Creating Resilient Cultures in Healthcare

The Fine Art of Resistance

Resistance is my favorite topic to discuss, and my most dreaded to experience.  We all encounter resistance on a daily basis, and the only way to work through it is to, well, work though it. Any discipline you want to cultivate in your life, whether it’s eating more healthfully, calling your mother more often, getting (and staying) organized, or engaging in a daily practice, will bring with it resistance.

What exactly is resistance? It is the struggle and strife we feel when we don’t want to do something, and it rears its ugly head in a myriad of ways, from avoidance to addiction, including:

  • Procrastination
  • Minimizing
  • Blame
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Paralysis
  • Distraction
  • Illness
  • Drama
  • Avoidance
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Overdoing
  • Addiction
  • Perfectionism
  • Rationalization
  • Narcissism
  • Low Energy
  • Self-Sabotage

It’s quite convenient to blame outside sources that keep us too busy to start or continue something that requires us to do our own internal work. Resistance helps us avoid acknowledging what we really want, who we really are, and what is most important.

I like to think of resistance as driving with the brakes on. Even if we know what is most important, we hesitate, procrastinate, and drag our feet by driving with the brakes on. Why? I believe it is because at the root of all resistance is fear.

We are not just afraid; in fact, we are terrified. We are terrified of losing ourselves and terrified of finding ourselves. Terrified of failure and terrified of success. We somehow feel safe and comfortable, even in all the discomfort of our less-than-satisfying lives. Resistance plays right into this false sense of comfort.

Once you accept resistance is part of the game, you can deal with it.

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