I want to talk about the connection between resistance and productivity this week. Often when we think we need better time management skills or habits, what we really need is to explore our relationship with resistance.
Do you ever find yourself looking at your to-do list and feeling
c. Confused, or
I do. It happened to me this week and I wanted to share what happened and how I moved through my resistance in order to get back into action.
Taking consistent action is the key to building a successful and profitable business.
What stops us from taking action? Any one of the feelings above can stop us in our tracks. Let me share what this looks like and a possible solution for each feeling; then I will share my personal story of how resistance stopped me this week.
If you look at your to-do list and you feel overwhelmed it’s because you don’t have a clear plan of action. Overwhelm flows from trying to do too much rather than focusing in on the most essential tasks to move you forward.
The antidote to overwhelm is clarity and a clear plan of action.
Perhaps you are looking at your to-do list and you see something like “collect a late client payment” or “follow up with Susie about my programs” and you instantly experience feelings of fear, anxiety or abject terror at the thought of picking up the phone and making that call.
I am sure you have heard the phrase “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Easier said than done, isn’t it? Fear is often the root of our resistance and the most insidious. It is so easy to avoid the actions that make us afraid.
The antidote to feeling terrified is belief – not absence of fear.
Belief in yourself flows from confidence and knowing that your work matters, that you matter. It also flows from knowing your big why and staying focused on the change you want to make in the world.
This is the core of the creative entrepreneur’s journey to success.
The golden nugget.
The aha moment.
If you don’t believe you can, you can’t, you won’t: you will hide, procrastinate and avoid your most important work.
That’s why all of our programs including our Creative Business Accelerator focus on both strategy and mindset. These are the two parallel paths me must explore on our business journey.
Understanding WHY you are resisting certain actions on your to-do list will help you to be gentle with yourself, acknowledge your feelings and take action anyway.
What happens when you look at your to-do list and you feel confused?
Confusion is a sneaky one. Confusion can be a mask for fear or for lack of clarity. It can also simply be a sign that you need more education or training or more information before you can take action.
Be sure to ask yourself what you need if you are feeling confused:
a. A better plan for moving forward?
b. More education or information?
c. Is confusion a mask for your fear of taking action?
Are you surprised to find anger on this list?
Do you ever look at your to-do list and feel royally pissed off because it is so long. You are trying to do so much and you already feel burnt out and exhausted? You have no support and are trying to do everything on your own.
Say hello to your Inner Rebel – we all have one.
My Inner Rebel is a badass, motorcycle riding, leather jacket wearing lady version of James Dean who doesn’t give a flip.
My Inner Rebel gets super annoyed whenever someone says you “should” do this or you “should” do that. Or when she feels like she is doing too much and surely she should be able to get some help around here. That Inner Rebel can also get pretty touchy when she feels like other people’s expectations that she can do it all and should do it all interfere with her need for freedom and time to play.
What is the antidote to anger?
Make peace with your Inner Rebel. Take time to visualize, journal and connect with this part of yourself that wants to be heard.
Your Inner Rebel loves a good plan, too, as long as that plan includes some free time to play, create or just be. All work and no play will lead to a very upset Inner Rebel.
3 Ways Your Resistance is Killing Your Productivity
The three specific ways that resistance is killing your productivity are:
1. Not identifying and making peace with the feelings that are underneath resistance so you can move forward
2. Not having a clear plan of action for your business creates
overwhelm and will keep you feeling stuck and confused
3. Allowing your Inner Rebel to run the show instead of your Inner CEO
I wish I could tell you that there was a simple “fix” for each of these areas of resistance. There’s not. Business is a complicated game that requires passion, conviction, and belief combined with strategy and know-how.
Awareness is the first step on the path to success.
I wanted to share what happened to me this week that had me thinking deeply about the topic of resistance.
I am currently enrolled in a Creative Depth Coaching Certification program. It’s a great course that combines academic knowledge with art. The content has been stretching my brain in good ways.
Month one was great. I dove into the content with enthusiasm and delight, flew threw the lessons and waited eagerly for month two content to arrive in my inbox.
Once it did, I excitedly opened the PDF file and started reading. The topic this month is about grief and loss. The content is really good, I read through all 45 pages. Then I completely shut down. Avoided the homework. Half listened on the live call. Tiptoed around my iPad like it had the flu.
I wasn’t doing any of this consciously until I realized how much time had gone by since I had looked at the online forum.
I am a good student and chronic overachiever. My fear of getting behind was bigger than my resistance. So I snuck a look again at the homework. Started to take some baby bites and came face to face with my feelings.
I discovered that I have some deeply rooted feelings of grief and underneath that grief is a well of anger. I noticed that well felt so deep that I was afraid of falling into it and not being able to get back out. No wonder I was avoiding doing the homework.
On a recent walk with my husband Brad I explored my resistance and some of the stories around grief and anger that I was telling myself: it’s not okay to get angry, there’s no time to grieve, your emotions are too much, it’s not safe to share.
Being able to speak my resistance out loud was step one in moving through it so I could step into action.
Once I was clear about why I was resisting, it was easier to do some of the assignments and share the stories with others in our online classroom. The feelings are still there but by acknowledging them and giving them time and space to express themselves, I stopped being afraid of them or worrying that I would be overwhelmed by them.
Here’s the short process for overcoming resistance that I use:
1. Notice when you are feeling resistance. This might look like the items on your to-do list that are never getting done even though they are important.
2. Identify the feeling underneath resistance. Name the feeling, explore the feeling, share the feeling with a trusted friend or write about it in your journal.
3. Decide what you need to do next. Do you need support? Education? A plan?
4. Commit to taking one small action today. Don’t go to bed until you take this action.
This may be a daily ritual for a while as you move through resistance along your personal path to success.
And if you know you need some business know how combined with mindset support, consider joining us in the Creative Business Accelerator. We can walk the path together. You do not need to do this alone. I believe that we grow faster when we grow together.