How To Eradicate Your Inner Resistance With Self-Awareness

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(Special Note: On Monday, April 1, my 4-week interactive Path to Passion course opens for registration. I will announce the winner of free entrance into the course at the bottom of this post. If you desire to take the course but have a financial hardship, please contact me at [email protected])

Have you ever noticed how there are two people inside of you?

There is the you with great intentions. And then there’s the you who actively resists those intentions.

Let’s call these two you’s The Creator and The Resistor.

The Creator is the you who . . .

  • wants to be fit and healthy and is determined to begin an exercise and/or healthy eating regime;
  • is determined to finish writing that novel, learn a new language, start taking guitar lessons, or save for that adventure;
  • really wants to be a better spouse, parent, child, friend, or employee;
  • dreams of a passionate life, an exciting and fulfilling job, and a sense of purpose.

Essentially, The Creator is your highest self, the best version of who you are inside and who you could be on the outside. The Creator is the dreamer of dreams, the creative genius, the planner, the soul manifestor, the expression of your life force.

The Resistor is the you who . . .

  • reminds you how comfortable and cozy you are watching TV rather than going to the gym;
  • compels you to go ahead and finish off that bag of cookies because no one is looking anyway;
  • lures you with distractions and make-work when you could be practicing your lessons, taking a class, or writing your resume;
  • makes excuses about why it’s OK to stay late at work rather than get home to your family, or allows the angry words to slip out, or tells you it’s fine to wait another week to call your mom;
  • whispers negative and fearful thoughts into your mind when you think about changing jobs, finding your passion, recreating your life to match your true values.

The Resistor is essentially the ego you, the part of you who wants it easy and safe. It’s the part of you who wants to defend your turf, entrench yourself in limitations, run away from the unknown, and avoid uncertainty.

The Battle

You’ve probably notice that The Creator and The Resistor are constantly at battle inside of you. While The Creator is busy dreaming dreams, making plans, and envisioning a better you, The Resistor is skulking in the background, waiting to launch an internal coup d’etat.

Very rarely does The Creator come up with a beautiful plan that The Resistor doesn’t swoop in and crush it. In fact, much of the time The Resistor will ruin the plan before The Creator has a chance to implement any part of it.

But let’s say The Creator is highly-motivated and inspired. For example, let’s say The Creator has devised a plan for you to start running regularly. So at The Creator’s behest, you’ve purchased new running shoes, decided you will run every afternoon at 5:00, and announced your intentions to your family.

The first day, you and The Creator are sprinting along joyfully, feeling strong and healthy and determined. But by the end of the first week, The Resistor is running along behind you, telling you how much it hurts and how tired you are. Then the next day it rains or something else comes up at 5:00. The Resistor seizes control, and you and The Creator have lost the battle.

So if The Creator is a power for good and The Resistor is a power for suffering and shame, why then does The Resistor win the internal battle so often? Why do our best laid plans so often go awry?

I’m not convinced the answer is vital to the resolution, but perhaps it’s worth examining for a moment. I believe it all comes down to fear of mental, emotional, or physical suffering.

  • We resist exercising because we don’t want to experience the physical discomfort and the potential shame if we quit.
  • We resist learning or practicing because we don’t want to experience the mental stretch, the boredom, or tedium it might require.
  • We resist making things right in our relationships because we don’t want to feel guilt, deal with the emotional exposure, or feel the embarrassment of admitting our weaknesses.
  • We resist pursuing our life passion because we can’t tolerate the uncertainty and risk involved. We fear we might lose everything. We fear we don’t have what it takes.

These are all good reasons for giving away our power to The Resistor. If  you’ve ever experienced pain (mental, physical, or emotional), you know that pain is painful. It does not feel good. You don’t like it and you certainly want no more of it.

But here are two important concepts I believe to be true:

  • Most of the things we believe will be painful are not nearly as painful as we fear they will be. Sometimes they aren’t painful at all.
  • There are times we must choose to experience something painful in order to create better lives for ourselves. We must see how the benefits of the better life outweigh the experience of pain.

As I mentioned earlier, knowing why we are resistant and the truths about pain are nice ideas, but they don’t give you anything practical to use against resistance.

If you want to eradicate your inner resistance, you must empower The Creator. Here are some thoughts . . .

Understand the “why”

If there is something The Creator in you wants to achieve or change, ask yourself why. What is the core value or need this goal supports? Assign greater meaning and a sense of purpose to what you want to achieve. You want to exercise because you value health and see your body as an outward expression of your soul. You want to learn the guitar because creative expression is a huge part of your authentic self. Attach your goals to your values in order to breathe your inner Creator’s spirit into them.

Be realistic about the pain and your tolerance for it

Whatever you are hoping to achieve, do the mental work to figure out what’s really involved. Do some research and reading. Talk to other people who are doing it. Learn what you can about what it takes. Does it appear to be as bad as you feared? Armed with that knowledge, you can be realistic about the pain or discomfort involved.

Can you tolerate huffing and puffing for a 30 minute run today? Can you tolerate focusing for an hour to practice? Can you tolerate getting the stink-eye from your boss when you say you must leave work to go to your daughter’s soccer game? Can you tolerate not knowing for sure that starting a new business will pay you as much as your job now?

Create a Do-Able Plan

Once you decide what you can tolerate, start slow and small. Break down actions into easy, manageable pieces. If you are beginning something new that requires training or practice, start with just a few minutes a day and build up to your highest tolerance level. It’s hard for The Resistor to resist something so easy. As you gain momentum and reinforce habits, you will find The Resistor has less and less power.

Remember, action is the weapon of The Creator. Thinking is the weapon of The Reactor. Thinking is productive only to figure out the appropriate actions.

Give all of your attention to The Creator

The more you listen to and follow The Creator, the more powerful it will become. Actually visualize The Creator as your highest self, sitting on your shoulder at all times. If The Resistor hops up on the other shoulder, brush it off. The Creator will offer you the ideas, inspirations, and dreams. But The Creator can also give you the focus, courage, and energy to do what needs to be done to create a better life for yourself and to become a better person.

Any time you falter, ask The Creator to remind you why you are pursuing this goal. Ask The Creator to reinforce the truth about the amount of pain involved. Ask The Creator to give you the energy and courage to do what needs to be done. Put your faith in your highest self, and you will find your inner resistance will fade away.


Who has more power in your life, The Creator or The Resistor? Where are you allowing The Resistor to hold you back from your best life? Please share your thoughts in the comments below and share this post on social media 


The Path to Passion Course Winner: Congratulations to Heather who is the winner of free entrance into the course. If you want to join the course, but you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact me at [email protected]

If you want to discover The Simple Step-by-Step Formula That Finally Reveals Your True Passion, I invite you to join my 4-week interactive course, The Path to Passion, beginning April 6. Sign up on the wait list now to receive an early notification of course registration. (Signing up for the wait list does not obligate you to register.)

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Comments

  1. Hi Barrie

    Wow. What a wonderful article.

    My favorite piece of gold: “Remember, action is the weapon of The Creator. Thinking is the weapon of The Reactor.”

    Whenever I get stuck in my brain, suddenly everything’s too hard and nothing’s possible, fear rises up and courage takes a beating.

    But you are so damn right. When I take action, even the smallest of steps, I can see and feel that lightness again. I also love your suggestion to remember your core values and reasons for doing something, to always link it back.

    Thank you for continuing to inspire me to keep going, to keep taking action. Just yesterday I told my boss that I want to go 4 days/week and work on my passion. I have never been so honest, so vulnerable and so damn, well, ok about it all. My boss was incredibly receptive and supportive so we shall see.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
    Big hugs,
    Leah :)

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Leah,
      I am so glad the post resonated with you! And how absolutely courageous and wonderful that you approach your boss with that request. Isn’t it surprising how people sometimes step up with positive reinforcement and support when you fear they will shoot you down? That’s fantastic.

  2. Very interesting method of typifying, Barrie. Great post!

  3. Yeah, just let it go. All by we can and we don’t waste more time to do what we want. You have great remind.

  4. Hello Barrie,
    Very good post. Everyday I can feel the two ‘guys’ at work in me. The creator creates very positive thoughts and ideas that makes me feel inspired, motivated and ready to work towards achieving my passion. Sometimes down the road the resistor shows up and glosses over everything. Doubts, shame and guilt occasionally sets in and my energy levels plummet. The recovery path is the harder part but I try to crawl back and still focus on my goals.
    Thanks for everything.
    Murigi

  5. Hi Barrie,

    I’m glad I read this article, it really puts things into perspective and explains whats going on in my life at the moment, something I thought I was experiencing alone, and made me very depressed. Now I see that everyone experiences it and it is how you deal with these thoughts and emotions. Putting your methods into practice certainly helps me from getting wrapped up in my own thoughts, listening to ‘the reactor’ and going crazy! I’m only 21 but I feel that I can start afresh after (long teen years of) misunderstanding my emotions and how you often tend to beat yourself up, I can transform my life with mindfulness. This sort of article gives me inspiration to keep going, I liked the part about imagining your better self on your shoulder, that will definitely help me. I am starting to take control of my life and realize I do have good qualities and I can be the ‘better me’. I’m changing my mind, my health and my passion. I’m glad I found your website to guide me through the change.

    Thanks again,

    Tamsin

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Tamsin,
      No, you are not alone. Our thoughts are our worst enemies sometimes. Do more reading on mindfulness — it will likely help you even more. Any of Eckhart Tolle’s books are great. Every day take action toward your goals. Forward moving action is the best cure for being wrapped up in your thoughts.

  6. This article was helpful and I am enjoying your blog. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety my whole life and it got severly worse when my parents found out I was gay. After enduring conversion therapy from the time I 16-18 my parents just kicked me out and I don’t think I ever recovered. I started to abuse alcohol about a year ago and have been without a drink for 72 days now and have started talk-therapy with a counselor. I feel so stagnate and lost right now, like I don’t know how to be a real person. The resistor is strong in me and I will definitely bring these concepts up with my counselor next time. Thanks for doing what you do, your blog gives me some hope.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Jake,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to feel like you can’t be who you really are and to be rejected by your parents for that. I am so very glad you are seeing a counselor and hope you will continue to do so. That is such a proactive, life-affirming decision, as well as your determination to stop drinking — so bravo for you! You need to surround yourself with people who accept you for the amazing person you are and support you. I hope you can find those people where you live, and if not — I hope you will move to a place where you can find those people. Life is too short to spend it trying to please other people or win the love of your parents if they don’t offer it freely. As you begin to heal through your therapy, continue to live authentically and surround yourself with people who live that way as well. Shame, guilt, and judgement don’t need to be part of your life. Wishing you much happiness and a life filled with love.

  7. Jackie Hinton says:

    Hi, i love your site it has been very usable to me. I’m an aspiring writer, My niche is personal growth.An i luv it.Keep up the wonderful work.

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  1. [...] phrases like self-awareness, being fully-conscious, having emotional intelligence, being evolved,  and living authentically [...]

  2. […] and I try to force myself to choose or decide or act, every fiber of my being launches into resistance mode. A mental barricade slams down just as I’m trying to get some traction. All I can see in […]

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