My Resistance Is In

15 steps to know if you are in resistance:

1)    You’re too busy
2)   You procrastinate
3)    You’re scared into inaction
4)    You defer decisions
5)    You lose interest
6)    You’re forgetful
7)    You’re disorganized
8)   You fog up, space out
9)    You feel paralyzed
10) You find reasons not to act
11)  Your impatient
12) You're too old/too young
13) You're too tired
14)  Other people say you can’t do that
15)  The economy is bad.

When you want to go from point A to point B, whether you're trying a new marketing campaign, losing 10 pounds, eating more veggies, or creating an intention map (a budget), resistance is sure to set in.  It is having the human experience.  We crave comfort and the familiar. And here is the real dirty little secret -- the closer you get to meeting your goal, the louder resistance will become.

No worries – just recognize it for what it is.  The best way to bust through resistance is to break the next task down into the one thing that you can do that will move you toward point B and, like Nike says, “Just do it”.

The Real Cost of Your Fear of Fear

Recently I read a blog post by Seth Godin about avoiding fear. It hit me smack in the face. Probably because I was in Washington D C getting ready to do some advocacy on Capitol Hill.  We had been trained, and my job now was to review my notes and practice my talking points in front of the mirror. Instant Fear. How can I distract myself?

When I was in school, I always knew when it was finals week. That was the week my oven really needed to be cleaned.  Mind you it was not an issue any other week during the term. This had nothing to do with the oven.  It had everything to do with avoiding the fear that I might feel; fear because there was a test coming up.

This is something we do a thousand times a day in tiny ways. We don’t speak up in a meeting, open the envelope with our Visa bill, project our next month cash flow, ask for clarification, have a conversation with someone that needs to be had, get on the scales.  We are scared of being scared!  So we give up, pass up, avoid, gloss over all those little opportunities that would move us forward in life-changing ways just to avoid the emotion of fear.

Now that I see it for the opportunity-robbing energy suck that it is, I have made it a daily challenge to push through at least one thing every day that scares me. 

The real cost of your fear of fear.What about you?

What odyssey are you on?

A few days ago in my meditations I heard the word odyssey used in context as a life-long journey filled with new ideas and growth at every turn.  I loved this.  I was feeling a bit anxious at the time and the idea immediately settled my snake brain down.  If you that don’t know what your snake brain is, think "fight or flight".  It is the part of the brain that reacts rather than thinks.  Its job is safety first, and it can create high anxiety.  

I started thinking about how much more interesting the day is when on a life-long odyssey vs just another day in my life.  Everything that happens becomes part of the bigger, richer adventure of our life story.  Every person we meet, everything we read, every place we go, is all part of the journey.  This makes each challenge, experience, conversation, bite eaten, or emotion felt part of our odyssey. Where we go becomes our choice.  Is our journey going in circles like those poor hard-working mice on the treadmill, or are we crossing new vistas, climbing to new heights, busting through new fears to have new experiences?  I’ll save you a seat on the new frontier.

33 Variations of a Theme

Have you ever gone to an event that took your breath away? And you couldn’t get it out of your mind for days? That is how I felt after seeing the play 33 Variations of a Theme at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea MI a few weeks ago. I’m still thinking about it.  Why?

The story is about a woman who is a music PhD of something. She is on a mission to understand why Beethoven spent so much time writing 33 variations of a simple waltz written by a publisher that was to be a contest for the musicians in his day.  What was intended to be a month-long project became an obsession that lasted several years. The musician wanted to understand why. The thought of the day was that he hated the publisher's theme and had to show it for the crap that it was, but as she studied every document she could find, including volumes of Beethoven’s musical iterations, she came to the conclusion that it wasn’t an ego thing at all for the maestro. It was as if the theme itself said, "I have enough raw inspiration here for you to create 33 variations of me, each of which will be glorious!" Beethoven was driven to write the music until the music itself said it was finished.

There are a few things that have me captivated. Today’s conversation will start with the way Beethoven couldn’t stop writing the variations. It wasn’t a decision he consciously made. They had to be expressed, and they weren’t done until they were done. It was about what he was feeling at a soul level. I think of each person I have had the privilege of working with, and how my favorite clients have that internal knowing that demands their “music” is expressed through the work they do, or the life they live. That kind of passion is a gift. I get that, because of their burning desire, I get to do what I have to do. How cool is that?

Are You Choosing Confusion Land?

As I was debating what to write about this week, I found myself jumping from idea to idea.  With each thought I'd hear that voice in my head say, "Oh, no one wants to hear about that.", or “That is SO STUPID.”  (FYI, I've named that voice Bertha.  This way I can make her separate from me, and respond to her accordingly.)

I’ve made a commitment to my Mastermind teammates to write at least one blog post a week, so I couldn't just blow it off as the old me has done before.  A commitment is a commitment.  I don't want to be the one that lacks integrity by not doing what I committed to do, or come up with the lame excuse about why I didn't do my homework.  Left to my own accountability, I've dropped that ball many times before.  Why is it easier to do things for others than for ourselves?  Seriously, does anyone really care if I do my workout?  I’m working on doing it for my own sake, but until I get there I have teammates that keep me in check.  This is the power of accountability partners.

I realized this week that being confused is a choice, a trap we put ourselves into.  We know the right answers, but we filter them with what we should do, or what we think someone wants us to do.    Listen to your conversations, both with others and with your "Bertha".  I've noticed that it’s easier to be confused.  It's a form of procrastination and resistance.  When we live in Confusion Land we put off taking action.

Nike had it right when they said, "JUST DO IT". 

Confusion is a choice.

What are you choosing?