examples of times when this voice almost kept me from taking paths that my soul knew were necessary for my survival:
Moving from St. Louis to Chicago (terribly disappointing certain family members)
Marrying my fabulous, gorgeous, supportive, unconditionally-loving husband (this would have been a major fuck-up to walk away from)
Moving from Chicago to the suburbs of IL
Being vulnerable enough to ask some dope-ass moms to be my friends
Having 2 babies (MAJOR Resistance to this, whew!)
Moving to Southern California (terribly disappointing certain family members yet again)
Writing a book
Walking away from successful sales career to write said book
Starting a blog (something I'd always rolled my eyes at)
Let's get real- you are at WAR everyday. It's constantly going on inside your head.
On one side is the dream you have for your life.
On the other side is an opposing force that's sole mission is to stop your from doing what you're Soul wants you to do.
Ok, so now that we know what that voice is and when we can expect her to rudely plop her ass down on our mind-couch, let's talk about what she looks like:
Procrastination (watching TV, checking your phone for the 15th time in the last minute, calling someone to "vent" to, eating, drinking, reading trashy tabloid magazines, driving to Starbucks for your 3rd coffee of the day, etc.) Basically, anything that keeps you from doing what your Soul is begging you to do.
Any nasty internal dialogue that tells you you're nobody special, have nothing to offer, and you better just keep your tush right where it is. Don't go and do anything stupid like growing.
How do we push through Resistance?
By giving her the finger and doing whatever it is that we know we should be doing. It's by no means easy- but it's possible, and critical for your survival and happiness.
I mean, who wants to live some boring- ass, "less than" life anyway? That's no fun.
I, for one, don't want to teach my kids to always take the easy, comfortable route.
The other path might be hard, but come on ladies- I think we all know there's nothing we can't handle. We've all probably changed at least 1 diarrhea- filled, exploded diaper in the back of a car or on a plane.
Nothing can be much worse than that.