Tag Archives: resistance

The Truth About Being “Too Busy”

Back when I was a kid, I remember hearing adults always saying the words: “I’m too busy”.

“I can’t exercise because I’m too busy… I can’t go on vacation because I’m too busy… I can’t read that book because I’m too busy… I can’t work full time because I’m too busy,” I would hear them say.

As a pre-teen, I found this to be quite odd because, in my own observation, none of these adults were really that horribly busy.  I mean, they were spending at least 3 hours a night watching TV shows, watching movies, shopping for things that aren’t really necessities, reading novels, and checking and sending chain e-mails.  I knew plenty of other people who were more busy then they were and who were, in fact, doing all of those things that these adults proclaimed they were “too busy” for.

Of course, in this decade of the 2010’s, this has shifted a bit from the 90s.  Adults now spend more time surfing the web for hours, watching youtube videos, or doing things on their cell phone: texting, facebook-ing, tweeting, instagram-ing, timehop-ing, candy crush-ing, and so on.  Though we are more connected now than we have ever been, that same old habit of saying, “I’m too busy” is still very prevalent.

As adults, we have all, at some point or another, made this excuse in various ways and in various kinds of situations.

“I don’t have time to exercise…”

“I don’t have time to go to therapy…”

“I don’t have time to try out this diet…”

Though it is true that life as an adult requires many more demands and responsibilities, there’s a difference between actually “not having time” and “not trying to even make time”.

For many of us, when we are faced with an opportunity to change something about our lives or improve ourselves in some way, rather than to say, “Okay, I’ll make time” we experience inner resistance.  That inner resistance then surfaces by making a comment like “I don’t have time”.

This inner resistance can be rooted in a number of different causes.  Some of these causes include (but are not limited t0):

A limiting belief about how we generally don’t have time for anything other than work.

A fear of experiencing change because that means that we may have to feel a bit uncomfortable and have to change habits.

Denial of our issue that may need change. For example: We have a health problem, but we don’t want to change our diet to fix it because then we have to face the reality about our health problem.

A limiting belief that seeking out help is “weak”.

A fear of failure.

A fear that we may “not be good enough” if we try.

A limiting belief that “we are not worthy”.

A limiting belief that others matter more than we do or that we don’t “deserve” it, but others do.

And more!

We all have these kind of limiting beliefs and fears.  We can’t fully create change in our lives until we choose to face the fears and limiting beliefs that we have.

TooBusyCreateChange

Click to Tweet: We can’t fully create change in our lives until we choose to face the fears and limiting beliefs that we have. via @jenilyn8705

So how can we begin to do that and finally let go of the “I’m too busy” excuse so we can create happier and healthier lives for ourselves?  Here are 3 steps:

#1 – Recognize that you are experiencing an inner resistance.

The most vital key is to be able to recognize within yourself that you are experiencing a resistance.  This can be hard for many of us because we are caught up in the whole habit of saying things like “I’m too busy” and don’t think twice about what we say or do.

So take the time to pause for a moment and reflect on what you have been saying and doing.  Are you resisting change in your life in some way?  How so?

#2 – Ask yourself, “What beliefs or fears are causing this resistance?”

Do you fear change?  Are you in denial that change is needed?  Do you fear that you will fail or that you’re “not good enough”?  Get out a journal and write down whatever you think and feel may be going on for you internally to cause this inner resistance.

#3 – Find the time, then act!

Once you have recognized your inner resistance and identified your limiting beliefs and fears, find the time in your schedule to actually do the thing you’ve been putting off and take action!

Then once you act, continue to check in with yourself and notice what feelings come up for you.  What kind of mind-chatter is going on in your head?  Is it that now that you have started exercising you keep having thoughts of “I look ridiculous doing this!”?  Have you decided to take up painting but now that you are acting you notice all these thoughts of “I’m not good enough for this — I’m going to mess up!”?

Just simply recognize what thoughts come up for you, but don’t attach to them.  Don’t focus on them or give these thoughts any of your time and attention.  Simply recognize them, let them pass by in your mind, and continue taking action!

What is something that you always make the excuse “I’m too busy” for?  Share it in the comments below!

Overcoming Our Inner Resistance

I spent my weekend indulging in some serious self-care through creative expression practice. Friday night I dusted off my art supplies and did some watercolor painting with a friend. On Saturday I created a Christmas centerpiece for my dinner table.

This was the first time I watercolor painted in nearly a year and it’s been even longer since I have done a flower arrangement. Because of this, I had a lot of self-defeating thoughts like “I don’t know if I can do this” “What if I mess this up?” “Is this okay?”

This process was intensified because not only had it been a year since I’ve painted but it was also the first time that I was painting without my art teacher there to guide me. I was filled with anxiety and worry. Even the simple process of drawing took me over an hour simply because I was so worried about everything being “just right”.

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Many of us experience this all the time when we are creating anything. Whether it be writing a paper for school, doing yoga, or writing a song we experience this inner resistance that has this hidden underlying message of “you are not good enough”.

Steven Pressfield discusses this resistance in great detail in his book “The War of Art”. In this book, Pressfield shares the many ways that resistance manifests in our lives. Rather than create what our hearts’ truly desire, we allow our inner resistance to take over. We can experience this resistance by turning to things like procrastination, watching TV, drinking and drugs, sex, medications, the limiting beliefs of our culture, and so on.

We turn to these various things in our outer world in order to, basically, avoid creating and doing what we truly want because, deep down, we feel unworthy and incapable.

Resistance can be a very difficult thing to overcome and there is certainly no “one time” solution. Though we may not want to hear it, conquering resistance is a life-long process. No matter how many degrees, certifications, and credentials you have there is always going to be something within you coming up and saying “that’s not good enough”.

So how can we begin to overcome this inner resistance of ours so that we allow ourselves to create so we can experience fulfillment and happiness?

Create something every day.

Many of us have ideas or goals of things that we would like to do or create but the trouble is that many of these ideas are long term. It’s something like “Well, once I do X, Y, Z then I’d like to do this”. By making such long-term goals it doesn’t help to satisfy you in the present. In fact, it may actually cause you more stress and dissatisfaction because you have to wait to get there.

So come up with some easy activities that you can do for yourself today. It may be in line with your bigger long term goal or it may not, but do something!

Recognize how your resistance manifests itself.

Do you procrastinate? Do you turn on the TV rather than write your book? Do you study or read more than write your own ideas? Do you spend more time shopping or drinking rather than doing something that you really truly enjoy? Notice what your inner resistance is like and write it down in a journal. Then try to make a conscious effort in your day to day life to catch yourself when you feel inclined to resist creating.

Set a specific time frame to create.

Whatever it is that you want to do – write, paint, knit, decorate, or prepare to put together a project – set a specific time frame to work on that activity. Cur yourself off from any possible distractions, set a timer and then work on the activity or project without stopping. Having a specific time set can be very effective in making sure that you get done what you really want to get done.

Focus more on what you’re gaining from the process and less on the mess ups.

Because we are so inclined to resistance, we tend to focus more on our little mess ups and less on how great it is for us to be creating to begin with. Sure, it’s good to critique so that you can become better, but be patient and easy yourself. If it’s something you can edit, then take your time reflecting on it and make sure it “feels” right to you. If not, then appreciate what you’ve gained from the activity and focus on the next thing.

Know that you are worthy.

We are all worthy. We are all capable. Like Marianne Williamson said, “It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most”. Focus on allowing that light to emerge. The more you do that, then the happier and more fulfilled you will be.

LetYourselfFly

 

Start Overcoming Your Inner Resistance!

How do you stop yourself from creating or doing something that you really want to do?  What are some of your resistance habits?  Do you just go watch TV or go shopping?  Share your thoughts and experiences below!