#18 - Resistance is Futile
And yet, we resist with all our might. We resist a change at work, in our relationships, in our diet, in our spending habits, in our schedule, in our attitude, in our life!
We won’t sell the house, despite the financial burden.
We won’t eat sensibly or exercise, in spite of the health scare.
We won’t consult this new team member who sits at a level higher now.
We just won’t.
In change management lingo, the downward slope we take once we are faced with an unsavory truth is called Resistance. The good news is when we sit at the bottom of the slope, there’s no way to go but up.
I was working with two individuals to help them settle their differences. One was a poster child for Resistance, the other for Resilience. Their operating system couldn’t have been more different.
Resistance: I don’t know why we are here. Nothing will ever change. There’ s nothing to discuss. I don’t understand this process. I don’t know what you mean. I disagree.
Resilience: I’m seeking help. I want to find a solution. Let’s talk it out. I know there are many perspectives. I want the situation to get better. I’m willing to try.
In Resistance, we’re focused on the past. We fear losing our position, our sense of competence, our familiar markers.
In Resilience, we’re moving forward through the confusion and uncertainty, even if it’s uncomfortable. We seek help, we move towards the future, even if we don’t have all the answers. We’re growing.
Over the years of dealing with individual and organizational clients, I’ve come to believe we have to walk the road of Resistance to make it to the land of Resilience. When we reach the crossroad between the Familiar and the New, resistance will rear up…and now we have a choice: Stay in Resistance a while longer, or move towards the New.
In my life I have seen two things happen that have helped me move towards the New.
1) I got tired of hearing myself whine! You know that tone of voice that starts to grate on your nerves, when you tell your Who-Is-Me Story, to everyone you know. Instead, make the choice to get still and listen for your other voice, the one that knows what you need.
2) Something or someone shows me that what I’m going through is temporary. Never a straight trajectory, your journey is in fact continuing, one step at a time. Trust its wisdom.
Next time you catch yourself defending, dramatizing, blaming, justifying, know that you’re in Resistance. Take a breath and stop. Remember who you are and have the potential of becoming. Know that with time, courage and compassion, you will definitely move towards the light. Remember you’ve successfully navigated change before, and you will again.