“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recently I was on a phone call with Brad Yates. Although I know this to be true, when he said it, it made me reflect again. He said (and I’m paraphrasing):
“To the extent that we are not living our lives exactly as we want—with the love and friendships we want, the abundance we want, and the happiness we are seeking—it’s to that extent we are resisting it.”
It’s that word again: resistance. What does it mean? What do we do about it?
Essentially, resistance is any thought, belief, or behavior, either conscious or unconscious, that stands contrary to our desire. On the surface, we can be doing positive affirmations, creative visualizations, and imagining our success. But in the end, we get what we expect. Every single time.
Sometimes it can be as simple as not believing that you can have what you want. That way of thinking places limitations on what is possible for you. You are restricting what could be with what you think will be. And you end up getting what you expect.
Your consciousness is a powerful tool. If you don’t believe you can have the thing you desire, it shows up as resistance, despite all the things you are doing to achieve your goals.
Okay, so, what to do about it?
Live in the possibility rather than the probability.
The reason anything is not happening in your life is because in one way or another, you are not yet lined up with it (you don’t think it’s possible, don’t think you’re worthy of it, or don’t think you can have it).
Here are a five helpful ways to deal with resistance:
1. Be honest with yourself.
Be clear on how you participate in the reality you continue to experience. Ask yourself: What limiting thought, belief, or pattern of behavior am I currently holding onto that is standing in the way of my desire? What story do I keep telling myself or others that affirms the current position I’m in?
What part of the equation am I participating in that continues to get me the same results? Because the truth is, you are always living your unconscious expectation. Becoming aware of your “status quo” will give you the first clue on where your work lies.
Take 100% responsibility for being the powerful creator that you are.
2. Stay out of self-judgment.
Just like in the acorn lives the potential of the oak tree, that which you are seeking is already within you.
None of this is a game to the finish line. Instead, use the resistance to point you to areas that need “clearing.” Use it as an opportunity to become more authentically who you already are. Nothing is outside of yourself.
Everything comes to you along your own path, as you are ready. Prepare yourself and be open to receive.
3. Do what you can do something about.
Let go of what you have no control over. Sometimes, becoming aware of your repetitive patterns is all that is required. But other times, we need to take additional action.
In A Course of Miracles, they say there are only two emotions: love and fear. If you are in a place of resistance about something, look for the fear behind it and find a way to dissipate it.
Meditation is one way, but so is arming yourself with knowledge, telling yourself a different story (i.e. stop scaring yourself), making phone calls, and getting into action.
4. Focus on something else.
When you’re thinking about the thing you want and why you want it so badly, resistance (belief, frustrations, thought, feeling, or unconscious beliefs) is usually present at the same time.
When you distract yourself entirely and think about something else that pleases you, you’re in much more of a relaxed place of allowing. And the universe can bring it to you with the least amount of resistance.
This is why people who fall in love finally drop the extra weight they’ve been carrying or get the promotion they’ve been wanting. They are in a place where they’re open to receiving.
Remember, things are delivered to us on our path, most of the time, pretty effortlessly. But we have to get out of the way and feel worthy of receiving them. That is our work.
5. Look for stories that help you change your expectations.
And repeat them often. Make them your new mantra. Instead of it never happens for me, it becomes if it can happen for them, it can happen for me.
Ask the universe to give you proof that what you want is possible and then take notice of what comes to you—in billboards, the books people hand you, the article you happen upon, the people you meet.
We often compare ourselves to where people are and don’t pay attention to who they were before they got there. There are plenty of rags to riches stories.
Joe Vitale was homeless before he became a multi-millionaire. Eckhart Tolle got all his epiphanies sitting on a park bench, as well, and then published them. Jack Canfield was a school teacher.
Look for the story that most resonates with where you are and let that be your new possibility. If it can happen for them, it can happen for you as well.
It’s a known fact that in a marathon, it’s not until someone breaks the record that everyone else, in short order, makes the same timing. Why? Because in that moment, their expectation of what was possible changed.
In other words, rise yourself above your own limiting thoughts, notice what stories and beliefs you continue to tell. Become aware of the ways you might hold yourself back from your desires and then let them go.
This is the work involved in releasing resistance.
The rest of the work is to surrender to your now. Bask in the glory that is your moment. Savor the experiences that continue to add to your life. And seek joy! Abraham-Hicks states that the optimum place of creating is “Happy with what is. Eager for more.”
In other words, the key to letting go of resistance is letting go of the expectation that you’re supposed to be anywhere other than where you already are, right now.
Things will change soon enough and they will find you along your path, as you are ready. But until then, enjoy here, now.
And prepare yourself to receive.
Photo by yosoynuts