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.
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