May 25, 2023
The Power of Overcoming Resistance: Unlocking Growth and Building Strong Relationships
In our journey through life, we often encounter resistance. Whether it’s resistance to change, new ideas, or even difficult conversations, resistance can slow or even stop our growth and create barriers in our relationships. In our recent podcast on episode #82 of Mindset Matters Steffany and I explored the concept of resistance, its impact on our mindset, and how it influences our ability to communicate and build meaningful connections. Our intention was to have listeners consider that by understanding and bringing our awareness to resistance, we have the opportunity to open the door to our greater potential and develop a positive and growth mindset.
Resistance can be defined as the refusal to accept or comply with something, either through action or argument. It is the force that arises when we are confronted with ideas, situations, or emotions that challenge our beliefs or comfort zones. Resistance can manifest as a physical sensation in our bodies, such as tension, tightness, or unease. It often stems from a fear of the unknown, a desire to protect our ego, or a reluctance to let go of familiar patterns.
Resistance can take various forms in our lives. It can show up in our personal goals, where we encounter self-imposed limitations or fear of failure. It can arise in our professional pursuits, where we resist taking risks or stepping out of our comfort zones. Resistance can also affect our relationships, leading to arguments, misunderstandings, and an unwillingness to consider different perspectives. By identifying and understanding the root causes of resistance, we can begin to address and overcome it.
The Relationship Between Resistance and Mindset:
Our mindset plays a crucial role in how we perceive and respond to resistance. When we adopt a fixed mindset, we are more likely to resist change, view failures as permanent, and shy away from challenges. On the other hand, a growth mindset allows us to embrace challenges, see failures as learning opportunities, and approach resistance with curiosity and openness. Cultivating a growth mindset can help us develop resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to explore new possibilities.
Overcoming Resistance in Communication:
Communication is an area where resistance often shows up, especially during heated debates or disagreements. Instead of approaching these situations with a mindset of “I must be right, and you must be wrong,” we can choose to let go of resistance and create a space for productive and respectful dialogue. This involves actively listening, empathizing with others’ perspectives, and being open to the possibility of finding common ground. By recognizing and addressing our own resistance, we can foster healthier and more meaningful relationships.
The Power of Self-Reflection:
Self-reflection is a powerful tool for identifying and addressing resistance. By examining and bringing our awareness to our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, we can uncover the underlying reasons behind our resistance. Are we afraid of judgment or of being wrong? Are we holding onto limiting beliefs? Through self-reflection, we can gain clarity and begin to challenge and transform these resistant patterns. This process allows us to embrace growth, expand our comfort zones, and open ourselves to new opportunities.
Embracing the Journey:
Overcoming resistance is not always easy, but it is an essential part of personal and interpersonal growth. It requires self-awareness, vulnerability, and a willingness to step outside of our comfort zones. When we embrace the journey of self-discovery and actively work to dissolve resistance, we create space for personal transformation and stronger relationships. Remember, resistance is (actually not) futile; in fact it’s an opportunity for growth and positive change.
Here’s The Thing:
Our mindset matters when it comes to navigating resistance in our lives. By recognizing and addressing our resistance, we are cultivating a growth mindset, to overcome challenges, and build stronger relationships. Through self-reflection and a willingness to explore new possibilities, we can embrace personal and interpersonal growth. So, let’s embark on the journey together, bring your awareness to identifying and dissolving resistance, and unlocking your full potential.
Keep in Mind:
Remember you’re going to put yourself out there and have to stretch your comfort zone and potentially face criticism or judgment by family, friends, peers. It’s a natural instinct to resist such situations.
Here’s the other thing: growth and transformation happen outside of our comfort zones, like strengthening a muscle, it must lift heavier weight. If we constantly resist stepping into the unknown, of lifting that heavier weight, we limit our potential for growth and miss out on incredible opportunities. It takes courage to acknowledge our resistance and push past it.
In the context of relationships, resistance can also be detrimental. When we engage in arguments or heated debates, we often become focused on being right and proving the other person wrong. This resistance to understanding the other person’s perspective can create a communication barrier and strain the relationship.
Instead, it’s important to approach disagreements with an open mind and a willingness to listen and understand. By letting go of the need to be right and embracing empathy and compassion, we can foster healthier and more productive conversations. This doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything, but it means valuing the relationship and seeking common ground rather than clinging to our own viewpoints.
Resistance can manifest physically as well. As Steffany mentioned, she feels tension in her body when she resists something. This physical manifestation is often a signal from our intuition or inner wisdom that something is off. It’s a reminder to pause, reflect, and explore what lies beneath the resistance. By paying attention to these physical cues, we can gain insights into our emotions, thoughts, and beliefs that may be driving our resistance.
To overcome resistance, we need to cultivate self-awareness and a growth mindset. Self-awareness allows us to recognize when we’re resisting and explore the underlying reasons. It helps us identify patterns and triggers that contribute to our resistance. With this awareness, we can consciously choose to let go of resistance and embrace a mindset of openness and curiosity.
A growth mindset, as popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck, is the belief that our abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and effort. It’s the understanding that challenges and setbacks are opportunities for learning and growth, rather than indications of failure or inadequacy. By adopting a growth mindset, we can view resistance as a steppingstone towards personal and professional development.
So, how can we work on shifting our mindset and overcoming resistance? Here are a few strategies:
Cultivate self-reflection: Take time to reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Notice when resistance arises and explore the underlying reasons. Ask yourself what you’re resisting and why. Be honest with yourself and challenge any limiting beliefs or fears that may be holding you back.
Practice mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. These practices help you become more present and attuned to your body’s signals. They can also help you detach from your thoughts and observe them without judgment, allowing you to gain clarity and insight into your resistance.
Embrace discomfort: Understand that growth requires stepping out of your comfort zone. Embrace discomfort as a necessary part of the journey towards personal and professional development. Take small steps outside your comfort zone regularly and celebrate your achievements along the way.
Seek support: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, mentors, or coaches who can provide guidance and encouragement. Share your goals and aspirations with them, and seek their insights when you encounter resistance. Having a support system can make the journey much more manageable and enjoyable.
Set realistic goals: Remember there are NO unrealistic goals, just unrealistic timelines.
Break your goals down into smaller, achievable steps. This not only helps you stay motivated but also reduces the resistance that may arise from feeling overwhelmed. Celebrate your progress along the way, as each small step brings you closer to your desired outcome.
Remember, your mindset matters and starts by cultivating and developing the skill of self-awareness.