Getting Past your "Yeah, But…." Breaking Through Resistance

When I give my programs, in an all-day workshop or an opening keynote, the audience members always feel positive and upbeat after they experience the practice. They create their intentions, sign their contracts, and commit wholeheartedly to practicing for thirty days.

Then, a few days later I start getting emails about special projects, sick kids, unplanned trips, overwhelming remodel jobs, and all sorts of things going on in people’s lives. They plan to get to it after X, Y, or Z. For these people, so full of hope and promise initially at my program, resistance has won.

Here are my 6 steps to overcome your resistance:

1. Acknowledge

Acknowledge when your resistance comes up, in the form of excuses, rationalization, and “yeah, but”…without giving energy to analyze it. It isn’t so important to know why you aren’t doing it, as focusing on the reasons can be just another distraction. Acknowledge that you aren’t doing it and then choose to do it. In other words, don’t think; just do.

2. Visualize

Keep your intention in sight so you have a visual reminder of what is most important to you. Mark off the days you practice on your calendar so you can take credit for your commitment. Create a vision board with your intention statement and meaningful pictures and images. Place touchstone someplace you can see it every day to remember what matters most.

3. Prepare

Set yourself up for success by scheduling this practice every day, just like all the other appointments you make. Announce to your family members your new routine so they are not taken off guard. Lay all your yoga clothes out the night before. Be disciplined about getting to bed earlier so you can get up earlier. Before you go to bed, make the decision about when to get up, instead of waiting until the dark, cold morning when your alarm goes off. If you wait, the warm and comfortable bed will likely win.

4. Stay Present

Many of us experience resistance most when we are feeling overwhelmed and think of all the things we have to do, instead of focusing on what’s right here, right now. Be in the moment. This practice will help relieve your stress, worry, and feelings of being overwhelmed. You will have more time in your day because you will have more presence and focus.

5. Remember

“I always feel better when I take action.”

You have to remember why your deepest intention is so important, every day. Practicing every day reinforces how important your intention is, and remembering how important your intention is provides reinforcement for your practice every day. Implement the three-day rule. Never let resistance win for more than three days. I know from all of my coaching experience that one day becomes two, two become three, and then all of a sudden you realize you haven’t practiced for a month!

6. Commit Again

Repeat steps one to four again as necessary. As Fred from The Wonder Years sitcom says, “Change is never easy; you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go.” The persistence to commit again and again and again is the only way to overcome your resistance.

When you are willing to stay the course, even when it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, and even unorthodox, you will break through your old behaviors, patterns, and habits that are not working. When you overcome your resistance, you will remember how powerful, creative, and deserving you really are.

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