Resistance: why it shows up when you are playing big
This week has been a very interesting one.
You may have noticed I re-launched A Conscious Beauty’s website – a brand-spanking new look with my face all over it. Was I busting out of my seat with excitement? Nup.
You see, one small but critical word, has been the devil on my shoulder:
Simply, resistance to revealing the true me to the world. Dancing me and me with face mask smeared all over it. That authentic kinda me.
As resistance was building, other (very important) areas of my life started to fall away. Things that are typically routine for me like nourishing food, regular exercise or even communicating with family and friends became a chore. Instead I chose to succumb to the back and forth, round and round thoughts. Suffering becomes pleasurable. And A Conscious Beauty graciously waited a whole week to be announced to the world.
I’m pretty sure my mean girl started showing up in the form of resistance as a teenager. Key experiences shaping the “will they like me” limiting belief which lead me down a slippery slope to resistance in my early 20’s.
Picture this cocktail: all girls school, mixed with puberty (aka hormones, boobs or lack of in my case and sex), mixed with media stereotypes like Britney Spears – someone’s not going to fit the mould. While I thought I did, for some reason I didn’t and so began several years of not really fitting in. I moved from group of friends, to group of friends, one after the other. Constant rejection. I started to do everything possible to fit in, wearing makeup, going to parties and even a rugby playing boyfriend by my side.
Years of this go by and my subconscious “mean girl” would say – “if I show my true self, will they really like me”? My experience was telling me they wouldn’t.
Fast forward to this week, I spend days toying with the right time to formally re-launch the site. Sure enough, this was actually resistance showing up, and it was digging me a shallow grave.
Then a irony blindsided me. I was re-reading an interview I had put together for a good friend. One of the questions asked what my two favourite qualities in a person were? The answer:
Authenticity and Vulnerability.
Yet I couldn’t even display these very qualities in myself. Why? because they are the enemies of resistance.
As fate had it, while battling resistance, I started to immerse myself in Steven Pressfield’s book – The War of Art. Like magic, everything started to make sense.
Steven explains: when resistance shows up as fear or self-doubt it…
"serves as an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it"
Rather than condemning myself to death by resistance, I realised resistance was actually telling me “you got this babe” because if I didn’t get my face out there soon, how was I ever going to share what I loved with the world?
So, if like me, resistance is seeping it’s way in and piling up like the washing next to your bed, stopping you from playing big then here are a few simple tricks on how you can potentially beat it back:
// Take action: you don’t have to take leaps and bounds to hit resistance in the face, simple small actions are as effective. It could be as simple as meeting up with a mentor for a coffee to find out more about a new path you want to take.
// Maintain your routine: I have a few morning rituals that prepare my mind and body for the day ahead, they centre me and nourish me.
// Move: Without movement everything becomes stagnant. Most importantly, it is anchored to my desires – allowing me the space to be creative. Sounds like you? Well I’ve written here about the connection between creativity and movement, just for you.
// Look after your digestion: you are what you think, and if your gut isn’t on form chances are your thoughts will get a little crappy too. If resistance is beating you down big time, soon your immunity will be on the pavement too.
Image care of Milada Vigerova