Last week, I wrote about the 7 signs that indicate you’re on the right path.
But sometimes, even when all the signs are firing away on full blast… even when your body is telling you, “Yes! This is SO the right choice”… even when everything is lining up perfectly and the universe is practically screaming, “GO!”…
Sometimes, even then, you feel totally resistant and stuck.
Think: being given a free trip to Italy, all expenses paid, and yet somehow, pulling out some fearful excuse about why you can’t go.
(“But what if my teenagers get stranded at the mall, and dad can’t pick them up, and the buses are running late, and there’s a snow storm, and, and, and…?”)
Ugh. Resistance is such a buzzkill.
And I know — because I had to move a boulder-sized block of resistance out of my brain, just a few weeks ago.
Here’s what happened:
My son Ryan and I were debating, for the zillionth time, whether it would be a good idea for us to spend a month together, in Thailand.
I wanted to go (because, hello? James Bond Island!).
He wanted to go (because he’s extremely passionate about Muay Thai and Thailand is one of the best places in the world for that particular kind of martial arts training).
He’s enrolled in online high school and I run a mostly-online business, so both of us world be able to continue our studies and work, while we’re there.
There weren’t really any obstacles or reasons to be resistant.
And yet, I kept inventing them.
What about civil unrest? I wondered, fearfully. Or the language barrier? Or the currency exchange rate? What if my son winds up in a Thai prison? What if my husband and teenage daughter feel lonely, or can’t function without me? Besides, Ryan can study Muay Thai right here at home. There’s a training studio right down the street…
Finally, I began to realize how ridiculous I was being.
So, I took the time to coach myself through it.
Starting with these 3 questions:
1. Is this truly a BAD idea? Or is it a GOOD idea that I’m convincing myself is a bad one… because I’m afraid?
Bad ideas feel… icky. They make you feel creepy, uneasy, unsettled… like walking down a dark alleyway at night, and having that icky feeling in your stomach like something’s just not right. Bad ideas also tend to make you feel resentful — like you’re bitter and exhausted, just contemplating the possibility of saying YES.
Good ideas feel… delicious. They make you feel excited, enthusiastic and turned on… like Oprah just gave you a personal phone call. Nervous? Sure! It’s freaking Oprah! But the nerves feel good, too. Energizing you. Motivating you. Not depleting you.
Your brain will often try to trick you, though — heaping on lots of fears, smothering a perfectly good idea, making you think it’s a bad one. But deep down, you know the difference. Tune in. Trust that your good ideas… really are good ones.
2. If I was describing this situation to someone I admire, would I be super embarrassed?
Imagine that Oprah, Ellen, Tina Fey, Beyoncé, Michelle Obama or insert-hero-of-your-choosing is sitting on your couch, at home.
“Soooo?” your hero says, with a smile. “I hear that you’re thinking about doing ________. I’m so proud of you! It sounds like everything is lining up for you! So what’s next?”
And you go, “Ohhh, I don’t know, I don’t think I can because [insert lame excuse here].”
Oprah frowns. And… you’re super embarrassed. Because you just realized how lame-o you sound. Resistance, begone!
3. What are the exact fears I’m having, and how can I resolve them?
Worried that applying for a visa to visit a foreign country is gonna be a total nightmare? Ring up the embassy and spend ten minutes talking to a pro, to put your mind at ease.
Worried that you can’t afford to quit your job and focus on your side-business? Crunch the numbers and figure out how much you need to save up, to feel safe.
Worried that your spouse will feel hurt if you decide to do ________? Have an honest conversation and find out if that’s actually true. (It could be all in your mind.)
Resistance is like a lame, soul-sucking, Debbie Downer friend who doesn’t really have your best interests at heart.
Resistance will always try to hold you back from having the life that you want…
if you let it run rampant.
Take back your power. Work through those fears.
And, as always, if you need a coach and bad-assery activator to help you get through it… I’m here.
Susan “Totally In Thailand” Hyatt
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