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What’s One Thing in Your Life You Resist Doing, but Know You Shouldn't?

So I’m watching Game 7 of the Cub World Series win on YouTube. I never actually watched it on US soil as I was ascending the Himalayas at the time. It felt like a baseball kind of day and I thought what better game to watch than that one. Anywho, so my email dings as I received a response from a beta reader I hired to review Book 1 of my novel.

Her review was great, she really liked the writing and thought the story was wonderful – except there was something she advised which at first was like a punch to the gut. My body slumped and my mind went sour. My ego began searching for evidence on how to discredit her in other areas so that I could ultimately dilute then dismiss her critique. And yes, I’m paying this woman to help me.

I caught myself having this defensive reaction right in the middle of it. I teach others how to have and maintain a healthy mindset but I’m not running at 100% positivity ALL the damn time. I did however catch myself early on, only a few minutes after slipping into the defeated slump. This is where it gets cool, for me anyway because I geek out on mindset shifts/elevations

I’m bathing in a bath of bitterness when a raindrop of clarity bops me on the head. I see what my mind is trying to do – I wanted to receive a raving review glorifying my work and not have to “fix” it anymore.

“Flawless, absolutely flawless,” that’s what I wanted to hear instead of, “here’s what would improve these parts."

Defensiveness is a funny thing. Finding the need to defend yourself when your mind perceives you’re being attacked seems pretty normal, but is it? What exactly was I trying to defend, my work, my reputation, my identity? It’s not like any of those things are some fortress under attack.

After reading the book, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, I discovered that wherever I feel an internal resistance, is where my attention needs to be. Defensiveness = Resistance. There’s no two ways about it. So I took a deep breath in, asked myself what I was trying to defend, exhaled, and the answer came to me.

“You wanted this version of your novel to finally be done. Well then, that’s where the work needs to be.”

It’s not an easy process but it sure as shit beats the alternative of huffin’, puffin’, and pacin’ around defending the indefensible. Like cloud cover opening up on a rainy day, I felt lighter, refreshed, and focused. I was able to see her criticism for what it was, helpful and important. Not all of it, just the parts that irked me, and those are the parts I got to work on. And guess what happened? My work, the story, and the writing improved. But not only that, I felt free and even improved.

I noticed my resistance pretty much immediately, gave myself a moment to allow it to pass then went searching for the trigger. After discovering the trigger, I asked myself what I needed to do to fix it.

This mindset plays in every aspect of life and it will help you discover what may be holding you back from reaching your fullest potential. Here are the steps.

Leaning into Resistance

Step 1: What area of your life do you feel resistance in, what’s something you don’t want to do but feel that you should?

Step 2: The answer usually comes pretty quick, which is good. Take a deep breath and allow the resistance to bubble up then allow yourself to release it.

Step 3: Then ask yourself what’s the first step you can take TOWARDS investing in the thing you’re resisting.

Step 4: Take that step all the while proclaiming, “this is good for me and I believe in myself.”

Step 5: After taking the first step, ask yourself what’s the second and repeat.

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