Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Overcoming Resistance

I heard a speaker on Friday say that our internal resistance to change gets in our way more than anything else. He talked about goals and dreams and attitudes, and it was all very inspiring. But after hearing all of his great ideas about change and possibilities, I felt too overwhelmed to do anything at all. (He predicted this would happen.) 

So I drove home, ate lunch, put Daniel down for a nap and then tried to remember how I have overcome resistance in the past. My best trick is to think of the smallest possible step I can take. After a baby-induced hiatus, I wanted to get back to selling my novel. So I thought, okay, what’s the smallest possible step I can take in that direction? I decided I could just look for the list of agents I made last year. Walking up the stairs towards my office, I felt enormous resistance. Apparently, there is some biological basis for our minds wanting things to stay the same. My feet felt heavy, but I found the list. Then I looked at it, then I opened my query letter and started tinkering, and before I knew it, I had some momentum and was happily working.

The journey of a thousand miles does begin with the first step. And so often, if I can take the first step, I can take a second, third, and before I know it, I’m just walking. The speaker on Friday said you can either be in the game or at the game, and I want to be in it. As painful, scary or embarrassing as it is to try sometimes, I’d rather be wiping out in the water than sitting on the beach watching.

How do you overcome resistance?

1 comment:

carol brill said...

Julie, this post resonates with me. I often "trick" myself into starting something using the "just do this one little thing trick" Amazing how often it helps overcome the inertia or fear or resistance and I get pulled in